A flavorful homemade Sopa de Pescado is one of those dishes that we can eat any month of the year, regardless of the weather.
Sopa de Pescado (Fish Soup) is supposed to be a dish that "raises the dead", and -according to old wives- it improved the "animos" (energy), helped in the quick recovery of the strength, and restored the proper functioning of the female organs; and who knows what many other things. But grandma's homemade fish soup had a secret …
If I had been completely honest, I should have called this recipe Sopa de Cabeza de Pescado (Fishhead Soup), because that was what the original soup was. It's deservedly one of my favorite fish recipes.
About our recipe
Mami made this soup - as you have already deduced - with fish heads. The long cooking and the fish heads gave a lot of taste to the soup. No matter how much I try --I do not know if it is nostalgia or that my sense of taste does not lie to me-- without the heads, it is not the same. If you dare and are not afraid to use unusual ingredients, I give you in the recipe notes instructions to make my mother's authentic soup, and if not, then the uncomplicated modern version is also very good.
If you have a different way how to make this caldo de pescado, I would love to hear it, let us know in the comments.
Sopa de Pescado Recipe (Fish Soup)
- 1 ½ lbs [0.7 kg] of sea bass fillet (or other tropical fish, see notes), divided
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 cloves of garlic , sliced
- 1 large carrot , diced
- 1 cup of potatoes , diced
- 1 cup of auyama (West Indian pumpkin or kabocha squash), diced, divided
- 2 qrt [2 lt] of water (or more, if necessary)
- 2 sprigs of cilantro
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
Make base: In a deep soup pot mix half the fish (see notes), oil, lime juice, garlic, and pumpkin. Add the water and cook covered over medium-low heat until the auyama and fish heads are cooked through and have broken down (25-35 mins). Remove from the heat and sieve to discard the solids.
Cook vegetables: Return the broth from the previous step to the pot. Add cilantro, carrot, potato. and remaining auyama. Cook covered over very medium-low heat until the vegetables are cooked through.
Cook fish: Add the remaining fish to the pot and cook until it is cooked through (10-15 mins). In the end, you should have about half the liquid you started with, if it's too little, add some more water and heat through, if it's too much, simmer some more to reduce it. This is not a thick soup.
Serve: Season with salt to taste. Serve hot.