Sopa de caracol, also known as conch soup, is a popular Honduran dish prepared using conch meat (sea snails), conch’s broth and coconut milk. Spices, such as chili peppers, ginger, garlic, cilantro and cumin are also added. Other ingredients include green bananas, diced tomatoes, carrots, yuca (cassava) and onions to provide the dish with additional flavor.
In the Bahamas, this dish is known as Bahamian chowder, and in Haiti, it is called lambi. The dish also uses several different recipes, depending on the region. For example, in Jamaica, people add conch to their stews, soups, and curries along with their local spices.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Sopa de caracol was invented on the north coast of Honduras, and it is widely consumed throughout the Caribbean region. It is similar to gumbo but with added vegetables and with a sweeter flavor.
A song named Sopa de Caracol from Banda Blanca became the reason that people came to know about this soup all across Latin America. The dish is typically eaten with white rice and thick tortillas.
- Conch - 2 lb
- Coconut milk - 2 cans
- Green bananas, sliced - 3
- Carrots, sliced - 3
- Cassava, sliced - 2 lb
- Garlic, crushed - 3 cloves
- White onions, chopped - 2
- Green bell pepper, roughly chopped - 1
- Green hot peppers, chopped - 2
- Chicken consommé - 2 cubes
- Cilantro - ½ bunch
- Chinese cilantro - ½ bunch
- Margarine - 5 tbsp
- Milk - 1 cup
- Water - 1 cup
- Achiote oil (annatto oil) - 2 tbsp
- Salt - to taste
- Pepper - to taste
- Begin by taking the conch and carefully removing the flesh from it. Tenderize the meat with the help of a mallet.
- Now, take the meat and cut it into 5 cm squares. Keep them away.
- It’s time to place the margarine in a large Dutch oven and allow it to melt over medium heat. Add the onions and keep stirring for about 1 minute.
- Next, throw in the bell peppers, garlic, and hot peppers. Combine well and sauté for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the cassava, chicken consommé cubes, and carrots. Mix properly and sauté for the next 5 minutes.
- Once done, pour in the milk and water and combine properly.
- Now, pour in the coconut milk and water and combine well
- Allow the soup to cook for 20 minutes over a medium flame, making sure to cover the Dutch oven. It’s time to add salt and pepper to taste along with the green bananas.
- Add the annatto oil and stir it well. Let the dish cook for another 8 minutes.
- To finish, throw in the conchs and mix them for about 10 seconds.
- Add culantro and cilantro and combine them with other ingredients.
- Once done, quickly take the pot off the heat and cover it with a lid.
- Let the dish stand for about 2 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 998Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 430mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 6gSugar: 16gProtein: 55g
Photo credit: Jislorimers