Caldillo de perro may sound like it’s made with a dog – but don’t worry, it’s not! This is a fish soup flavoured with bitter oranges and is divine! Give it a go and let us know how you get on.
This recipe is frequently found in Cadíz and of course can be really good or really bad. But hopefully this simple Spanish recipe method will help to give you something you’ll love. Enjoy!
Ingredients for caldillo de perro
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a lunch with bread for dunking. Multiply up or down as you see fit.
- 250ml fish stock (making your own is best but half a stock cube will work too)
- Zest and juice of one bitter orange. If you can’t get a bitter orange then split half & half with orange and lemon
- Small onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 medium tomato, halved and with the flesh removed
- 1/2 medium red or green pepper (capsicum), seeded and chopped into large pieces
- 1 garlic clove peeled but left whole
- Sprig of fresh parsley – don’t chop it
- Fistful of day old bread
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 kilo of chunky white fish such as hake or cod
- Large saucepan
- Small frying pan
- Fine sieve (muslin is even better if you have it but we just used a sieve)
- In a large saucepan, place the fish stock, orange zest (and lemon if you’ve gone down the mixed route), the onion, pepper, tomato, garlic and parsley.
- Gently bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to simmer and leave it gently simmering for about 20 minutes.
- Strain the liquid through a fine sieve… retaining the vegetables but binning the orange zest and parsley.
- Heat up a dry frying pan and dry roast the garlic over a high heat until it is browned on all sides. Be careful not to burn it or it wil be bitter. Should only take a few minutes.
- Pop the bread in a bowl and pour a small amount of the fishy liquid over the top (just enough to dampen it) and leave for half a minute or so.
- In a blender, combine a small cupful of the liquid with the pepper, onion, garlic and bread. If you’re using saffron – add that in too.
- Add that blended mixture to the rest of the liquid and pop it back onto a low/medium heat. Stir it well and allow it to simmer gently.
- Now for your fish. Chop into bite sized chunks and throw them into the liquid to poach.
- After 5 minutes or so, your fish should be opaque – leave it a little longer if not.
- Remove from the heat, pour in the orange juice (or lemon too if going down the mixed route)
- Stir well and serve. Add a garnish of some extra parsley if you like.
Spain Buddy Tips
- Don’t be tempted to add extra flavours or ingredients in. It’s the simplicity of flavours in the dish that make it special.
- But!!! If you really must add something – then a pinch of dried chilli flakes when you add the fish is allowed. Don’t go overboard with it though.
- Oh okay then… to make it a little heartier (and to avoid needing bread with it), you can add a medium peeled potato that has been cut into bite size chunks at the start. Set it aside though before blending, and add them back in when you poach the fish so it warms through.
- Still looking for more? Pop a couple of fistfuls of cooked prawns in while poaching the fish too.
- But nothing else!