Or more accurately, The-She-Crab-Lives Soup because no crustaceans were harmed in the making of this soup! As you may know, I went to college in Charleston, South Carolina and my favorite Charleston dish was She Crab Soup. No question, hands down, I loved it the most. Needless to say, I've wanted to veganize She Crab Soup for a while now but couldn't figure out what to do about the crab. I kept waiting for some great imitation to be made but nada. Finally, a few weeks ago it all came together for me. I was preparing my celery root to make celery root soup when (& blame the smell of the celery root for this) I realized I could use oyster mushrooms instead of crab meat! Oh the genius of it all!
Before I get to the recipe, though, there some things I need to say about this cultural dish. The original soup is made with cream, which I subbed right out to keep the soup fat-free but you can use vegan cream if you want to. Some restaurants also chop up a stalk of celery, which I've omitted because I find celery to be a little too overpowering in creamy soups. Tabasco is the brand of hot sauce most commonly used in this dish and down South in general, but I simply substituted the hot sauce I had on hand. Finally, you want to use a good quality sherry (not cooking sherry) here, but the soup is still good even if you skip it. One last note, white pepper is really hot, it kicks the pants off of black pepper, so start with a tiny dash and go from there.