Crab and Brie Soup

This is the signature soup of Dakota Restaurant in Covington. But calling it a soup is a stretch. It’s so thick that you could turn a bowl upside down and it might not come out. I’d recommend serving it only when you can afford to put a lot of lump crabmeat in it. It’s very rich.

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 8 gumbo crabs (small hard-shell crabs)
  • 1 medium onion, cut up
  • 1 medium carrot, cut up
  • 3 ribs celery, cut up
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 8 oz. Brie cheese, rind removed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat
  • Pinch cayenne

1. Heat the butter in a heavy kettle over medium heat. Crack the crabs with a meat pounder, add them to the butter, and sauté for five minutes.

2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves, and continue to cook until the vegetables soften.

3. Add the brandy. Bring it to a boil, then carefully touch a flame to it. After the flames die down, add the wine and bring that to a boil. After a minute or two, add two quarts of water and bring to a simmer. Keep the simmer going for about a half-hour.

4. Strain the soup and add the cream. Return to a simmer.

5. Heat the butter in another saucepan and stir in the flour. Make a blond roux, and whisk into the soup pot.

6. Slice the Brie into small pieces and add it to the pot. Stir until the cheese melts in completely. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Right before serving, put the lump crabmeat in the bottom of the bowls, and ladle the hot soup over it. Sprinkle a very little cayenne over it and serve.

Serves six to eight.

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  1. Etheob on August 28, 2015

    This looks amazing! However, a quick question: do you sauté the eight gumbo crabs live, of should they be steamed first?

    • Tom Fitzmorris on August 30, 2015

      I’ve never seen gumbo crabs life. (They’re by definition picked of their meat and used for making a stock for the soup, not for the meat itself–of which there is little.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris