Sopa de lima

Sopa de lima

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

While it sounds like this soup might come from the capital of Peru, Lima, it’s actually a specialty of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The ‘lima’ in this recipe’s name comes from the Spanish word for ‘lime’, which is added to the soup just before serving to add a deliciously tangy flavour.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tomatoes
250ml sunflower oil
4 x 15cm corn tortillas, sliced into fine strips
1 tablespoon Fire and smoke salt
or Togarashi salt
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 habanero or jalapeno chilli, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
good pinch dried wild oregano or regular dried oregano
2 litres see method for ingredients
500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2-3 limes, juiced, to taste
1/4 cup chopped coriander, to garnish


  1. Score a cross in the base of each tomato. Place in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds, then transfer to cold water and peel the skins away from the cross. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, then dice and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large, deep frying pan and shallow-fry the tortilla strips for 1–2 minutes, or until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy tortillas and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Season with a little fire and smoke salt.
  3. In a large heavy-based pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil used to fry the tortilla strips. Add the onion, celery, carrot and chilli, then sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf and oregano and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with the remaining flavoured salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture is almost dry.
  4. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and poach the chicken in the stock for about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, use a knife to shred the chicken into pieces.
  5. Return the shredded chicken to the stock, along with the chopped spring onions and lime juice. Simmer until the chicken is heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide the soup between serving bowls and garnish with the fried tortillas and chopped coriander.
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