Lime soup is a traditional dish from the Mexican state of Yucatan, which is made of chicken or some other meat such as pork or beef, lime juice and served with tortilla chips. This dish was originally created by the Mayans and with the passage of time has evolved to take its present form.
Traditional Yucatan Cuisine has its origins in the Hispanic and Mayan culture. The combination of meat from animals brought from Europe, the spices, and cooking methods and preparation of multiple local ingredients, resulted in many dishes such as the lime soup. The lime soup as it is known was first created in 1946 by the master called Katún (means “warrior” in Mayan language). Today it is considered as one of the most representative soups of Yucatan.
The taste that characterizes this soup depends on the combination of recipes and ingredients. Its unique flavour is recognized throughout Mexico and the world by the predominance of strong seasonings used in the season. The dish is the result of the isolation from the rest of the country. The lime is not the main ingredient, although it is the one that gives the flavour to the soup. This fruit begins its season in the cold months. The soup is accompanied with chicken, tomato, capsicum (bell pepper), coriander (cilantro), tortilla chips.
In some places of Mexico and the world it is difficult to find the lime from Yucatan, so it can be substituted with common lime or Persian lime without any substantial changes in the final flavour.
Sopa de Lima - Yucatán-Style Lime Soup
- 2 cups cooking oil, for frying
- 12 corn tortillas, cut into ½ cm thick strips
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 plum tomatoes, cored
- 2 habañero chillies
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 4 limes, 2 peeled of pith and roughly chopped, 2 halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
- Heat oil in a 30 cm skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add tortilla strips, and fry, tossing, until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; set aside.
- Arrange an oven rack 10 cm from broiler and heat broiler to high. Place tomatoes, garlic, and chillies on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 15 minutes for tomatoes, 10 minutes for garlic, and 6 minutes for chillies. Remove stems and seeds from chillies, and thinly slice; set aside.
- Transfer tomatoes and garlic to a food processor along with 2 cups stock and 2 peeled limes; puree until smooth, at least 2 minutes.
- Pour through a fine strainer into a 6 litre saucepan and stir in remaining stock.
- Add thyme, oregano, and chicken, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to a bowl to cool; remove and discard bones, and finely shred chicken. Set chicken aside, and season soup with salt and pepper.
- Divide shredded chicken, fried tortillas, onion, sliced chillies, and sliced limes among serving bowls, and then ladle soup into bowls, and serve immediately.
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