Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicken, Lime and Chile Soup

“Chicken soup for the soul” – I am sure that almost everyone has heard this phrase before along with the book series. It is the basis for inspirational stories. In a literal fashion, it can be inspirational food for our stomachs while giving a warm reassurance that all is well with the world. For me chicken soup is one of those dishes that resonates happiness. The variations range from Italian wedding soup to matzo ball soup to the good ole Campbell’s soup from the can.

One of my favorite takes on chicken soup is Tortilla Soup. This traditional Mexican style soup is prepared in numerous ways but the citrus punch and cilantro really provide those distinct flavors. The Sopa de Lima at Dona Tomas in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood is one of the best I have tasted. It is completely fresh, vibrant and loaded with wonderful texture and flavors. I have adapted the recipe and found that using rotisserie chicken enhances the flavors two fold. I would love to hear about your chicken soup stories!

Chicken, Lime and Chile Soup

6 C. Chicken stock
1 T. Olive oil
1 Large white onion, small dice
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Jalapeno, minced
2 Heirloom tomatoes or vine ripened, 1/3 inch dice
Juice of two limes
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped (reserve a bit for garnish)
3 C. Shredded rotisserie chicken
2 to 3 C. loosely crushed tortilla chips
Extra limes for squeezing into soup bowls

Place the broth in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add the diced onions. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until translucent. Add the minced garlic and jalapeno chili and cook for one more minute.

Pour this mixture into the pot of stock. Add the tomatoes, shredded chicken, half of the cilantro and the lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 30 minutes on low heat. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Right before serving add the remaining cilantro except for the garnish you reserved.

When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Top with the crushed tortillas and garnish with reserved cilantro on top of the chips. Squeeze a quarter of a lime into each bowl to add that extra zest of flavor and serve.


  1. You know... I've never made tortilla soup before. Why?! I love it so much, it doesn't make sense. I must make it now :) Thanks.

  2. Hi there Lisa, You are so right on about chicken soup. Your recipe here is really great, specially with the addition of the lime. I love soup, I can even eat them for breakfast (true).
    You mentioned Matzo Ball Soup, will there be a future post about it(hint hint)?
    I love your recipes, they are simple, and yet very refreshing ingredients. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. That just looks so soothing. Health and happiness in a bowl. Nice photo as well.

  4. What I like about this, it is really healthy! Looks great!

  5. Wow, this looks perfect! The only downside? I'd probably eat an entire bag of tortilla chips with it :)

  6. Your version of tortilla soup looks so fresh and tasty. I like how brothy it is too and yes, lime and cilantro are a must! I also have favorite chicken tortilla soup and on some days it just hits the spot.

  7. Great recipe, tortilla soup is one of my favorites, my son has asked me for a good recipe, I'm sending him your link, thanks for sharing.

  8. I love this chicken soup! simple and delicious! Love the addition of jalapeño and lime in it.

  9. lovely dish you got here! i love soup myself and i hope to expeiment with this recipe :) thanks again.

    Stumble upon your page. I'm a fairly new blogger here. will be adding you on my blogroll so i can visit more often here and remember the site! Please feel free to do the same too! Take cares and have a lovely weekend my dear :)

  10. lovely soup, it's a family fav around here..yum


  11. I love tortilla soup as well, and this is a great recipe for it!

  12. I had this soup on my first visit to Mexico city many years ago and was completely blown away by it, they had added a sliced avocado to the top and it was perfect.

  13. I like your usage of tortillas in this soup. Nice recipe!

  14. I like your take on tortilla soup... It looks so wonderfully light and fresh! Mine is much different but still builds on the same flavour combinations.

  15. I love Chicken Tortilla soup and this recipe is so easy and delicious. Thank you for sharing. :)


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