Sunday, February 24, 2013

Souper #SundaySupper...Featuring Yucatan Chicken-Lime Soup (Sopa de Lima)

Some foods always take you back to a specific time in your bite, and you're transported back to another time and place! Mexican Chicken-Lime Soup, known as Sopa de Lima in the Yucatan region of Mexican, does that for me. The first time we had it was during a vacation to Cancun a few years back. We took a day trip to Merida, a few hours away from Cancun...and we had a wonderful meal at Los Almendros. For me, the highlight of the meal was Sopa de Lima, a soup full of chicken and lots of tart lime juice. I came back home and made it a few times, but not in ages. When I saw the theme for this week's #SundaySupper was soup? It was a no-brainer: time to make a big pot of Sopa de Lima!

Pam at The Meltaways is our hostess this week, and she asked us to share our favorite soups -- hot or cold, hearty or light. I'm sharing Mexican Chicken-Lime Soup. This is very similar to a chicken-tortilla soup, with a citrusy kick from lime. This is my take on an Emeril recipe, by way of Rick Bayless. I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe based on some tricks I learned from our server in Merida. First, I used skinless bone-in chicken breast to give a richer chicken flavor to my broth. Second, I added lime juice AND simmered the lime halves in the broth for 15 minutes before serving. This allows the citrus oil to infuse a deeper flavor. Finally, I added a bit of chihuahua cheese to the top of each bowl before serving. A little cheese is never a bad thing!

Mexican Chicken-Lime Soup (Sopa de Lima)
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Step 1: Add 1 tbs. vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven and heat over med-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the following veggies to the pan: 1 cup chopped onion, 1 thinly sliced carrot, 1 thinly sliced celery stalk, and 1 finely chopped jalapeno. Stir and cook until the veggies are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add 3-4 grated garlic cloves, 2-3 bay leaves, and 1/2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Step 2: Add 1 large chopped tomato, stir to combine, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add 8 cups chicken stock and two large skinless, bone-in chicken breasts. Bring to a boil, then lower heat so the soup simmers. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Step 3: After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Add 3 sliced green onions and the juice of three limes to the pot. Place the lime halves in the soup mixture and simmer for 15 minutes. This gives you enough time to fry strips of corn tortillas and shred the reserved chicken.

Step 4: Add the reserved shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine. Let sit for a few minutes to incorporate all the flavors, then ladle the soup into bowls. Top each serving with a handful of corn tortilla strips, a sprinkle of chihuahua cheese, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro. You can also served additional lime wedges on the side for those who like an extra burst of fresh lime!

This is one good's definitely a meal in a bowl thanks to all that chicken! The first thing you taste is the punch of lime juice, but it's not combines nicely with the rich broth, earthy tortilla strips, and creamy avocado and cheese for a well-balanced taste. I made the pot of soup from chopping to veggies to eating a bowl in about 2 hours, and some of that was simmer time. This recipe makes about six bowls of soup...enough for us to have dinner for two nights!

Make sure to join #SundaySupper tonight at 600 CST for our weekly Twitter chat. This week, we'll be talking about our favorite soup come join the fun! In the meantime, I hope you'll check out all the fabulous recipes my fellow #SundaySupper contributors are sharing today. There's something to fit everyone's tastes...

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)


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