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Prepared with Love

Peruvian Seafood Soup

Photo by Andrew Meade

By now, your New Year’s resolutions may have fallen by the wayside. But don’t despair! February is a time of love—for yourself and others. Why not start with healthy and delicious food that will make you embrace winter, whether you live in a warm or cold climate.

I like to drown myself in this bowl of comfort, where most of the flavor comes from herbs and seafood that cooks in an earthy, tasty broth. Serve it with a small portion of a healthy carb like quinoa or brown rice and some roasted veggies and you’ll have a tasty meal that will make you feel great. Buen Provecho!

Peruvian Seafood Soup

Makes 10 servings

1 cup packed fresh cilantro
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ají panca chile paste or pasilla chile paste
3 quarts fish stock salt freshly ground pepper
2 clusters snow crab legs
20 littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
8 ounces bay scallops
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound cleaned calamari, cut into ¼-inch rings
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
¾ cup long-grain rice
1 cup (½-inch dice) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced, for serving
lime wedges, for serving

1. Puree the cilantro and water together in a blender or food processor. Set aside, but use within 15 minutes or it will discolor.

2. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium -high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro puree and the paprika and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the ají panca paste and stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the crab clusters, clams, scallops, shrimp, calamari, peas, rice, and squash. Cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 30 minutes.

4. Ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle each serving with scallions and serve with the lime wedges to squeeze the juice into the soup.

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