This NY Times soup was one of the first recipes I bookmarked when I started keeping a folder of online recipes. I loved the idea of this soup and although I probably thought about it every time someone said “soup,” it took me more than a year to get around to making it.
Once I started cooking it, I realized it was almost too simple. Bland even. No onion or garlic? No chilies? Midway through the simmering process, I threw in some garlic cloves, chili powder, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. It turned out just right.
The soup is not too heavy, but plenty satisfying in winter. The lime and cilantro give it freshness, while the cinnamon, cloves and chili offer warmth.
We highly recommend serving this with the incredible cornmeal crunch from 101 Cookbooks. Our friend Kat made it and it rocked our world.
Sopa de Lima
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch dice
- 4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, as needed, plus 4 to 6 slices of lime, for garnish (2 limes)
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- 2 avocados, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup finely sliced cilantro leaves
- My additions: Red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne, garlic
Toast cinnamon, cloves and oregano in a pan. (Watch very closely. I was distracted for a minute, and next thing I knew, my house was filled with smoke that smelled like bad incense and hipster cigarettes.)
Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add spices and oregano. I added a few dashes of chili powder and cayenne to give it more kick. I also thought it needed garlic, so I cut two garlic cloves in fourths and tossed those in there. Salt and pepper of course.
Simmer for 10 minutes, then pour through fine mesh strainer. Return broth to clean pot. Add chicken and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add lime juice (I used a lime and a half) Salt and pepper a little more to taste.
Garnish individual servings with cheese, avocado, cilantro leaves. I put more red pepper flakes in mine. The recipe also calls for tortilla strips like in tortilla soup, but we forgot to get any.