From Linda Cicero’s Cook’s Corner Column
Belizean Seafood Soup
The seafood in this soup from coastal Belize can vary depending upon what is available in your market.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1 cup onion, diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups fish stock
Pinch of thyme
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cubed potato
1 cup cubed cassava
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced carrots
1 large lobster tail, with shell
1 pound fish fillets
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and butterflied
1 pound conch, tenderized and cubed
1 green plantain, peeled and grated
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 half-ripe plantain, peeled and cut in small chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy pot. Add flour and whisk constantly until flour is copper in color. Add onions and tomato paste and stir for two to three minutes until onions are a deep golden brown. Add coconut milk, fish stock, thyme and garlic. Mix well, bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.
Add potato, cassava, bell pepper and carrots. Boil until vegetables are cooked. Add lobster, fish, shrimp and conch; simmer until cooked.
While soup is cooking, mix grated plantain with coconut oil and salt and pepper to taste. Form into little dumplings the size of a teaspoon. Add dumplings along with half-ripe plantain to the soup and bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes or until plantains are cooked. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 636 calories (61 percent from fat), 44 g fat (26.8 g saturated, 5.7 g monounsaturated), 117 mg cholesterol, 35 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 3.7 g fiber, 596 mg sodium.