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Author Notes: My family loves to vacation in the Caribbean. We've tasted lots of conch chowders but there is one that stands out to us. The conch chowder at Shark Bite Bar in Provo, TCI, is the best because it is not thickened with cream. So even on a hot day in the Turks and Caicos, this soup is delicious and not too heavy. I've tried to replicate it and I think I'm close but you should still make the trip to the TCI for yourself. —renee tatterson
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
for the chowder
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, medium dice
- 1 leek, cleaned andchopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, medium dice
- 8 cups fish stock
- 16 ounces conch meat
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large stock pot, heat 2 of olive oil over medium high heat. Sautee the pancetta until nicely browned.
- Drain the pancetta onto paper towel and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add 1/4 cup of olive oil and butter. Add chopped vegetables and sweat until translucent. No need to brown the vegies. Add a teaspoon or two of salt while sweating.
- When vegies are cooked through, add flour and stir to coat the vegies. Cook the roux to a very light brown to cook out the raw flavor of the flour. This should only take about 5 minutes, no more.
- When roux is very lightly browned and thick, add the fish stock slowly, stirring all of the time.
- Allow chowder to simmer until for 10-20 minutes. This is not a really thick chowder but it is also not thin like a vegetable soup.
- A few minutes before service, add the conch and allow to cook in the heat of the chowder. Taste for salt and pepper and season according to your taste.
- Garnish each bowl with diced pancetta and parsley. Enjoy a taste of the British West Indies with a cold Turks Head Lager (if you can find one).