She-Crab Soup

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 medium onion, chopped

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 quart whole milk

1 pound fresh lump crab meat

1/4 pound crab roe or hard-boiled egg yolk

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground mace

2 cups half-and-half

1/2 cup sherry wine

1 tablespoon table salt

Garnishes: paprika, fresh parsley

Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over low heat; add the onion, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until softened.

IN A DOUBLE BOILER: Pour water to a depth of 1 inch in the bottom of a double boiler over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer; place remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in top of the double boiler over simmering water. Cook until melted. Whisk in the flour.

IN A DUTCH OVEN: Melt butter over medium heat and whisk in flour.

Stir in the onion and milk, stirring constantly until blended. Stir in the crab meat and roe (or yolk); add pepper and mace, and cook 20 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half. Remove from heat, and stir in the wine and salt. Garnish and serve with good crusty bread.

Yield: 6 servings