Simple, Hassle-Free Mexican Fish Soup | caldo de pescado muy sencillo
Prep time
Cook time
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A light,healthy and nourishing fish soup that anyone can make. This delectable soup is perfect anytime of the year and it's so easy to prepare that you simply must.
Recipe type: Main, lunch, dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 large whole, firm fish (or substitute with 4 firm, fish fillets)*
  • half a medium white onion or one small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 medium-large potatoes, cut into even-size large pieces (cleaned them throughly so you don't have to peel off their skin)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into large even-sized pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery with their leaves, throughly rinsed and sliced into large even-sized pieces
  • one large zucchini, sliced into large even-sized pieces
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced (I use 4 for extra flavour, but you can use less if desired)
  • 2 to 4 whole dry chile de arbol (adjust amount to taste or omit for no heat)
  • one large bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt, adjust to taste and add one at a time
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley, including stems
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil of choice
  • enough water to cover ingredients
  • cooked shrimp shells, optional**
  1. You'll need a very large pot for the soup, place it on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Once the pot feels hot add the oil and allow it to warm up for a minute, then add the roughly chopped onion and sauté until soft. Next add the garlic, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes then sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt and give the ingredients a stir.
  2. Now add the potato pieces into the pot, then carefully place the whole fish pieces on top of the vegetables -- if using fillets do not add them yet. Add the bay leaf, the dry chiles, and the fresh parsley to the pot. Carefully pour in just enough water to cover the ingredients, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and leave to simmer. You do not need to stir the pot, in fact don't, so that you can try to keep the fish from breaking up.
  3. If you are using the shrimp shells then put them in a separate small pot and cover with water. Allow to come to a boil, turn off the heat. Now we need to drain the shells from the broth -- which we need to pour into the other soup ingredients that have been simmering. So either place a colander over the soup pot or over a large bowl and drain off (collect) the shrimp broth. BE CAREFUL not to burn yourself. Discard the shrimp shells.
  4. If you are using the fish fillets you may add them to the pot now. Cover the pot and allow to simmer until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Once that has happen you can add the zucchini pieces and allow them to cook -- about 5 to 8 minutes, do not overcook the zucchini or it will completely fall apart. Now taste the soup and if needed add the remaining teaspoon or adjust to your taste. Allow to simmer another 5 minutes.
  5. To serve first very carefully remove the fish fillets or whole fish pieces from the pot and place them in the soup bowl. Then you can ladle the vegetables and broth over and around the fish. Serve with warm corn tortillas and/or steamed rice, and with lemon wedges.
* You can use either whole fish or fillets for this recipe. It really doesn't matter what kind, just as long as it's a firm flesh that won't fall apart too quickly. The whole fish (I sometimes use with the head still on) will give the soup a deeper flavour than the fillets, but use what is available to you. If using whole fish make sure to have your fishmonger scale the fish and if it's very large ask them to cut the fish in smaller pieces.

**Thes shrimp shells also help to give the soup more flavour, so next time you cook shrimp do save them for making broth. If you don't have any available don't worry, you can skip them.
Recipe by Mexican Made Meatless™ at