Try this hearty soup that incorporates the best of vegetable soup and flavorful crab. I break whole crabs and claws into pieces and drop them into the soup to cook, then serve it with saltine crackers and a cold beer. —Freelove Knott, Palm Bay, Florida
"As a school principal, wife and mom, I cook to wind down at the end of a busy day," comments Amy Lingren of Des Peres, Missouri. "This recipe, rich with cheese and crab, is a quick and different way to dress up canned soup."
"For a casual company meal, I serve this creamy soup along with miniature ham sandwiches," writes Karen Balistrieri from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. "Sometimes we leave the bay leaf in the soup as a sign of good luck for the person who gets it in their bowl," she adds.
Many games involve letters, so I thought alphabet soup would be ideal to serve at my theme party, which included an evening of playing board games and cards. I concocted the hearty soup using ingredients I had on hand.
Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step farther-add crabmeat. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. —Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois