Wednesday Dinner: Sopa De Lima

2014-09-17 at 17-08-53Lime is not what one would expect to find on a list of soup ingredients. Soups usually evoke carrots, celery, and bay leaf from your flavor memory, not cilantro, chili peppers and lime.

This soup bears a striking resemblance to sopa de lima, or Yucatan lime soup. Budget Bytes, the website where I found this, took some short cuts away from authentic, but not enough to affect the integrity of the traditional sopa too greatly.

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WHAT WORKED: I made this over the course of two days. Thehourlong simmer takes out of contention to make after work at one time. But, the 24 hours it sat in my refrigerator deepened the flavor and let things marry.

WHAT DIDN’T: The recipe was fine, though a little queso fresco or cotija crumbled over the top might have been nice.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “I like this. I didn’t think I would but this is good.”

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Maybe. I have about 1 1/2 quarts of leftovers in the freezer so maybe not until next year.

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Sopa de Lima (Yucatan Lime Soup)
Inspired by the original at Budget Bytes

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 chili pepper, jalepeño or Anaheim, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 12 oz. chicken breasts
  • 48 oz. chicken stock
  • 14 to 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Julie of one line
  • Large handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely

2014-09-16 at 16-46-34Heat a soup pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and wait for it to shimmer. Add the onion, celery, garlic and pepper, and cook 5 minutes or until the veggies have softened.

2014-09-17 at 16-39-23Add in the chicken breasts, tomatoes, stock, cumin and oregano. Stir together, increase the heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil. Boil for one minute, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for an hour.

2014-09-17 at 16-31-46Using a slotted spoon or tongs, carefully remove the chicken breasts. Shred the meat with a pair of fork or in a food processor. Return the meat to the soup, then squeeze a lime (I prefer the forking method. Jam a salad fork into the side of a lime and, while squeezing fruit over the pan, move the tines around to loosen up the insides and release more juice. This should not only draw out more juice than just squeezing, but separate the seeds and meat of the fruit from the liquid.) into the soup.

2014-09-17 at 16-40-19Add the cilantro to the soup and stir. Cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, adjusting flavors with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot with tortilla chips, sour cream or crumbly Mexican cheese.

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