This Venezuelan fish soup or Sopa de Pescado is one of the most popular dishes to eat on the coast after a long day on the Caribbean beaches. It’s fulfilling, spicy and so tasty that you will be asking for seconds.
This is one of my favorite recipes in the entire world. I think mostly because I’m a soup lover person and they are my favorite comfort food ever. But If you are one of those who think soups are dull, I will make you reconsider your stand with this recipe.
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What makes this fish soup so tasty?
This is my maternal grandfather’s trick for Sopa de Pescado: canned sardines. But not any type of canned sardines; sardines in spicy sauce. This will not only add a punch of flavor but it will give a subtle spiciness that makes the other flavors shine.
I add 2 cans of sardines, and to balance it out I pick one with tomato sauce and the other with spicy sauce. That way I’m not adding too much heat.
The other important trick is to “refry” your spices, onion, pepper, garlic, and sardines before adding them to the soup. This will enhance the flavor of the soup.
What vegetables does this soup need?
The main vegetable that every authentic Venezuelan fish soup must have is cassava root. It’s a staple.
Previously in the blog, I made some fried cassava and you can see in the blog post how to peel them correctly.
Also, this soup has yam and carrot. In Venezuela, we would add yellow arracaccia (apio), but it’s impossible to get it here in Portugal where I live. But if you have the opportunity to get it, please add it and enjoy it for me because it adds sweetness and creaminess beyond this world.
What type of fish is the best for this recipe
here it comes to personal preference. It’s recommended that is a white meat fish with little bones. I have two favorite options: Bass or sea bream.
- 2 bass fillets (about 350 grams)
- 1 small yuca/cassava
- 1 medium-size yam
- 1 carrot
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 can of sardines in tomato sauce
- 1 can of sardines in spicy sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 bouillon fish cube
- Handful of parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lime (optional but highly suggested)
Peel and cut the carrot, yam, and cassava into bite-size pieces.
In a big pot, boil enough water to parboil de vegetables. Let them cook along with the bouillon cube for about 20 minutes or until they are fork-tender.
In the meantime, in a skillet heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper cut into tiny pieces. Let them cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cans of sardines and stir to crumble the sardines.
Place the bass fillets in the center of the skillet and let it cook over low heat for a couple of minutes on each side. It doesn’t matter if the fish is a bit raw because it will end its cooking time inside the soup.
Toss the fish and the sauce into the soup with the chopped parsley. Let it simmer for 10 minutes to get more flavor. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper if needed. I usually don’t need to add more salt because of the bouillon cube.
Serve with some limes for a touch of freshness.
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef in your kitchen.