Blackened Mahi Mexican Tortilla Soup With Fire Roasted Corn

by Michaell
2-4 Servings
30 min

After a fun girls hair day, my sister and I had our hearts set on some yummy Dim Sum from my local Chinese takeout. One thing that’s always tough to remember during this pandemic time is that many of our usual restaurants are either closed earlier or have limited service. So our next best option was to scoop up two fresh bowls of our favorite Clam Chowder at Neptune’s Net. Once again, disappointed when we realized that it was way too late for them to still be open.

So, given that we didn’t have much choice, we decided then to scrounge through the cupboards for a thrown together home cooked meal. We could have braved the grocery store but at that point, we were ready to settle for whatever was fastest.

As it happens often, some of the best meals are ones that were improvised from a time like this when we were determined to satisfy our comfort food cravings by being creative.

Of course, I must confess that having my sister there, a former restaurant owner and chef, helped inspire me to forgo the pre-packed chicken ceasar salads I had on hand in the fridge–let’s face it, even when the kitchen is your happy place, cooking hungry doesn’t always appeal.

Here’s what she “threw” together in 30 minutes: a delicious version of fire roasted corn and tomato tortilla soup over a crisp blackened fillet of Mahi Mahi. Wow was it full of flavor!

As a rule, my sister is opposed to calling anything a “recipe” because she basically is always improvising and changing her dishes. So for those of you who stock Trader Joes staples in your pantry, this is actually an easy soup to make with a simple list of ingredients. You can bring to a boil on the stove top or if you wanted to start it earlier in the day, it would be a great meal for the slow cooker.

Saute chopped onions, garlic and peppers (any kind will work depending on how much spice you want, red or yellow bell peppers, jalapenos, anaheim chile peppers) in a little olive oil.

Once browned, then add a can of fire roasted tomatoes, about a cup of fire roasted corn (in the frozen section of Traders) or fresh corn. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add approx 3 cups of water. And then squeeze juice from one lemon, one lime and add about ¼ cup of fresh cilantro.

For the Mahi Mahi fillets, start by washing and pat dry. Heat a pan (preferably a cast iron skillet) with oil, and coat one side of each fillet (one per person) with salt, pepper and blackened chile spices (whatever you have in your spice rack is fine–black pepper, cayenne pepper, any blackening seasoning or chili pepper spice mix) sear and cook Mahi on the seasoned side for approx 8 min on medium high heat and then salt & pepper the other side and flip to finish cooking approx 4-5 minutes. You don’t need to coat both sides since it’s being served in a soup.

Mahi should be a very moist and just past translucent white inside when done. You can also tell it’s ready because it flakes easily with an internal temperature of about 137 degrees. Squeeze lemon over the fish and place in a shallow soup dish or small bowl.

Cover the blackened fish with the soup and top with grated Mexican blend cheese, lime wedges and a handful of fresh tortilla corn chips. You could certainly put a dollop of sour cream in to taste.

This soup is ultimate comfort food with hot, chunky bites of just the right spicy goodness, texture and bite. You can eat it as is, over rice or add more liquid for a brothy soup if you like. You can mix up the peppers used to make it more or less spicy, add black beans for increased protein.

You can pour a base of chicken broth and tomatoes, over blackened chicken breasts, shredded chicken, or rotisserie chicken instead of Mahi or a seared piece of carne asada, drop in shredded carnitas or just eat it as a meatless veggie delight with quesadillas in corn tortillas as a side dish. It’s a great recipe that will never get old when you can change it up.

There are a variety of vegetables that could be easily added for more vitamin packed punch such as zucchini, summer squash or fresh chopped spinach. You could scoop it over a baked potato or make a poutine with french fries and cheese.

So for the winter season, I think I will keep a container on hand for anytime I need something quick and filling.

This recipe can be prepped in the crock pot or instant pot if you’re turning this into a chicken tortilla soup recipe (when you cook the chicken it won’t alter the flavor), but if you’re using fish, I would suggest only doing the base soup ahead and prepare the mahi fresh. If you add the chicken, I’ve found 20 minutes to be the magic number for the instant pot.

My family loved this dish and I know yours will too!

Blackened Mahi Mexican Tortilla Soup With Fire Roasted Corn
Recipe details
  • 2-4  Servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 spicy pepper jalapeno, habenero, chipotle, anaheim, etc.
  • 1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes or 2 cups of fresh tomatoes cooked down
  • 1 cup fire roasted corn fresh or canned is fine too
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • salt & pepper

  • 1 tbsp oil olive oil or avocado oil is my preference
  • 1 filet per person mahi mahi
  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • shredded cheese
  • crushed tortilla chips (or tortillas cut into strips and skillet fried)
  • fresh avocado chopped
  • roma tomatoes chopped
  • sour cream optional

Add the chopped onions, garlic, and peppers in a little olive oil until the onions are translucent and lightly browned.
Add the fire roasted tomatoes, corn, and salt & pepper.
Add approx 3 cups of water and the salsa (about 1/2 cup)
Squeeze the juice from one lemon, one lime, and about 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro.

Wash the fish and pat dry. Coat one side of each fillet (one per person) with salt, pepper, and the chili spices.
Heat a skillet (preferably a cast iron skillet) with oil
Sear the Mahi on medium high heat for around 8 minutes or until flakey with an internal temperature of about 137 degrees F.

For presentation, put each fish in a pasta bowl or shallow dish to serve.
Cover each bowl with soup.
Add a squeeze of lime and all your favorite toppings.
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