Hearty Soup For Winter Days – Brazilian Fish Stew

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I’ve definitely been on a soup trend lately. I love hot soup on a cold winter day. Plus I love that most soups and stews are pretty filling and they also freeze well. I was thrilled when I got this month’s issue of Clean Eating magazine and saw that they had an entire section devoted just to soups and stews!

Since most of my past recipes have been chicken or pork based, I decided to try a fish recipe this time to change things up. I modified the original recipe as usual since theirs had quadruple (!) the amount of cilantro and a lot more rice than I wanted. Clean Eating also tends to have a lot of busy type steps in their recipes that I just don’t have time for.

Their recipe called for throwing a bunch of ingredients in a food processor instead of just chopping. I’m sorry. Not to be rude, but I don’t have the time or patience to get out the processor most nights let alone have to clean extra equipment. I’ll take my stew chunky any day to save steps. Stew is meant to be chunky any way otherwise you can just call it soup. Yeah, so there. It also shows you that you aren’t stuck following a recipe just because it’s printed that way. Use your imagination.

If you read through the recipe below, it sounds involved but most of the time is just spent simmering. You don’t have to babysit it for an hour. You just check on it every now and then. I was busy packing lunches, doing tabatas and helping with homework while making it. It’s definitely a recipe that let’s you multitask.

Brazilian-Fish-StewBrazilian Fish Stew

  • 1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lb white fish like cod (in 4 oz pieces)

Spray a large pot with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add uncooked rice and saute, stirring frequently until the rice starts to brown. You don’t want the rice to burn so don’t leave it unattended for this step. Add the garlic, onion, jalapeno, and spices. Add the broth, water and 2 Tbsp of the lime juice. Stir just to combine.

Bring to a slow boil. Lower heat and cover while the rice cooks. Let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes until the rice is tender. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the tomatoes are softened and cooked. Gently press the fish pieces into the broth without stirring. Just kinda smoosh them down on the top.

Cover and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes until the fish is done and flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk and remaining 2 Tbsp of lime juice. Makes 4 large bowls at 190 calories per serving.

Notes: I used So Delicious unsweetened plain coconut milk out of the carton. It’s 40 calories per 1 cup serving. If you want to try with real canned coconut milk, it would probably work but your calories and fat would be much higher. I also used the frozen cod that Walmart sells in 1 lb bags. There are four 4 oz pieces per bag so that was perfect for what I needed. The recipe says you can use any similar white fish. It doesn’t have to be cod.

We ate two bowls at dinner the first night and had two leftover for later. OK, I confess that I had a bowl for breakfast yesterday. Cold morning, hot soup, full tummy. Ahhhh. I liked that it wasn’t too spicy or fishy but had a great winter type flavor to it. I also couldn’t believe the size of the serving for less than 200 calories. That makes it a winner in my book.

Do you think true Brazilians really eat fish stew? Hmmmm, I wonder.

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