Replete with fresh, healthy ingredients, Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup features shrimp and fish, vegetables, and a savory broth flavored with lean Mexican chorizo and beer... This easy shrimp and fish soup recipe can be on your table in about 30 minutes!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
A chill in the air? Even in McAllen, Texas we've had soup weather... Lol. The last couple of days, we've not made it out of the fifties. I love a comforting bowl of soup on a chilly day!
There are times I just feel desperate for a healthy bowl of soup or stew. My only recourse, then, is to make my pot of soup, and stay indoors with the almost-year-round air conditioning. We really don't have seasons in south Texas!
What comes to mind when I mention "Mexican soup recipes?" Growing up, my only experience with Mexican soups was the fabulous albondigas (Mexican meatball soup) my dear mother made. This steaming, healthy bowl of goodness always made me happy, and my own version is almost identical.
Our move to McAllen brought with it access to fresh seafood, and I've wasted no time incorporating it into our meals on a regular basis. This healthy Mexican soup is one I've been making for over 4 years without a recipe... it's that simple!
🐖What is Chorizo?
Don't confuse Mexican chorizo with Spanish chorizo. Though both originate in the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal), Mexican chorizo is a raw sausage, and Spanish chorizo is a cured sausage. Both have a characteristic red color, but the similarity ends with the color.
Spanish chorizo gets its red color from smoked paprika; Mexican chorizo gets its flavor from red chiles and ground annatto powder.
Chorizo (both varieties) is typically made with pork, and can range from extremely fatty to very lean. Unless I know the brand, I avoid chorizo in a tube as it is often the fatty variety. Our local markets have chicken and pork bulk chorizo that hasn't a drop of fat when it's cooked up.
If you're into making sausage (I am when I have the time), try homemade chorizo. Otherwise, go for dark red, firm bulk chorizo in a tray so that you can see the fat.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- lean chorizo
- tiny tomatoes
- beer (optional)
- seafood or chicken broth
- butternut squash
- Mexican oregano
- seafood - we like a mix of shrimp and firm white fish
Start with gathering and preparing your ingredients - mis en place. I cannot stress this enough... especially when making a quick soup recipe like this one!
Once your ingredients are prepped, you're ready to get started. While the vegetables simmer, pour yourself a glass of wine or a beer, and put some tortillas in the warmer. The seafood requires only a few minutes!
Soup Cooking Steps
- Cook chorizo and sauté aromatics.
- De-glaze with beer and add vegetables and Mexican oregano.
- Add the seafood stock, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender.
- Add seafood, cover, simmer just until seafood is opaque (about 5 minutes).
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with warm tortillas.
What is "lean" chorizo? Lean chorizo may be made from lean ground pork, turkey, or chicken. The color will be deep red, and contain minimal flecks of fat. Avoid chorizo in a casing as it's impossible to see the contents. We have a local business that makes a delicious chicken chorizo that is very lean, and it is the exception rather than the rule.
Can I substitute something else for the chorizo? Unfortunately, no. The mix of chiles, garlic, annatto are the flavor foundation for Mexican Seafood Soup.
What other seafood can I use? Most fish/shellfish cook very quickly. Scallops, clams and mussels, calamari rings will all work well.
What is the best fish to use? I keep sustainable barramundi fillets in my freezer, and they're my "go to" fish for a recipe like this one. Cod, halibut, sea bass are excellent as well. Use a firm, mild white fish.
Do I have to use seafood stock? It is preferable, but not required. You can substitute chicken broth. I try to save shrimp shells, and periodically make a pot of homemade soup stock. There are good ones available commercially. I like Kitchen Basics Seafood Stock.
Keep in mind:
- Shrimp require only 2-3 minutes simmering in the soup to be fully cooked! If using very thick fish, add the fish a couple of minutes ahead of the shrimp.
- Leftover fish and seafood dishes aren't great IMHO. Try to make just what you'll eat at the time.
- Allow about 6 ounces of seafood per person, and about ¾ to 1 cup of liquid.
- Keep in mind the size of your dice with vegetables. You want to get them tender together and then add the seafood.
- You can save your shrimp shells in a zip bag in the freezer until you save enough to make a pot of stock!
I've tried to anticipate your questions, but I may have missed something. Please feel free to send questions via my comment box below or with an email to email@example.com.
I hope you'll give my Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup a try! I know you'll find it "checks all the boxes" on a chilly evening - hot, comforting, healthy, delicious.