Maryland Crab Soup

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Maryland is known for steamed crabs. And what is one to do when they have leftover crabs and no one to eat them? Make crab soup, obviously!

Now there is one time when you absolutely can not make crab soup. Head on down to a Maryland fishing/crabbing area and seek out one of the older gentleman with tanned, wrinkly skin and ask him what happens when you make crab soup while its raining or during a thunderstorm. He’ll tell you that it spoils. As I’m not a meteorologist, I have no idea why this happens. But, some quick research on the internet says it has something to do with the combination of crab meat, cabbage and barometric pressure. However, there is just as much information saying this is just an old wives tale.

So believe what you want, but as a lifetime Maryland resident, I 100% believe these old crabbing men know exactly what they’re talking about. They are right when they tell you never to order steamed crabs after heavy rains because the sand gets into the crab shells and makes the meat mushy so they gotta know something.


Maryland Crab Soup

Maryland crab soup is a staple in just about every restaurant in the state, even if it’s not a seafood restaurant. The soup is tomato based, full of vegetables and fresh picked crab meat seasoned liberally with our state-favorite seasoning, Old Bay.

  • Author: NicholeL
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Maryland


  • 1 lb. crab meat (lump or claw, preferably as they are bigger pieces)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and coined
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans (ends trimmed if using fresh)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 15 oz. can lima beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 8 oz. tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp. Old Bay
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce


1. Pick through the crab meat, removing any shells or cartilage.  
2. Add the crab meat and all of the other ingredients to a large stock pot. Stir to combine. If there is not much liquid, add another cup of water.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to very low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally for at least 3 hours.
4. Adjust any seasonings to taste and serve hot with crackers or bread.

Keywords: maryland crab soup, maryland crab, Old Bay, vegetables

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This is one of those soups that you want to start first thing in the morning so you can let it cook all day. Your house will smell wonderful, believe me. I really can’t wait until we have a deep freezer and I can make these enormous batches of soup without having to give them away.

*Side note – this soup will stay good for 2-4 months in the freezer*


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