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Mexican Seafood Soup - Caldo de Mariscos (a la mexicana)

This is very close to the typical Mexican Sopa de Mariscos. A classic nutritious dish full of vitamins and minerals that is served as a main course.


Fish Broth
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
2 lbs fish scraps: meat and bones (can include heads --no scales)
1 plump jalapeño pepper
1 leak
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
bunch of celery
15 whole black peppercorns
2 dried laurel leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt

For Soup Sauce
4 guajillo peppers (dried, deveined and without seeds)
2 large tomatoes
1 garlic clove (large)
1 chipotle chile (from a can of chipotles in adobo / may use half if too spicy)

For Soup
1 lb white fish steaks without skin and cubed
1 lb shrimp (peeled, de-veined; reserve skins to compliment the broth)
1/2 lb clams (cleaned in cold water for 30 min)
8 cups of fish broth (from above)
1/2 onion diced
2 carrots diced
1 celery stalk diced
2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed (large)
1 dried laurel leaf
1 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 teaspoon of epazote (if available)
2 tablespoons of olive oil


Make the broth:
Dice and peel the carrots and dice the celery. Put about 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot on high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the carrots and celery to cook about 5 minutes. Throw in the fish scraps, the leak, and the jalapeno pepper; add the parsley, garlic cloves, laurel leaves, and peppercorns and a teaspoon of salt. Stir and cook for 5 to 10 min. Add enough water to cover all ingredients (at least 9 cups) and bring to a boil. Do not cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes maximum. Once the time is up turn of the stove and cover. Let sit at least an hour on the stovetop. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer and set aside. You should have about 8 cups of broth. Discard fish scraps and wash to use for the soup.

Make the sauce:
While the broth is cooking peel and de-vein 4 medium sized dried guajillo peppers. Put in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes. Turn off and set aside to cool. Pour chiles and water into a blender. Add the 2 tomatoes cut in 6, garlic, chipotle, black pepper to taste, and blend until liquid. Keep in the blender or a container until ready to use (you will pour this through a fine mesh strainer into the soup later).

Make the soup:
Clean and de-vein the shrimp. Put the skins in a small pot with some of the fish broth, bring to a boil and then pour through a strainer back into the broth. Clean any skin off the fish and cut into 1 x 2 inch chunks and set aside. Put about 2 tbsp olive oil in the large pot on high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion, carrots and celery to cook about 5-10 minutes. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into the pot and stir. Add the 8 cups of fish broth, the thyme, laurel leaf, and the epazote. Bring to a boil then add the clams, shrimp and fish and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the pot begins to boil again. Turn off the flame, remove laurel leaf and serve immediately. Do not overcook!

Additional Information

You may add some lime juice if you like.

Photo credit: (M-A-R)

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