Sopa de Lima-Bikinis & Margaritas Part 2

September13

In my humble opinion, the quality of a soup, determines the skill of the cook.  This is one reason why a vichyssoise or a bouillabaisse do not often find their way into many households. This is also true of my favourite Mexican soup-Soupe de Lima (Yucatan Lime Soup).  The balance of the broth, vegetables and chicken must be exactly right along with the trickier ratio of chicken stock and lime juice.  I have posted my version on this site previously.  Believe me, it does not hold a candle to this version.

Laura had everything simmering on the stove as we arrived along with the strips of fried tortillas.  I often cheat on this step and serve it with thin La Cocina tortilla chips on top-passable in a time crunch but going to the extra trouble, like Laura did, is well worth the effort.

She spooned out little bowls so that we wouldn’t fill up.  This made every sip, particularly precious.  I could eat it by the vat…..

Sopa de Lima
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer or Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ½ c vegetable oil (I would recommend Canola oil)
  • salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ t dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 8 c chicken stock or canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 limes, juiced (about ⅓ c)
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Instructions
  1. Cut the tortillas into ¼ inch strips.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet and, when very hot, fry the tortilla strips, in small batches, until lightly golden and crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain.
  4. Season with salt, to taste.
  5. Repeat until all tortilla strips have been fried.
  6. Set fried tortilla strips aside and reserve the vegetable oil.
  7. Transfer 1 T of the reserved oil to a large saucepan and add the chopped onion, celery, carrot and pepper.
  8. Cover over medium-heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and Mexican oregano and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  10. Add the tomato and season lightly with salt.
  11. Cook, stirring, until tomato is softened and has released its liquid and the mixture is nearly dry, 4 to 5 minutes.
  12. Add the chicken stock and chicken breasts and bring to a boil.
  13. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook until the chicken is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
  14. Remove chicken from the soup and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  15. Allow soup to continue simmering.
  16. When the chicken has cooled a bit, shred into bite sized pieces and return to the pot along with the green onions and lime juice.
  17. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the soup is piping hot.
  18. Season the soup, to taste, with salt and ladle the soup into wide soup bowls, with a handful or tortilla strips added to each bowl.
  19. Garnish with avocado and cilantro and serve immediately.

Ahh, refreshing and warmly satisfying at the same time.  The only version that I have enjoyed as much as this was concocted by Lynn and Tom McGrath when they owned the beautiful Casa O Restaurant on Isla Mujeres.

I had forgotten that I was a redhead in those days….

I first dined there on my very first trip to Isla Mujeres in 2005,  when the three sisters celebrated Sister #2’s birthday.   Casa O’s added a hint of cinnamon  and fresh mint.  Let me know if you want me to publish this version.  Supposedly it was a favourite of Paul Newman’s!

Kath’s quote: “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”-John Ruskin

Love-that is all.

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posted under Appetizers, Isla Mujeres

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