Caldo de Camarón (Mexican Shrimp Soup)


2.2 lbs shrimp (cleaned, tail on)

3 guajillo peppers (seeds and veins removed)

2 chipotle in adobo peppers

1 lb tomatoes (cut into chunks)

1 small onion (cut into chunks)

2 medium potatoes (cut into cubes)

2 large carrots (cut into chunks)

½ small cauliflower (cut into large florets)

2 garlic cloves (peeled)

½ tsp black peppercorns

½ Tbsp oregano

¼ tsp cumin seeds

1 bunch cilantro (or 2 sprigs fresh epazote)

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt (to taste)

For the shrimp broth (optional)

shrimp heads and shells (from cleaned shrimp)

vegetables (carrots, onion, celery, scraps from other vegetables)

1 garlic

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp olive oil

For serving

onion (chopped)

cilantro (chopped)

green chili peppers (chopped)

limes (juice)


Make the shrimp broth (optional)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a stockpot.

Add the vegetable scraps, onion, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly.

Stir in the shrimp heads and shells and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Pour 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, and salt. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Carefully strain the broth into a bowl and set it aside until needed.

Make the chili sauce

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat.

Add onions and garlic and cook stirring constantly for 4 minutes.

Add the dried peppers and cook for 2 more minutes. Then add black peppercorns and cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds.

Stir in the tomato chunks and cook for 3 minutes or until tomatoes soften a bit.

Pour in 1 cup of water, add chipotle peppers and oregano. Simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and allow the mixture to reach room temperature.

Transfer everything to a blender with ½ of water and blend until you’ll have a thick and smooth sauce.

Make the shrimp soup

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stockpot. Place a strainer over the pot and carefully pour in the sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the diced vegetables, the shrimp broth you made before, and cilantro.
2 medium potatoes,2 large carrots,½ small cauliflower

Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.

Add the fresh shrimp and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp you use.

Adjust salt to taste.

Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped onions, cilantro, and chilies. Enjoy with a squeeze of lime.


If you want to speed up this recipe, use cleaned frozen shrimp and shrimp bouillon to flavor the broth.

Make sure you don’t overcook the shrimp or they will become rubbery.

Caldo de camarón leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just take in mind the shrimp texture will change and become a little rubbery.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 402mg | Sodium: 1533mg | Potassium: 1798mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I make the shrimp broth in advance?

Yes, you can make the shrimp broth in advance. Simply follow the instructions for making the shrimp broth, strain it, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

When you’re ready to make the soup, heat the broth and proceed with the recipe.

Can I use pre-peeled and deveined shrimp for this recipe?

Yes, you can use pre-peeled and deveined shrimp for convenience. However, using shrimp with the shells and tails on will enhance the flavor of the shrimp broth.

If using pre-peeled shrimp, you can still make the shrimp broth with the optional shrimp heads and shells for added depth of flavor.

Can I adjust the spiciness of the soup?

Absolutely! The spiciness of the soup can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a milder soup, you can reduce the number of chipotle in adobo peppers or omit them altogether.

Conversely, if you prefer a spicier soup, you can add more chipotle peppers or include the seeds and veins of the guajillo peppers.

Can I use frozen shrimp instead of fresh shrimp?

Yes, you can use frozen shrimp instead of fresh shrimp. Just make sure to thaw the shrimp before adding them to the soup.

Follow the package instructions for thawing, or you can place the frozen shrimp in a colander under cold running water until thawed.

Can I substitute fresh cilantro with dried cilantro?

While fresh cilantro adds a vibrant flavor to the soup, you can substitute it with dried cilantro if fresh is not available.

However, the flavor may not be as pronounced, so you might need to adjust the quantity to taste.

Can I substitute or add other vegetables to the soup?

Absolutely! While the recipe suggests potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower, you can customize the vegetable selection according to your preference.

Some popular additions include zucchini, corn, green beans, or peas.

Feel free to experiment and add your favorite vegetables to the soup.

Can I make the soup ahead of time and reheat it later?

Yes, you can make the soup ahead of time and reheat it later. After cooking the soup, let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.

Can I freeze the leftover soup?

Yes, you can freeze the leftover Caldo de Camarón. Allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. Label the containers with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

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