This Daufuskie Soup recipe is a decadent, creamy seafood soup inspired by the cuisine of coastal South Carolina.
The Godfather and I love taking our little family circus on road trips. I don’t know if it’s because we know we have “work mandated” road trips when we relocate for his job every few years, or if it’s just a love of the adventure and the time spent together, but it’s something we always enjoy. Last year, when we traveled to Florida to visit our families, we decided to forego the airports and take a road trip instead, driving two days with a stop in Savannah mid-way. Who gives up an opportunity to visit Savannah? That’s crazy talk.
One of the things we really love about a road trip is the opportunity to try new restaurants and regional food styles. You may remember some of the recipes I shared last summer inspired by our barbeque-themed cross-country road trip – St Louis Brisket and Kansas City Ribs. The trip down to Florida was equally inspiring with dishes I wanted to share, and this soup was top priority!
On our drive back up to Virginia, we started looking for lunch in South Carolina and came across this little gem of a place called Julia Belle’s at the Pee Dee Farmer’s Market. Reading about it we knew we had to try it and so we stopped for lunch. The staff was so sweet, and the food was very good – in fact, I have one more recipe inspired by this lunch coming in to the blog sometime this year. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop and try this local gem!
The “Daufuskie Soup” was a special on the Julia Belle’s menu the day we stopped, and I decided to give it a try. I really enjoy a good creamy seafood soup, and it sounded like a perfect road trip treat, even on a warm day. The soup had just the perfect amount of spice and a variety of seafood typical in low country cooking, and I probably only got to enjoy about half the bowl with the “tastes” being shared by the rest of the family. I knew I had to make it again, we couldn’t wait until the next road trip!
When I searched for “Daufuskie Soup” on Google, I didn’t find more than listings for soups on restaurant menus. It’s apparently named after Daufuskie Island, a small island between Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina, that’s very small – mostly for tourists now – and registered as a historic landmark because it has history related to the Civil War, and was home to a Gullah population until recently.
There’s a certain style typical of the Southern low-country seafood soups, so I didn’t fret as I knew it would be easy to recreate the recipe as long as I got to work as soon as we got home. We reached home late that night, shopped the next day, and I made Daufuskie soup that evening for dinner so that the flavor profile would still be fresh on our palates. The Godfather said it was perfect!
I hope you enjoy this South Carolina seafood soup recipe as a special treat this winter, no matter where you are!
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced sweet onion (about 1 medium)
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 cup corn (frozen or cut fresh from the cob)
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 lb crab meat, picked over to remove shells
- 1 lb 51/60 count shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- ½ cup sherry cooking wine
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- Melt butter over medium low heat in a stock pot. Whisk in the flour and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add your onions, garlic, and bell pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the salt, paprika, and white pepper.
- Slowly whisk in the cream, milk, broth, Worcestershire sauce, and ¼ cup of the sherry, stirring constantly to ensure there are no lumps in the soup.
- Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add corn, crab meat, shrimp, and remaining ¼ cup of the sherry wine and cook the soup uncovered an additional 10 minutes. Adjust spices and Worcestershire sauce to taste.
- Serve immediately.