Sopa de Pescado (Fish Soup) is one of those dishes that combine great flavor with the kind of health benefits doctors nag us about. And a good thing that is. It’s also great any time of the year. And that’s always a good thing.
My favorite joke about our weather is that we only have two seasons: Summer and hell. It is certainly lost in translation, as “hell” in Spanish is just one letter from the word “winter”.
It really is a little of an exaggeration, but that won’t stop us from complaining for about 8 months out of a year. I bet we’re not alone.
The weather is one of those subjects that are used everywhere to start a conversation with strangers. If you are sitting with strangers in a waiting room is best to leave politics and religion out, and of course you should never say “Licey is the best Dominican baseball team”. Some people can’t handle the truth so well.
But it is impossible to offend anyone if you start with “what a hellish heat!” Everybody will join in, telling their own horror stories, and everybody will agree that this is the hottest year ever We seem to say the same thing every year.
One of my methods to stay cool is just stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. Luckily I have become something of an expert in what I call “lazy” cooking. This is one of those dishes that don’t require slaving over a stove for a long time.
Which is why Sopa de Pescado (Fish Soup) is a great all-weather dish.
Our custom of eating huge lunch meals has the disadvantage of adding more heat to the house, and that a heavy meal is not as easy to tolerate when you’re sweating bullets all day. I leave the heavy stuff for the cooler days. I don’t care about customs, my sanity is more important.
- 1 1/2 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), diced
- 2 qrt [2 lt] of water , divided
- 2 sprigs of cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
In a soup pot mix half the fish, oil, lime juice, garlic, carrot, potatoes and pumpkin. Add half the water and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are cooked through.
Remove as much of the fish bones as possible. Add the remaining fish, cilantro and water. Cook over very low heat until the newly-added fish is cooked through. Season with salt to taste.
This is traditionally made with large fish heads, as it is as cheap as it can get. If you are not confortable fishing out bones from the soup, use more expensive fillet.