Friday, 24 October 2014

Thick soup with codfish balls, pasta and vegetables

I must admit that I had a little problem with naming today's dish called in Spanish: Guiso de albóndigas de bacalao con aletría. The problem turned out to be two words: guiso and aletría. Spanish verb guisar means ''to cook'' or ''to stew''. For me a typical stew contains meat and gravy and is thicker then this dish, which looks more like a thick soup. So, after giving some thought to the matter today's guiso has become a thick soup. As to the second word, at first,  I did not have the slightest idea what aletría could means, then I read on the website of the author of the recipe that aletría is fideo gordo, which means short and thick pasta used mostly to prepare fadeuá (dish similar to paella, but instead of rice with pasta called fideos) and called aletría in Murcia Region. This is where this dish with codfish balls, pasta, potatoes, artichokes and peas comes from and which is just perfect for the upcoming cold days.

Ingredients (serves 2):

200 g fresh or desalted cod (weight without skin)
1 egg
40 g breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove
10 g pine nuts (dry pan toasted)
pinch of saffron threads
salt (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped parsley or dill
oil for frying

300 g potatoes
3 artichoke hearts (can be jarred)
70 g peas (frozen)
50 g pasta (fideos gordos or similar)
1 onion
1/2 red bell pepper
1 ripe tomato
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons olive oil
about 1,5 litre water or vegetable stock
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of saffron threads
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or dill


Put the shredded cod into a bowl. Add finely chopped garlic, bread crumbs, egg, saffron, dill and pine nuts. Mix well with your hands and add salt to taste, if necessary. Let stand for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan, it should be enough to nearly cover the codfish balls. Using two teaspoons put portions of fish mixture on the hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side. Put them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep frying pan or saucepan. Add finely chopped onion. After 3 minutes, add diced pepper and fry for about 10 minutes. Add grated tomato and stir well. Cook until the water from tomato evaporates, then add diced potatoes and artichoke hearts cut in half. After 5 minutes, add the broth or water and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the peas (frozen), pasta and saffron treads (crushed with your fingers). Cook until the pasta is almost done, then add the codfish balls and cook over low heat until all ingredients are tender (5-10 minutes). Meanwhile, put chopped garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley or dill and nutmeg to a mortar and mix well. Add the mixture to the soup. Season with salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Based on the recipe from the website:

Enjoy !!!


  1. I have never thought to put cod fish balls in soup form. This looks great! I will have to try this one on for size.

    1. Thank you:). It was new for me as well, I am sure you will like it:)