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.