As its name in Spanish implies, sopón marinero (fresh seafood stew) is made with fish, seafood and shellfish (including oysters, clams, seashells, crab, lobster and shrimp) and spices like achiote and cumin. As you can imagine, it’s a wholesome and nutritional meal. This soup is perfect for chilly days, to strengthen your immune system and for when you need an extra touch of energy and vitality. Served with a light appetizer, sopón marinero can be a perfect main dish.
The classic recipe is inspired in Ecuador, though there are other versions like the Cuban, Peruvian, Honduran, Mexican, Chilean and Spanish ones. My favorite recipes are the ones from Peru, Ecuador and Spain, simply because of their selection of fish and spices. My last memorable experience with this stew was at a traditional Peruvian restaurant: it was made with fresh and local ingredients. Some versions also include yuca and coconut oil. It all depends on its origin and your personal preferences.
The key to an unforgettably good sopón marinero is the freshness and quality of its ingredients, rather than the quantity. Quality is paramount, as is a final touch of fresh parsley before serving. Prepare it early in the morning to give the flavors time to intensify, and serve it hot. If you have any left, save it for the following day… it will taste even better!