Sopa de Lima is a traditional soup from Mexico’s Yucatan region. It is similar to the better known Tortilla Soup but adds a fresh citrus flavor with the liberal use of fresh lime. The limes used in the Yucatan Peninsula are often a variety called “lima agria,” which are slightly sweet and bitter at the same time. I think of the flavor as a combination of tangerine, lime and grapefruit. They add a very fresh light flavor to the soup but are often difficult to source outside of Mexico. In my version I’ve used fresh limes, but feel free to substitute a little grapefruit juice instead. Key limes are also a good choice if you can find them. If unable to locate fried tortilla strips you can make them the traditional way by cutting a few corn tortillas into strips and frying them in hot oil until crisp.
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 1/2 Lbs Chicken Breast - Cubed
- 1 Large White Onion - Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic - Minced
- 2 Roma Tomatoes - Diced
- 1 Jalepeno Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Mexican Oregano
- Pinch Ground Cinnamon
- 3 - 4 Limes
- Dash of Hot Sauce
- 5 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1 Bunch Cilantro - Washed and Roughly Chopped
- Prepared Fried Tortilla Strips for Garnish
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Place the chicken cubes in a frying pan with vegetable oil over medium heat. Brown on all sides and then set aside.
- Mince 1/2 of the jalapeno pepper and thinly slice the rest into thin rounds.
- Add the onion to the frying pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato, minced jalapeno, oregano and cinnamon. Saute until the onion and garlic are are browned and translucent.
- Place the onion mixture and chicken in a stock pot.
- Return the frying pan to the heat. Place a few fresh lime slices in the pan and brown lightly on both sides. Set aside.
- Squeeze fresh limes into the frying pan (yield should be about 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice). Remove from the heat.
- Add the chicken stock to the stock pot and increase the heat until the soup begins to boil. Add fresh lime juice and 1/2 of the cilantro and a dash of hot sauce to the soup. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 5 - 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish liberally tortilla strips.and garnish with fried lime slices, jalapeno slices and fresh cilantro.
- Serve immediately.
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Related recipes from our travels in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula