5 from 1 vote
pira caldo
Pira Caldo
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Pira caldo is a delicious traditional fish soup from Paraguay. It is prepared with freshwater catfish, as well as vegetables and Paraguay cheese, a typical soft cheese made from curd.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Latin American, Paraguayan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Nita Ragoonanan
  • lb surubí (freshwater catfish), or catfish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper , seeded and diced very finely
  • 1 red bell pepper , seeded and diced very finely
  • 2 red hot peppers , sliced
  • 1 leek , thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery , finely diced
  • 2 medium onions , chopped
  • 2 medium carrots , grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup boiling water (or more if necessary)
  • cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 whole tomatoes (peeled, seeded and diced)
  • 5 oz. Paraguay cheese (queso paraguay or a soft cheese similar to mozzarella, grated)
  • 4 sprigs cilantro , chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add peppers, leeks, celery, onions, carrots, and bay leaf.
  2. Brown for 1 minute without mixing.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-high to soften vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring very regularly.
  4. As soon as the vegetables begin to sweat, place the fish fillets on the vegetables and cover the pot.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent vegetables from sticking to the bottom.
  6. Remove the fish from the pot and chop with a knife.
  7. Pour the white wine into the pot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  8. Add boiling water and stir for 1 minute.
  9. Return the fish to the pot and add the milk, tomato paste and tomato.

  10. Cook, while stirring for 2 minutes.
  11. If all the ingredients are not immersed in the pot, add a cup of boiling water and stir until boiling.
  12. Finally, add the grated cheese and cilantro and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

  13. Stir carefully until the cheese melts in the soup.
  14. Serve hot.