Every summer I make sure that there is at least ONE time that I go to town on some Crabs. Usually we go down to the wharf in D.C. to pick them up, fresh and steamed right there with lots of Old Bay seasoning. We take it home and have a feast! We don't have fancy tools to crack open the legs so we just put those over to the side and save them for soup making. I NEVER waste food, especially crab meat! Crab isn't cheap, as we all know!
I like to take the end of a big knife and pound it onto the crab leg to crack it open. If you have a special tool then go for it! I get all of the crab meat out and place it to the side to throw into my soup. I leave just a few legs uncracked to use for garnish at the end. Food always seems to taste better when its presented artistically =) I understand why a lot of cooking competitions critique on presentation.
Once you have all the meat pulled out and put aside, then all you need are the following ingredients:
-1 14.5 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
-1.5 cups of water
-1 cup of beef broth
-1 cup of your bean of choice (lima, chickpea, etc.)
-1 cup sliced carrots
-1 cup of corn kernels
-1/2 cup of chopped onions
-2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning
How fresh you want to go with these ingredients is up to you, you can get most of it in a can or frozen in a bag but it's up to you. First, boil the water, beef broth, and carrots. The carrots will take the longest to cook. Then add the onions, carrots and beans (assuming these are canned, if they are dry you need to soak them overnight and boil them first). Add the Old Bay seasoning once everything boils for about 10 minutes. You can always add Tabasco sauce or ground pepper as well for a little heat. Add the crab at the end and mix around and serve! The whole thing probably takes no more than 15 minutes tops. It should be fairly quick assuming everything is already chopped up. This is the simplest recipe for Maryland crab soup. It is low in calories, warm to the soul and delicious. Enjoy! I know I did! =)