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Cream Of Crab Vs. She Crab Soup

Cream of crab soup and she crab soup are popular crab-based recipes.  

They are often served as appetizers but can also be enjoyed as a main dish accompanied by potatoes or seafood.  

These dishes are both made from crab meat and these soups also have a creamy texture.  

Cream of crab soup and she crab soup are sometimes confused for each other as both soups have similar appearance; however, the two soups are different.  

The difference between these two preparations typically comes down to the presence of crab roe and the type of crab used.  

In this post, we discuss how this ingredient imparts distinct qualities to these preparations. 

What is She crab soup?

She crab soup is a traditional Southern delicacy often associated with Charleston, South Carolina.  

The soup has a creamy texture and rich flavor. She crab soup consists of crab meat along with crab roe which distinguishes it from other forms of creamy crab-based soups. 

The crab meat and roe are typically from the female blue crab, hence the name of the soup. 

The addition of the crab roe gives she crab soup unique qualities such as a distinctive flavor profile and also color. 

The orange hue that the soup gains is a result of the pigments released by the roe during cooking.  

She crab soup is also made with milk or heavy cream for creaminess, onions, and a blend of herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of the soup.  

Some variations of this soup also include wine for more flavor depth, adding a subtle complexity to the dish.

What is cream of crab soup?

Cream of crab soup is a popular soup with many variations.  

This soup is popularly associated with Maryland, but regional variations can be found in other parts of the US, especially in coastal regions.  

The main ingredients include crab meat, cream, butter, and flour. Various seasonings such as old bay seasoning can be used to add a distinct flavor.

Vegetables like onions, celery, and sometimes red bell peppers are also commonly used. 

Variations of cream of crab soup may include wines like sherry, adding a layer of sophistication to the dish.  

Cream crab soup is known for its rich and creamy texture together with its savory flavor.  

Difference between she crab soup and cream of crab

She crab soup and cream of crab, though similar in appearance, are differentiated by the type of crab used and the presence of crab roe. 

Crab meat

Cream of crab soup and she crab soup both feature crab meat and a creamy base, however, the type of crab differs between the two soups 

Female crabs are chosen for she crab soup because they contain crab roe. The roe is a distinctive element of she crab soup, contributing both to the flavor and texture of the soup. 

The name “she crab” originates from the use of female crabs, which are typically preferred for this soup due to their roe. 

On the other hand, cream of crab soup typically uses a variety of crab meat, including both male and female crabs. The emphasis is on the crab’s meat rather than the roe.

Crab roe

While both she crab soup and cream of crab share a creamy texture and the use of crab meat, the absence of crab roe in cream of crab distinguishes it.  

The lack of roe also means that cream of crab soup does not exhibit the distinctive orange color seen in she crab soup. 

She crab soup features both crab meat and crab roe, with the roe contributing a briny and distinctive taste, creating a more complex and uniquely flavored soup with an orange hue.