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Southern Style Crab Soup

½ cup flour
1 TBSP. butter
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBSP. Old Bay Seasoning
¼ tsp. each of salt and pepper
¼ tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups clam juice
1 ½ cups whole milk
½ cup half and half
1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked clean
1/3 cup sherry

Place flour in a 9 inch cast iron skillet; cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until brown, stirring constantly with a wisk.
Remove from heat.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven pot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
Add carrot and next 5 ingredients; saute until vegetables are tender.
Add Old Bay, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf; cook 1 minute.
Sprinkle the browned flour over the veggie mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Stir in clam juice; bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thick, stirring frequently.
Stir in the half and half; cook 4 minutes.
Stir in the crabmeat and sherry and cook until the soup is thoroughly heated.
Discard bay leaf before serving.
Yields 9 servings

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