SOPA DE LIMA (Chicken-lime soup)

Even though it’s usually served hot in the hot Yucatecan climate, the lime flavor keeps this soup refreshing. The lime is supposed to be “bitter lime” (citrus limetta), which you can approximate with sour (Seville) orange plus regular lime, or regular lime with grapefruit zest soaked in it. This recipe makes 6 servings.


  • 9               cups chicken broth
  • 6               boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1               medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 6               cloves of garlic minced
  • 2               teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1               teaspoon salt
  • 1               teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½               teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½               teaspoon freshly ground allspice
  • 1               tablespoon olive oil
  • 4               scallions cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1               large fresh green chile (choose your level of heat)
  • 2               large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6               bitter limes juiced
  • ½               whole lime
  • ½               cup cilantro, chopped
  • Crispy tortilla chips for garnish.

Making the soup

  1. Put the chicken broth in a stock pot and add the chicken thighs, red onion garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, thyme, and allspice to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the juice of the chicken runs clear (15 to 20 minutes).
  2. Remove the chicken thighs to a cutting board and shred into bite-sized strips; return to the simmering pot.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped scallions and green chile and sauté, stirring continuously, until tender (5 minutes).
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking/stirring until tomatoes are soft (5 minutes).
  5. Pour the vegetable mixture into the soup pot, stir, and season with salt to taste.
  6. When the soup returns to a simmer, add the lime juice and the half a lime. Stir again and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove soup from stove, take out the half-lime.
  8. Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro and sprinkle with tortilla chips.

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