Ecuador Creamy Fish Soup with Corn and Potatoes

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4 to 6 servings Medium
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Ingredients (29)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (white or yellow), diced
  • 5 to 6 baby carrots (or one large carrot), diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 2 or more cloves of garlic ,diced (I like garlic, so I use 4 to 5)
  • 1 green pepper (sliced in half and cleaned of seeds and membrane)
  • 28 ounces chicken broth ( The orginal used regular broth, I use Fat-free, 33% less Sodium or even sodium free.)
  • 2 to 3 cups water
  • 1 bunch of finely chopped cilantro
  • 4-6 small (baby) red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup frozen corn niblets or two corn cobs cut into 3 pieces each (or frozen corn cobs will work too)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 lb. catfish nuggets (or regular Catfish, or Talapia or Swai cut into bite sized cubes)
  • Flour and all spices listed next, mixed (about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of flour. Use more if you run out)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or more to your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • PAM cooking spray for pan
  • 1/4 cup half& half or fat free half&half (I use Land O Lakes fat-free)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Summary

I had a friend from Ecuador whose mother would always make this soup. I watched her so that I could make it myself, it is delicious. You can make it the traditional way she made it (I will tell you how her steps differ from mine) or I have included a few ways to make it healthier and less calories. The “healthier and less calories” is no less delicious, so I recommend you try it that way first.

Instructions

  1. 1Put olive oil into the bottom of a large soup pot and heat on medium for about two minutes.
  2. 2Add onion, baby carrots and celery and sauté for about 10 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. 3Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  4. 4Add the green pepper, chicken broth, water, cilantro, potatoes, corn, tomato, bay leaf, cumin and basil into the large soup pot.
  5. 5Cook covered, rapidly for about 20 minutes (you want it to cook rapidly but not boil over. The low setting works for me after the initial boil sets in because with the cover on, it will always cook faster).
  6. 6After the twenty minutes are up, check on the doneness of the potatoes (you want the potatoes to soften. If they aren’t , cook longer until they are).
  7. 7Meanwhile, place the flour and seasonings into a plastic bag and shake to mix. (Note: you can start this right after step 5, when the soup has begun cooking on low)
  8. 8Place catfish nuggets into the same bag with seasoned flour(a small amount at a time) and shake so the catfish is covered by the flour/seasoning mix. Remove floured-catfish and place on a plate. Continue to flour catfish a few at a time. (Note: If you do this step when the soup first starts to cook (step 5), just put the flour-coated fish onto a plate and store in the fridge until ready for step 9).
  9. 9Heat a non-stick fry pan (spray with Pam first, then add olive oil) using medium heat. (Note: my friend’s mother used oil to fry the fish, way more oil than I would)
  10. 10Place the flour covered fish nuggets in the pan.
  11. 11Cover the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until they start to brown.
  12. 12Flip each piece of catfish over and cook another 3-4 minutes or until both sides have browned.
  13. 13Add the cooked catfish nuggets to the soup (you may want to remove the green pepper before you add the catfish. This is optional. I DO NOT because I love green pepper).
  14. 14Cook on low (simmer) uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  15. 15Add the fat-free half & half and heat through (about 2-3 minutes).
  16. 16Add salt and pepper to taste
  17. 17Serve in soup bowls with French bread or cooked rice on the side and hot sauce (I use Louisiana style).
  18. 18Nutrition information (approximate) for 6 servings:
    Calories 392 Calories from Fat 138
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 15.3g 24%
    Saturated Fat 3.2g 16%
    Cholesterol 61mg 20%
    Sodium 815mg 34%
    Total Carbohydrates 44.2g 15%
    Dietary Fiber 5.2g 21%
    Sugars 5.5g
    Protein 20.2g
    Vitamin A 32%
    Vitamin C 59%
    Calcium 8%
    Iron 19%
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