INGREDIENTS:

4 quarts water
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
12 live blue she crabs, each about 4 inches wide
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated onion
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

PREPARATION:

Bring 4 quarts water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in a large (about 8-quart size) kettle. Drop in the crabs and return the water to a boil. Cook for 15 miSet meat and roe aside.

In a heavy 3 to 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the flour and stir until smooth and bubbly. Stirring the mixture constantly with a wire whisk, pour in the milk and cream slowly and cook over high heat until the sauce comes to a boil and is smooth and slightly thickened.

Stir in the crabmeat and roe, along with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, grated onion and lemon peel, nutmeg, and white pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes. Stir in the sherry, taste for seasoning, and pour the soup into a heated serving dish or individual soup bowls. Sprinkle the top with parsley and serve immediately. Hope you enjoy this old Southern dish.

nutes. Drain the crabs; clean and shell.