Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and bay leaf, sweat down for 2 minutes until translucent. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until it dissolves. Whisk in the stock, stirring constantly until smooth and free of lumps. Gradually pour in the milk, cream, and paprika; continue to stir until incorporated. Add half the crab meat and roe. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes until thick and heated through.
To serve, divide a tablespoon of sherry among 4 bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls, spooning the remaining crab meat and roe in the center of each. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve with crusty French bread.
White Crab Stock:
2 quarts cold water
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 garlic bulb, halved
1 turnip, split
2 celery stalks, split
Bouquet garni (4 sprigs fresh parsley, 4 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves and 1 leek -- tied together with string)
1/2 lemon, juice
1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning
1/2 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
1/2 cup white wine
Sea salt, to taste
6 live Atlantic Blue crabs
Pour water in a large stockpot and place over low-medium flame. Add the vegetables and bouquet garni; cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to become tender. Add the lemon juice, crab boil seasoning, peppercorns, wine and salt. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring to mingle flavors. Carefully put the crabs in the pot and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. The crab shells will be bright orange when done. Remove and shell the crabs. Strain the stock to discard the vegetable solids, reserving the crab meat and stock. Yield: 8 cups
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