Hamburg-Style Crab Soup

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Hamburg-style Crab Soup with Vegetables (Hamburger Krebssuppe)

Over the centuries, the cuisine of Hamburg established a well-deserved reputation for its sophistication. The wealthy traders of this city-state played a leading role in the Hanseatic League, and they certainly ate well. This crab soup is a classic made with live crabs, but you can also substitute good-quality canned crabmeat.
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 med yellow onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek thoroughly cleaned, trimmed, and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cans chicken broth (14½-ounce each)
  • 1/2 cup green peas resh shelled or frozen
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 spears white asparagus fresh cooked or canned, drained
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 can pasteurized crabmeat, 16-ounce can or ½ pound fresh crabmeat
  • 2 tbsp cognac or some other good brandy
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper


  • Heat the butter in a pot and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the carrot, leek, celery, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the soup through a fine sieve and transfer the broth back to the pot. Add the peas and cook 5 to 10 minutes, depending on whether you use fresh or frozen.
  • Mix the flour with a few tablespoons of the broth in a small bowl until the flour is entirely dissolved, then whisk it into the soup. Simmer until the soup thickens, stirring constantly.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Hamburg
Keyword: crab, Soup
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