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Azores Fish Soup / Stew (Caldo de Peixe Açoreano)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins

A traditional Azores fish soup or stew. This "Caldo de Peixe" has been made for many decades in the Azores Islands. Use very fresh fish for this recipe. 

Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Azores, Portuguese
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Nelson Cardoso
The Soup / Stew
  • 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs) Bluemouth rockfish (boca negra), cleaned
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Conger eel (congro), cleaned
  • 12 cups Water
  • 10 to 15 sprigs Fresh parsley (tied with kitchen string)
  • 1 Cooking onion (peeled and cut in half)
  • 6 Garlic cloves (peeled, whole and pressed with a knife or palm of the hand to release oils)
  • 6 medium White potatoes (whole or cut in half)
  • 4 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Coarse salt
  • White bread (like french bread or kaisers), cut in cubes for the soup
  • Optional: red wine vinegar or lemon wedges to season the soup before eating
The Sauce
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup fish stock from the soup recipe
The Soup / Stew
  1. In a large pot, pour in the 12 cups of water and add the tied parsley, onion, garlic cloves and potatoes.

  2. Set the heat to high until the water is boiling, then lower to medium, cover and let the water simmer for about 10 minutes (the potatoes will be about half-way cooked).

  3. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, salt and Conger eel (congro) and raise the heat to high until the water starts to boil.

  4. Lower the heat to medium and let simmer covered for another 8 minutes or until the potatoes are just about cooked.

  5. Uncover and add the remaining fish. Once again, raise the heat to high until the water starts to boil.

  6. Lower the heat to medium, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes. The fish and potatoes should all be fully cooked.

  7. Move the fish and potatoes to a serving dish.

The Sauce
  1. In a small to medium bowl, add all the sauce ingredients and mix well with a soup spoon or fork.

  2. Pour sauce over the fish and potatoes. Leave some aside in case someone wants to add some to their soup.

  1. Serve the fish and potatoes on a serving tray (with the sauce) and serve the broth in individual soup bowls with the bread cubes. Place lemon wedges, red wine vinegar and some of the fish sauce on the table as optional toppings for the soup.

Recipe Notes

- Common types of fish for this meal are:

  • Bluemouth rockfish (boca negra)
  • Conger Eel (congro)
  • Grouper (garoupa)
  • Bagre (cat fish)

Use any of these interchangeably. You can use 1, 2 or more of these fish in your stew. People from the island say that more variety of fish improves the flavour.

- In this recipe, the conger is added before the other fish because it's more solid and takes longer to cook. The other fish cooks quickly and is added later on.