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from "Soup, A Way of Life" by Barbara Kafka

I am incorrigible in thinking constantly about soup. Thanks to my good friend and culinary buddy Irene Sax, I went to a very good Peruvian restaurant in Brooklyn, Coco Roco. There we had an extraordinarily good and unusual ceviche. It was rather soupy, and I immediately thought how foolish it was of me not to have imagined turning the many marvelous ceviches into soups. The next morning I did just that.

The soup is rather intense in flavor, especially if made with less water and served in the hollowed-out papaya shells. I think that most people will find that a half cup is enough for a first course. If the large amount of water is added, the soup must be chilled for at least four hours. It will thicken and give more servings.

I prefer this soup at a cool room temperature; but if serving it chilled — unless using the larger amount of water — which means that it will have been sitting at least an hour in the refrigerator, reduce the jalapeño slightly as the bite increases as the soup sits.

Makes 4 to 6 cups; 4-8 First-Course Servings


10 ounces flounder fillets
3 medium ripe papayas (about 14 ounces each)
Juice of 4 medium limes (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons peeled grated ginger
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 medium bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped medium-fine

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Lay the fish out on the counter. Separate the fillets along the natural division, removing the membrane along with any remaining bones. Cut the fillets lengthwise into strips 1 to 1 1/4 inches wide. Slice across into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Place the fish in a glass or ceramic bowl.
Cut the papayas in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving the skins intact; there should be about 3 cups. In a food processor, puree all but 1/2 cup of the papaya; there should be 1 1/2 cups of puree. Cut the remaining papaya into 1/4-inch dice and refrigerate.
Stir the lime juice, salt, and ginger into the fish; let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the onion and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the papaya puree, jalapeño, and cilantro. Let the mixture sit for 7 minutes. Stir in 1/4 to 2 cups water.
Serve at room temperature or chilled (if serving chilled, leave in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but not more than 8 hours) in the scooped-out papaya skins and sprinkled with a few teaspoons of diced papaya.

Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  Local Wild Flounder Fillet - $12.99/lb
 9 - 11 oz
  Hawaiian Kapoho Papaya - $5.99/ea
  Limes - $0.59/ea Save! 4 for $2.00
Earliest Delivery Tue 2/09
  Ginger Root - $2.99/ea
  Red Onion, Large - $1.29/lb
  Jalapeño Pepper
This product is currently unavailable.
  Cilantro - $1.99/ea
You May Already Have
  Morton Coarse Kosher Salt - $2.99/ea
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