Pescatarian Wild Halibut Tortilla Soup

Wild Halibut Tortila Soup

One of my favorite fairy tales is titled Stone Soup. In this classic European story, a group of hungry, traveling strangers used their charm and good wit to convince an entire community of people to share bits of what they had available in their kitchens to create a meal that satisfied and fed them all. There are many versions of this story, but this is the one that I remember.

Perhaps this is the reason that soup (including stews, chowders and broths) is one of my favorite ways to explore the food of a particular culture or part of the world. A large pot loaded with local, available ingredients and left to simmer on the stove really speaks to what a group of people find important and nourishing.

It is thought that the origins of chicken tortilla soup stems from Mexico City, Mexico. A lively and rambunctious part of the world that has brought forth some of the tastiest food around. A combination of simple fragrant vegetables, herbs and spices along with a la carte toppings My pescatarian version pays tribute to the classic soup, with a nod to Baja.

The foundation of this soup is halibut bone broth. A lightly flavored broth made from the collar of wild halibut, the part that runs from the clavicle to just beneath the gills. Collars are chunky and come with bones, skin and meat that is tender, flavorful and easily separates.

Cooking with fish bones and parts is one of my favorite things. Beyond collars, I enjoy exploring other interesting cuts like wings, heads, cheeks, and the skeleton. My fishmonger offers fish bones on a daily basis since they also butcher and prepare fish of all types. The most common variety that I find are halibut, salmon, baqueta (grouper) and salmon skin and range from $2.00 to $3.00 per pound.

Cooking with fish bones and parts is one of my favorite things. Beyond collars, I enjoy exploring other interesting cuts like wings, heads, cheeks, and the skeleton. My fishmonger offers fish bones on a daily basis since they also butcher and prepare fish of all types. The most common variety that I find are halibut, salmon, baqueta (grouper) and salmon skin and range from $2.00 to $3.00 per pound.

This halibut tortilla soup thickened with tortilla chips, whereas some versions of this soup are made with a base of black beans, that thicken the soup naturally.

Halibut Bones
Halibut Fish Collar and Shoulder

You can prepare the bone broth a day or two in advance and it keeps will in the fridge. This will help cut down on overall prep time and allow you get this meal on the table in under 30 minutes – once the broth is done the dish comes together easily. Have fun with this and host a family soup “bar” night and offer up as many optional ingredients as you’d like.

In a pinch you can use store bought seafood bone broth or stock in place of homemade bone broth.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons avocado oil, or your favorite vegetable oil

1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin powder

1 teaspoon paprika

2 quarts or 8 cups of halibut bone broth

1 epazote leaf

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 serrano pepper, cut into two

½ cup tortilla chips, crushed

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

½ bunch fresh cilantro, or ½ cup chopped

1 cup roasted corn or 3 corn cobs cut into three pieces

1 cup cooked halibut meat

Optional toppings: shredded cabbage, avocado slices, Mexican cheese blend, black beans, lime wedges, sour cream, tortilla chips

Directions

In a soup pot or Dutch oven add the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the oregano, chili powder, cumin and paprika and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to prevent the spices from burning.

Pour in the halibut bone broth and add the epazote leaf, tomato paste, serrano pepper and crushed tortilla chips, stir to combine, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add sea salt and black pepper as needed.

Turn up the heat and add the fresh cilantro, corn and cooked halibut meat. Stir to combine, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn of the heat and allow the pot to rest for 5-10 minutes, give the flavors time to meld. Taste for seasoning and serve in bowls with the optional topping.

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Hello!!

I’m Stephanie Harris-Uyidi, affectionately known as The Posh Pescatarian. I’m a sustainable seafood enthusiast and love sharing recipes, education, and tips for making incredible pescatarian meals. I am an industry expert and an authoritative voice on the pescatarian lifestyle. When I’m not working on new recipes in my lab (AKA: my kitchen!) I enjoy traveling and learning about people, places and culture through food, ingredients, and cooking techniques. I share some of my experiences on my TV show Appetite for Adventure!

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