Caldillo de perro (literally “dog soup”) is a seafood soup of Andalusia (southern Spain). The name is said to come from “el Perro”, the nickname of a shipboard cook in El Puerto de Santa María.
Usually prepared in the fishing districts, fresh fish is cut into slices and seasoned with salt. Traditionally cooked in a clay pot, where oil, garlic and onions are heated and boiling water is added. The idea is to braise the ingredients. The sliced fish is introduced at the end, mixed with sour orange juice. At the end of cooking time is added a few slices of white bread. It is customarily served hot and freshly brewed, with sour orange juice.
- 6 cups fish stock
- zest of 1 bitter orange , see note a
- 1 to mato, cored and halved
- 1 onion, halved
- ½ green capsicum (bell pepper), bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 - 2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
- 1 slice day-old stale country-style bread or baguette, soaked in water to cover and squeezed dry
- pinch of saffron threads
- 700 g gemfish, hake, cod, or whiting fillets, cut into small pieces
- salt, to taste
- juice of 1 bitter orange , see note b
- extra chopped parsley, for garnish
- In a stockpot, combine the fish stock, orange zest, tomato, onion, capsicum (bell pepper), and parsley sprig and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve placed over another saucepan. Discard the orange zest and parsley and set the vegetables aside.
- In a small, dry skillet, cook the garlic over high heat, turning as needed, for 3 minutes, or until coloured on all sides. Remove from the heat.
- In a blender or food processor, combine ½ cup of the reserved stock with the reserved tomato, onion, capsicum (bell pepper), garlic, bread, and saffron. Process until a smooth lump-free purée i9s achieved. Add the purée to the remaining stock, mix well, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.
- Season the fish pieces with salt and add to the pan. Decrease the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the fish turns opaque.
- Remove from the heat, add the orange juice, stir gently, and let rest for 5 minutes. Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve.
Cooks Notes & Variations
a.Alternatively use the peel of ½ lemon and ½ regular orange, cut into wide strips.
b.Alternatively use the juice of of ½ lemon and ½ regular orange.
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