A Deliciously Tasty Belizean Conch Soup Recipe

Belize is a country that is located along the northeastern Central-American Coast in the Caribbean. The capital of Belize is Belmopan, although its largest city is Belize City.

Historically, Belize was a British Colony before its independence (in 1981), and its language reflects that fact. Belize is bordered by Guatemala to its south and west, the Caribbean Sea to its east, and Mexico to its north. In addition, the country shares a water boundary with the country of Honduras to its south and east.

Belizean cuisine is a combination of the nation’s multiple ethnicities. The cuisine is best characterized as similar to Central American/Mexican, Floribbean, or Anglo/Caribbean foods – although the variances among each can be significant.

What about the Conch?

A queen conch, which is indigenous to the waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, is a large snail/mollusk and is often the kind that is used when advertising the beauty and coastline of most Caribbean destinations.

While you may not know their name, conch shells are the kind you can put up to your ear to hear the roaring sounds of the ocean. The queen conch can weigh up to five pounds (including the shell) and live up to three decades.

Conch can be served in many ways – even raw in salads. It is often made into delicious fried fritters and gumbos. Conch soup is a traditional Belize dish served in coastal areas. It is similar to a scallop or abalone and has a sweetness (and slight smokiness) that permeates the following deliciously tasty Belizean Conch Soup recipe.

Getting Ready to Make a Tasty Belizean Conch Soup Recipe

Grab a skillet and a large saucepan to begin. In no time, your kitchen will transport you to the crystal-blue waters of the tropical paradise known as the Caribbean Sea.

  • Preparation Time – 5 – 15 minutes.
  • Cooking Time – 2.5 – 3 hours.
  • Total time – 3 – 3.5 hours.
  • Serves – 6

The Ingredients Used to Make a Tasty Belizean Conch Soup

Although there are several ingredients to craft this amazing soup from Belize, the result is totally worth the effort. This soup conceptually builds layers of flavor as it simmers and cooks.

  • 1 Cup of Salted Pork Fat – Cubed.
  • 4 Slices of Smoked Bacon.
  • 1 Cup of Onion – Diced.
  • 1 Pound of Conch – Cleaned and Cubed.
    Pro-tip – Those familiar with conch know that it needs to be tenderized. Locals ‘pong’ the conch with a meat mallet until it is thinned out like a chicken cutlet. For this Belizean Conch Soup recipe, the conch is boiled for a significant amount of time, so there is no need to pound it thin with a mallet. Note, though, that it is best to butterfly the conch meat first and then cut small bite-sized chunks before cooking.
  • 3 to 5 cups of Water.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Garlic.
  • 2 Medium Potatoes – Cubed.
    Pro-tip – Potatoes can be substituted for what traditional Belizeans call “ground foods or ground provisions.” These may include coco-yam (taro root), cassava, breadfruit, sweet potato green banana, or plantain. Be sure to cut these into large chunks, so they do not dissolve during the cooking process.
  • 2 Teaspoon of Salt.
  • 1 Teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
  • 1 – 14-Ounce Can of Evaporated Milk.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Flour Dissolved in ¼ to ½ Cup Water.

Optional Ingredients for this Tasty Belizean Conch Soup Recipe

Conch soup creates a great palette for many optional ingredients and toppings. Check out these creative options –

  • Firm but ripe plantains are an ideal addition that adds a sweet balance to the conch soup.
  • 6 -10 Okra Stalks
  • Chayote – an edible type of gourd high in vitamin C. Chayote is cooked similarly to squash.
  • Tomatoes – dice some ripe tomatoes to add a bit of acidic balance.
  • Coconut oil – is rich but can be potent, so don’t overdo it.
  • Scotch Bonnet Peppers – diced and seeded.
  • Seasonings that may be added during the cooking process or as an accent when serving –
    • Cilantro
    • Big-leafed tropical oregano that is found throughout the country. Some natives refer to this as “thyme.”
    • Scallion
    • Parsley
    • Fennel

Cooking Instructions for this Tasty Belizean Conch Soup

To make this delicious Belizean Conch Soup, follow these steps –

  • In a medium to a large skillet, sauté the pork fat and bacon over medium heat until it becomes brown.
  • Add the diced onions to the pork fat/bacon mixture and sauté until the onions become golden brown.
  • In a large saucepan, raise the heat to high and bring the three cups of water to a boil.
  • Stir in the sauteed onions, pork fat, and bacon mixture.
  • Add garlic plus the cleaned and diced conch.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Simmer the conch, pork, and onion mixture for 1 ½ hours.
    Pro-tip – Add water to keep the conch mixture covered while cooking.
  • Remove and discard the pork fat.
  • Add the diced potato to the soup mixture – plus 1 – 2 cups of water.
  • Season with salt & fresh black pepper to taste.
  • Using medium heat, simmer the conch soup for 30 to 40 minutes more. This part of the cooking is when the coco-yam (or another type of ground provision) becomes fork tender.
  • Add the can of evaporated milk to the developing Belizean Conch Soup and stir.
  • Then thicken the Belizean Conch Soup with the combined flour/water mixture.
  • Simmer for a few minutes and ladle into soup bowls.


What are Some Serving Suggestions for Belizean Conch Soup?

To bring some brightness, serve this Belizean Conch Soup with roasted brussels sprouts that are cooked with a reduced balsamic or a grilled corn salad with diced avocado. For a sweet note, make some delicious fried plantains to serve as a side.

What is the nutritional value of a conch?

A serving of conch has 130 calories and is very low (1.2 grams) in fat. It offers more than 26 grams of protein, only 150 mg of sodium, and 65 mg of cholesterol. It even has healthy omega fats.

What are Some Common Names for the Queen Conch?

This warm water gastropod is also known as the Caribbean Conch, the Pink Conch, or the Bahamas Conch.

You can also read:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *