Crab Minestrone with Stuffed Shells



For the soup

  • 1/2 Cup  olive oil
  • live hard-shell crabs
  • 1 Cup  chopped celery, divided
  • 1/2 Cup  chopped leeks
  • 1/2 Cup  chopped fresh basil
  • cloves garlic
  • 1 Cup  tomato sauce
  • 8 Cups  chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon  coarse salt
  • 1 Tablespoon  peppercorns
  • 1/2 Cup  diced carrots
  • 1/2 Cup  green beans
  • 1/2 Cup  tomato concasse
  • 1/2 Cup  chopped spinach
  • 1 Cup  white beans, cooked

For the crabmeat-stuffed shells

  • 1/4 Pound  small pasta shells
  • 3 Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup  breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Cup  butter
  • 3/4 Cups  lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  coarse salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon  freshly ground pepper

A great  bowl of minestrone is hard not to love, but is even better with some fresh crabs thrown in and served alongside crabmeat stuffed shells. The crabmeat makes it a more substantial meal, and the minestrone is a great sauce for the shells.


For the soup

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add crabs, ½ cup of the celery, leeks, basil and 6 cloves of the garlic. Sauté, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, broth, salt and peppercorns.

Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming and discarding foam that rises to the top. Drain the broth and discard vegetables. Return broth to soup pot and bring to a simmer.

Mince the last two cloves of garlic. Reduce the broth to approximately 1 ½ quarts. Add carrots, the rest of the celery, and the green beans and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato concasse, spinach, white beans, minced garlic, salt and pepper and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

For the crabmeat-stuffed shells

Cook the pasta shells in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, discard any broken shells, and toss the remainder of shells with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the breadcrumbs and butter with crabmeat, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon the crabmeat mixture into a pastry bag and using a small tip, fill each shell. Coat a baking pan with remaining olive oil and place filled shells in pan. Bake for 10 minutes.


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Calories per serving:

517 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 234g 361%
  • Carbs 344g 115%
  • Saturated 59g 297%
  • Fiber 49g 197%
  • Trans 2g
  • Sugars 59g
  • Monounsaturated 134g
  • Polyunsaturated 28g
  • Protein 296g 591%
  • Cholesterol 938mg 313%
  • Sodium 15,508mg 646%
  • Calcium 1,774mg 177%
  • Magnesium 998mg 250%
  • Potassium 10,971mg 313%
  • Iron 42mg 236%
  • Zinc 48mg 319%
  • Phosphorus 3,816mg 545%
  • Vitamin A 1,181µg 131%
  • Vitamin C 97mg 161%
  • Thiamin (B1) 3mg 195%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 3mg 176%
  • Niacin (B3) 66mg 329%
  • Vitamin B6 4mg 224%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 1,540µg 385%
  • Vitamin B12 80µg 1,328%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 32mg 158%
  • Vitamin K 381µg 476%
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