- 1 1/2 pounds raw gumbo, soup, or any hardshell crabs (about 15 or 16 small crabs), each broken in half
- 4 quarts water, cold or at room temperature
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
- 1 whole head garlic, halved horizontally
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 turns freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large soup or stock pot over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for about 1 hour, and remove from the heat.
- Strain through a fine strainer or sieve. Discard solids. Refrigerate or freeze in 2-cup containers. Keeps for 1 month.