Happy New Year! If you are anything like me, you may have over-indulged a bit on the red meat and AMAZING carbs that the holidays bring about. Keeping that in mind, I thought we could kick off the new year with a recipe that is light, yet filling and, of course, full of flavor.
This soup began as one of those throw together recipes while camping with a bunch of friends in the fall at Carlsbad State Beach. Fall in SoCal can often mean temperatures well into the 80s, so it is not unreasonable to schedule a camping trip to the beach. Well, this wasn’t one of those Octobers.
We had all the makings for some awesome fish tacos, but it was a little chilly out. Wanting something a little more comforting and hearty than tacos (not that tacos can’t be both of those things!), we set a kettle on a grate over the camp fire, poured in water and tossed in the fixings for tacos and salsa – cabbage, tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, etc. While the soup was simmering, we grilled the fish simply seasoned with a little salt and pepper and then finished it with a squeeze of lime as it came off the grill.
The best part of soups like this is the garnishes. Serve it up and then pile on the diced avocado, radishes, onions, chopped cilantro, Cotija cheese, and sliced jalapeños. BTW – add a couple more chilies to the pot and you have a killer hangover cure… THE BEST!
- For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion, medium dice, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapenos, sliced, divided
- 1 canned chipotle chile, chopped + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can
- 2 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
- 4 cups water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- 1 (28 ounce) can less-salt diced tomatoes
- ½ small head green or savoy cabbage, cored and chopped
- 3 medium gold potatoes,1-inch diced
- 2 carrots, ½-inch slices
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 8 (6 ounce) snapper or cod fillets
- Lime wedges
- Diced avocado
- Grated radish
- Crumbled Cotija cheese
- Fried tortilla strips or tortilla chips
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Measure out and reserve ⅓ onions and set aside for garnish; and remainder to pot. Saute onions for 5 minutes; add the garlic, half of the jalapenos, and chipotle and saute another minute. Pour in the clam juice and stock and add the vegetables, oregano, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and the then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Set up grill for direct heat cooking over medium-high heat. Brush and oil grates well before cooking. If you are using a grill grid or fish basket, then oil that as well.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper and then drizzle with a little olive oil. Place fish on preheated grill and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fillets. Transfer to a platter and squeeze limes over this fish.
- Set out bowls of reserved chopped onions and jalapenos, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, diced avocado, grated radishes, Cotija cheese, and fried tortilla chips. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grilled fish. Let everyone load in their garnishes and enjoy!
Cheers and Happy Grilling!