Donovan Mundy, a chef at Pascal's Tavern in St. Michaels, Maryland, says time and patience make a good bowl of Maryland crab soup.
You often see cream of crab soup on menus outside this region, but tomato-based crab soup is served almost exclusively in the Mid-Atlantic. It goes by several monikers. In Maryland, it takes the state name. In Virginia, it's simply known as vegetable crab.
To make his version of Maryland crab soup, Donovan Mundy, the chef at Pascal's Tavern at St. Michaels Harbour Inn & Marina, starts with a stock he makes himself using crab shells. He then adds fresh herbs and vegetables. "My main ingredients are fresh thyme and fresh tomatoes," he confides. Blue crab claw meat rounds out the list of ingredients.
With its lovely view of St. Michaels Harbor, Pascal's offers the perfect spot for enjoying a sandwich and a large bowl of the hearty soup. For fine dining, head upstairs to Harbour Lights, the marina's upscale restaurant. 101 North Harbor Road, St. Michaels, MD 21663; (410) 745-9001. Cup of soup: $4.95, bowl: $7.95.
"Chesapeake Bay" is from the November 2004 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.