Caldo de Pescado (Spanish Fish Soup)


Thanks to ingredients like ground cumin, a generous pinch of saffron and dry white wine, this fish stew is pleasingly aromatic.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 4 cups fish stock or water

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • 4 medium new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 4 whole canned tomatoes, drained, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice

  • Generous pinch saffron

  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips

  • 2 pounds monkfish or other firm fish, any membrane removed, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • ¼ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped


  1. In a medium stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and saute stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add stock or water, wine, bay leaves, and cumin. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to low; simmer gently for 10 minutes.

  2. Add potatoes, tomatoes, and saffron; cover and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer half the potato mixture to a food processor or food mill. Add paprika; puree Stir puree back into soup; add salt and pepper.

  3. Bring soup to a slow simmer over medium-low heat. Add red peppers and fish; cook until peppers are tender and fish is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Divide among bowls and serve garnished with parsley.

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