© Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Sopa de lima
Around the world with three soups that are perfect for sharing — or not
This lime, chicken and tortilla soup is inspired by a bowl Kathy Gunst first sampled on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico many years ago. You can cut corners and use canned chicken stock, a rotisserie-roasted chicken from your favourite market, and a bag of tortilla chips, but it won’t be the same.
For the tortilla strips
Canola oil for frying
6 corn tortillas, about 5½ in. (14 cm) in diameter, cut into ½-in.- (12-mm-) thick strips
For the soup
2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeño chili, cored, seeded and finely chopped, plus more as needed
1 c. (250 ml) diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano
4 c. (1 L) your favourite homemade roasted chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 c. (250 ml) cooked shredded chicken
¼ c. (60 ml) fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
For the garnishes
1 poblano chili, seeded and chopped
1 ripe, but not overly ripe or mushy, avocado, cut into ½-in. (12-mm) cubes
¼ c. (60 ml) finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 c. (250 ml) cotija Mexican cheese or feta, grated or finely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add enough canola oil to reach a depth of ½ inch (12 mm) and heat until a small piece of tortilla or a speck of salt immediately sizzles on contact. Cook the tortillas, one at a time, for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and slightly puffed. Using tongs, transfer the tortillas to paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt.
In a large stockpot over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the jalapeño, and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano, and cook for 5 minutes more. Turn the heat to high, add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Just before serving, add the lime juice to the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, jalapeño or lime juice if needed.
Ladle the soup into mugs or bowls, top each with two or three tortilla strips and serve. Have all the garnishes arranged decoratively on a large serving plate and let guests add their own. Makes 8 to 10 tasting portions or 6 full servings.
To go: Pack the tortilla strips and garnishes separately.
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