pot of stew

Sopón Marinero

By Fernanda Beccaglia, March 01, 2013
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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!

popped Fernanda Beccaglia
I’m a chef, writer, editor and journalist. I’m also a big fan of narrative photography and culinary art. After years of writing and translating, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2003, in New York City. I always wanted to be a chef, and because I tend to follow my passions, I started training with the best chefs: Daniel Boulud, Jean Georges Vongerichten, and André Soltner, among others. After turning down offers at Ducasse and Jean Georges, I took a job at Daniel Restaurant in New York. While at the La Palma newspaper, the Spanish version of The Palm Beach Post, I worked as an editor, columnist and producer of the culinary section, both in print and the digital version of the paper. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I come from an Italian family. My mother was a writer, and I grew up among poems and books in Italian, French, Portuguese and German.