She-crab soup is a dish found along the coast in the South. It's made with crab meat and crab roe (eggs), hence the "she" in the name. Chef Jorel Pierce tried several renditions of she-crab soup to put on the menu at Stoic and Genuine. But he was never satisfied with the quality of roe in the soup. "I have a commitment to making a dish work, but if you give it too much thought or try too hard, you lose the integrity of the ingredients."
Deciding they could not get the ingredients he wanted, he came up with the dish now on the menu, he crab soup. Many components are the same, but the "he" comes from the king crab meat used to make it. "We try to take colloquialisms from around the country and pay homage to them in some way."
The presentation is just as quirky as the name. The dish arrives in a mug with what looks like a swirl of whipped cream on the top. Chef jokes, "It's our take on a pumpkin spice latte."
But that swirl does not taste a bit like whipped cream. After setting fire to sherry to reduce it, he whips it into cream, creating an extremely nutty flavor, the perfect complement to the soup.
The soup itself begins with chopped vegetables simmering in butter, then with a little flour, crab spice, cream, and fish stock. After a long simmer, the soup is pureed and filled with meaty pieces of crab.
"It's warm and simple," says Pierce. "I love twisted up food and we're good at that. You don't have to know anything about food to like this; it's just good for good's sake."