Some soups are not steeped in tradition so much as aspire to evoke a certain cultural palate, such as this cod stew cooked with a Mexican culinary flair.
Every culture has defining flavor elements that derive from common or regional ingredients, mostly popular local herbs and spices. Several pieces of this modern stew are combined to present a characteristic Mexican-styled taste such as chiles, corn, fresh cilantro and the canned adobo sauce in which commercial chipotle peppers are packed.
The chipotle en adobo brings a smoky depth with a moderate heat that compliments the brighter, fresher taste of the green chiles. Herbs and spices such as cumin, oregano and cilantro (or epazote, if you can find it) round out a very typical flavor profile that most expect from Mexican dishes.
Almost any firm-fleshed fish can be used in this dish, with cod being an easily accessible choice. Including a traditional Mexican lager provides not only a liquid base but also a gentle sweetness to offset the heat from any spicy pepper elements.
Garnish with chopped green onions and diced avocado, and serve with tortilla chips and a lime wedge. And keep an additional cold lager on hand for serving.
Mexican-Style Cod Stew
10 oz cod
1 white onion
2 cloves of garlic
14.5-oz can of tomatoes (diced)
4-oz can of green chiles (diced)
½ t ground cumin
½ t oregano
1 chipotle (en adobo)
1 c corn kernels
2 c vegetable broth
1 bottle of Mexican lager
1 lb red potato
1 Chop the onion and garlic and sauté in oil until soft, about 10 min. Mince the chipotle and add with an additional 1 T of the canned adobo sauce.
2 Add the tomatoes, green chiles, corn and spices and stir to combine. Add the broth and beer and bring to a low boil.
3 Cut the potatoes into 1-in pieces and add to the soup. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 min.
4 Chop the cilantro and cut the fish into bite-sized pieces. Add both to the soup and continue to simmer, covered, another 10 min or until the fish is cooked through. Season to taste.