A Deliciously Tasty Spicy Crab Soup Recipe

According to National Geographic this crab soup’s origins lie in Scotland. Parten bree was a staple dish in this country. Parten in Scottish Gaelic means crab and bree means broth. When a large influx of Scottish immigrants settled in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1800s, they brought the recipe with them.

The seafood soup was so popular it caught on all around the state, and eventually was even served regularly at the White House. Over the years, different cultures have put their own spin on crab soup. Resulting in delicious variations such as; Maryland style, she – crab, New England, bisque, smoked, and what is presented here, spicy.

If you have the time and really want to impress, there’s no beating this spicy crab soup recipe.

A Deliciously Tasty Spicy Crab Recipe


  • 5 large cooked king crab legs

Stock Ingredients

  • shells of king crab legs and the juice
  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • pepper corns
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Sofrito Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 onion, grated or diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro stems, torn
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1- 14 ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

For Serving

  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • 1 pound of egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped



  1. Over an open flame (stove, grill, etc), roast the pepper until it’s charred. Then place it in a plastic zip bag for 15 minutes.
  2. While the pepper is sitting, add the canned tomatoes, onion, cilantro stems, and garlic to a blender and whir until it’s puréed.
  3. Remove the pepper from the bag, peel the skin, and take out the seeds. Cut up the roasted pepper and purée it with the rest of the mix.
  4. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on a medium high heat. Once hot, pour in the puréed mix and whisk. Allow the purée to thicken and reduce over a high heat for about 25 minutes, stirring every so often.


  1. Shell the crab legs and save any juice that comes out. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on a medium high heat. Add in the garlic, jalapeño, and onion and cook for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the crab juices and crush the shells into the mix. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the water and white wine and let it reduce for about 1-2 minutes. Add the pepper corn and thyme. Simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Strain the broth and mix in with the sofrito.
  5. Season with salt and lime juice.
  6. Warm up the crab meat a few minutes before serving the soup. Do not make it too hot. You don’t want to cook the crab any more.

Tying It All Together

  1. Portion the soup into bowls.
  2. Add in the cooked noodles.
  3. Use cilantro and lime to garnish.

*Tip: this spicy crab soup tastes even better the next day.

How Do I Pick Good King Crab Legs?

It is the opinion of crab connoisseurs, that the red king crab, hailing from Alaska, is the best in the world. It’s sweet, succulent, and flaky. Ten pounds of these legs will cost you around $600.

If you’ve ever caught an episode of the show, Deadliest Catch, (of which these king crabs are the star), then you can understand why. The effort to catch and haul these ruby creatures is backbreaking.

The Bering sea where they reside is extremely dangerous. There’s a constant slew of injuries and fishermen going overboard into the icy sea. That’s why these crabs are so expensive. The men and women on these boats are paid well to risk their lives to retrieve them for our tables.

That being said, most Alaskan king crab is cooked to perfection and flash frozen right on the fishing boat to maintain its delicious taste. So there’s no need for you to worry about cooking them. When looking to buy king crab legs in the supermarket or fishmongers, you want to look for the following:

  • the legs are firm to the touch
  • joints should move easily
  • should be mushy or “leaky”
  • should smell like seawater, not like fish or ammonia

What Goes Well With A Spicy Crab Soup Recipe?

When serving sides for this very special spicy soup, you may want to consider some dishes that highlight its uniqueness, while offsetting its hot flavor. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Cucumber Avocado Salad

A cool and refreshing choice that’s great to eat in between slurps of soup.

2. Garlic Roasted Potatoes

If you’re serving this sophisticated soup to family or friends, you may want to serve this equally sophisticated side. It’s also quick and easy, after putting so much effort into the soup.

3. Corn on the Cob

There’s just something about corn and crab. The two flavors, when combined, create a very special, tasty experience.

4. French Fries

Keep it simple and tasty with some fresh cut, air fried potatoes.

5. Cesar Salad

The crisp texture and tangy flavor of the salad goes very well with the spicy broth.

What Is Sofrito?

Sofrito is a spicy sauté that originated in Spain. It’s a delicious mix of peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. It’s normally used as a spicy base for stews, soups, and sauces. Much like crab soup, sofrito recipes change depending on the culture.

For example, the Italians add carrots and celery, while the Greeks add wine, and the Portuguese use only garlic, onion, and olive oil. It is often used as a sauce for fish dishes and is awesome over rice.

A Few King Crab Facts

  • King crabs can grow to be up to 6 feet long and weigh up to 18 pounds.
  • These huge crabs can live up to 30 years in the wild, if lucky enough to not get caught.
  • A female king crab is called a Jenny.
  • King crab blood is blue.
  • Though they normally stay to themselves, when confronted by predators, the king crabs will stack up on one another to appear like one big sea monster and scare off the enemy.

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