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Caldo de pescado, or Mexican fish soup, is hot and very tasty. A popular choice during Lent, when it’s the custom to avoid meat, caldo de pescado includes tomatoes, spices, chilies, and of course fish.
You will need a meaty, firm type of fish for this recipe, such as haddock, catfish, red snapper, halibut, tilapia, or cod. Don’t use salmon, tuna or anything oily since those would simply fall apart during cooking instead of flaking into big chunks.
Using Fish Heads to Flavor Soup
Mexican cooks will typically add fish heads and tails to the soup to add flavor. This is not obligatory but if you want to do this, add them when you add the 6 cups of water to the recipe and discard before serving the soup.
- 2 pounds chopped white fish filets
- 1 pound tomatoes
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
- 2 de-seeded guajillo chilies
- 2 chopped small potatoes
- 1 halved small onion
- 1 sliced carrot
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 sliced leek
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chopped zucchini
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon shrimp bouillon
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Salt to taste
- All ingredients ready? Let's begin!
- Boil the tomatoes in water for 10 minutes or until soft.
- Turn the heat off and add the guajillos.
- Let them sit in the hot water for 15 minutes to rehydrate.
- Put the tomato and chilies in a food processor or blender.
- Next add the chipotle, onion, peppercorns, and garlic. Add a cup of water and blend for a minute to get a smooth tomato sauce.
- Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer.
- Heat the oil in a pot over a moderate heat.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and leek, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and salt.
- Add the oregano and shrimp bouillon powder and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the fish and simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetables and fish are cooked.
- Adjust the seasoning if required then serve.
- Since fish has a more subtle taste than, say, beef or pork, don’t add too many spices to fish soup else you risk overpowering the fish flavor.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for 3 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. Reheat in a pot on the stove but don’t stir too much else the fish will fall apart.
- Although lime juice isn’t compulsory in Mexican fish soup, a little squeeze does add a bright zip to the overall flavor.
- Serve the caldo de pescado with corn or flour tortillas or else it’s good with crusty bread.
Caldo de pescado, or Mexican fish soup, is a hearty, delicious and comforting recipe.