Belgian Beer Conch Chowder
I’m a bit late to the party.
It’s come to my attention that January is National Soup Month, so I thought I’d come on and ride this train. I mean, it was 77 degrees today here in Charlotte, so I can’t think of a more perfect time to have some soup.
I’m fairly certain that last weekend would have been a bit more appropriate since we were snowed in after the blizzard left us under 1.246 inches of snow. But it is what it is and here we are.
I posted a Conch Chowder last year after I attended a really fun cooking class that started with wine at 10:30 am. That chowder is one of my most popular posts, so I thought it was high time to update the recipe and, of course, add some beer.
- 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 carrots, diced or cut into discs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup Belgian ale beer
- 1 1/2 pounds conch, very thinly sliced (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- Thyme sprigs or parsley for garnish
- Cook bacon in a Dutch ovn over medium heat until crispy, remove and drain on paper towel
- Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat and discard the rest
- Heat the reserved bacon fat over medium heat in the same Dutch oven
- Add shallots and carrots, cook until soft and fragrant, 2-4 minutes
- Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir allowing flour to cook for about 1 minute
- Add vegetable stock, water and beer, bring to a boil
- Add conch, cayenne, thyme, salt and pepper, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours
- Add potatoes and cook until tender, 10 minutes or so depending how big you cut them
- Stir in cream, adjust seasonings, and simmer a few more minutes
- Taste and adjust seasonings again if necessary
- Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley, if desired
- If you don’t know where to find conch, most grocery stores, fish markets, and specialty stores either have it or can order it for you. Publix ordered some for me several times.
- Feel free to make it spicier by adding more cayenne if that makes you happy
- I used Weeping Willow Wit – a Belgian-style wit beer from Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston, NC. Belgian Beer Conch Chowder was a bit easier to fit into the title.