This Mexican chicken soup is authentic Yucatan fare that’s simply broth, avocado, lime, tortilla, and rice. The sum is far more than the parts. And it’s comforting as heck.
This Mexican chicken soup is subtly yet superbly flavored comfort food at its finest. It’s traditionally known as sopa de lima or Yucatán lime soup and it’s essentially poached chicken and rice in broth with a hefty squeeze of fresh lime. And that’s just for starters. Make it your own by adding whatever you want—avocado, cilantro, jalapenos, tortilla strips, cheese. Certain to cure whatever ails you.–Angie Zoobkoff
Mexican Chicken Soup
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 3 H
- Serves 8 to 10
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Recipe Testers Reviews
I really love this soup. It’s everything a simple chicken soup should be—comforting and soothing and perfectly balanced in its flavors. I loved how easy it was to customize your bowl to your own taste with the various toppings. The soup itself is very subtle in flavor but the addition of the lime juice rounds it out nicely. I think there needs to be some leeway on the amount of lime juice. My chicken was on the larger side (3 1/2 pounds) so I needed a lot of water to cover it. As such, after I added the juice of 1 lime to the finished soup, there was absolutely no taste of lime at all. However, I juiced a second lime and added it (1/4 cup lime juice total) and all of a sudden everything came into balance. It was a subtle but lovely lime flavor. Perhaps with a smaller chicken and less water, I may not have needed 2 full limes. The chicken shredded easily with a fork after 2 hours and was meltingly tender.
The smallest chicken I could find was a 5.98 lb organic roaster, so I just doubled the recipe. From there, we added two medium onions and juice from two limes and simmered for another 15 minutes. As this was a BIG pot of soup that would take several nights to consume, I didn't want the rice soaking up all the liquid and getting soggy so we decided to serve the soup buffet-style. Once the soup was done, each person portioned out the amount of rice, shredded chicken, avocado, cheese, and cilantro that they wanted. We served with additional limes wedges, and the result was stupendous. It was filling, nourishing, and the scent of lime and onion made it just different enough to be interesting, without losing the comforting feeling of having chicken soup and rice for dinner. My husband commented that it almost tasted like good pho. This is definitely going into the permanent rotation with a few minor tweaks. First off, the stock is much too single-dimensional for me. Without roasting the bones or adding even a carrot to the stock, the liquid that resulted was anemic in flavor. Yet. I recognized that the intent of this recipe was for pure, bright flavors, so adding a whole bunch of aromatics to the stock wasn't exactly the right way to go either. Besides, with the lime and cilantro, there would be plenty of aromatics at the end. I think using a rotisserie chicken or adding roasted bones of some sort to the soup would go a long way. Our fix was to add a tablespoon of Penzey's chicken stock. It instantly boosted the chicken flavor without overwhelming it with other aromas that would have detracted from the final result.