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Casuelita Colonial Seafood Soup With Lobster

  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced onion
  • 3/4 cup small diced red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon seeded and finely chopped habanero pepper
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fish, shrimp or chicken stock
  • 2 lobster tails, about 6 to 8 ounces each, meat removed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Essence
  • 3 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1/2 pound white fleshed fish, i.e. grouper, red snapper, or whiting, sliced into strips
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, plus more for garnish,
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped almonds


  • Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and, once hot, add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, shallots, chives and habanero peppers. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the fish stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the liquid just simmers, and cook the soup until the flavors begin to marry, about 10 minutes.
  • Season the lobster, shrimp and scallops with 1 tablespoon of the Essence and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Add the lobster, shrimp and scallops to the pot and cook until the lobster and scallops begin to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Season the white fish with 1 teaspoon of Essence and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Add the seasoned fish to the pot and continue to cook until the fish is flaky, about 3 minutes. Add the parsley and cilantro to the pan and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle the soup into heated bowls, and garnish each bowl with toasted almonds, chopped parsley and cilantro.