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She-Crab Soup
Serves: 6

2 hard-cooked eggs, optional
3 tablespoons butter
1 scallion including green top, minced
1 rib celery, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds lump crabmeat, picked free of shell
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 thin slices lemon

If using the eggs, separate the yolks from the whites and save the
whites for another use. Press the yolks through a sieve and reserve.
In a large pot, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the
scallion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the
vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook,
stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, milk and cream. Bring
to a simmer, stirring. Add the sieved egg yolks, if using, the
crabmeat, sherry, salt and pepper and bring almost to a simmer.
Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a pinch of paprika and
a lemon slice.

Note: Originally this soup was prepared with the meat and roe from
female blue crabs. If you're able to get them and prefer cooking
them yourself, you'll need eight or nine large crabs to get a pound
and a half of meat and roe.

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