Lime and chicken tortilla soup

Lime and chicken tortilla soup

Mowie Kay

This has quite a lot of elements to it and ends up being a bit of an assembly job towards the end. It’s not a true tortilla soup (I don’t like soggy tortillas, much better to have them as a crisp garnish), more of a cross between that and sopa de lima. You can play around with the garnishes as much as you want. Crumbled feta – which is really a salty version of the Latin American queso fresco – would work instead of a hard cheese, as would a traditional guacamole in place of the avocado.


Quantity Ingredient

For the chicken and marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1 lime, Finely grated zest and juice
1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the soup

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
2 red peppers, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
500g very ripe tomatoes
1 head garlic, broken into cloves
1 chipotle chilli, whole but deseeded
3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander stems, (save leaves for garnish)
A large sprig thyme
1 litre chicken stock
200g cooked black beans, (optional)

For the garnishes

Quantity Ingredient
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
100ml soured cream
a few coriander leaves
grated hard cheese, such as Manchego, Gruyere or Cheddar (or see above)


  1. Put the chicken breasts in a bowl. Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour this over the chicken. Leave to marinate for 1 hour. Heat a griddle pan until it is too hot to hold your hand over. Griddle the chicken for 3–4 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil for the soup in a large flameproof casserole or saucepan. Add the onion, red peppers and celery. Sauté on a low heat until translucent and starting to caramelise lightly. This will take at least 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, unpeeled garlic cloves and chilli in a heavy-based frying pan and dry roast for a similar amount of time until the tomatoes are blackening. If the chilli and garlic look done before the tomatoes, fish them out and put to one side. Peel the garlic cloves and put in a food processor with the unpeeled tomatoes and chilli. Blitz until smooth.
  3. Add the coriander stems and thyme sprig to the onion pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in the tomato mixture and simmer for 5 minutes until starting to reduce. Add the chicken stock and continue to simmer for around 15–20 minutes.
  4. For the garnishes, dice the avocado and toss in the lime juice. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the tortilla triangles until crisp and golden brown. Shred the chicken and add it to the soup along with the black beans, if using. Remove the thyme sprig and serve the soup garnished with the tortillas, avocado, soured cream, coriander leaves and cheese.
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