By Fran Lane

Ten miles off the Maryland’s Eastern Shore lies Smith Island, where a 300-year-old culture survived in isolation. Smith Island knows true Chesapeake cooking. The Smith Island layer cake is just one of their creations.

For decades, Frances Kitching operated a world renowned Inn on Smith Island and served Maryland tidewater cuisine.

People from all over the world made a pilgrimage to sample her Chesapeake Bay cuisine. Sylvester Stallone once flew to Smith Island with a group of his friends in a helicopter just to sample her Chesapeake Bay cooking.

Many of her recipes were handed down in the oral tradition from mother to daughter for generations. I got this Crab Soup recipe from Mrs. Kitching’s Smith Island Cookbook by Frances Kitching and Susan Stiles Dowell, published in 1981. This Crab Soup recipe is a Maryland classic. It’s the real deal! Enjoy.  Tom

Smith Island Crab Soup

1/2 pound crabmeat, regular / (1) 14 1/2-ounce can whole tomatoes / (1) 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables / 1/2 cup diced baked ham / 1/2 cup egg noodles (uncooked) / 1/4 cup shredded cabbage / 1/2 teaspoon salt / 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning / 5 cups water

 Combine all ingredients, except crabmeat, in a soup pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender and noodles are cooked. Add crabmeat and simmer long enough to heat crabmeat. Serve hot. The larger the soup quantity, the better the resulting flavor will be.


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