Post #379 My Brand New Favorite Soup!

June 8, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

On Saturday, we ran the normal weekend errands, and one of those was making our regularly scheduled trip to the health food store.  We do this about every two months.  We don’t buy too many food items because we find them to be horrendously overpriced.  But there are some personal products that we like and the closest place for us to find them is there.  For me, it’s my peppermint everything (soap, shampoo, shaving lotion.)  And we buy nuts in bulk so we have health snacks for a few days.

As we got back into the car, Partner/Spouse asked me if I’d walked by the deli counter.  I hadn’t and he regaled me with the sight and smell of a great new soup that had chicken and cilantro in it.  “Let’s have that this weekend!”  It sounded good, so I started thinking about it.

With cilantro, it was going to be a Mexican/American style soup.  So I started thinking about other things that go into a sopa, a Mexican style soup.  I’ve eaten them all my life.  Some have meatballs, some have chicken, some have broken tortillas.  They nearly all had some chili spices, and some citrus floating around somewhere.  Most had corn, maybe a few other veggies.  Tomatoes are prevalent, although not ubiquitous.  I went onto the handy-dandy internet thing and read many recipes for sopa overall, and cilantro chicken in particular.

Then I put together a sopa on my own combining what I had on hand and the best of the recipes I’d read.  Here’s what I came up with.

Cilantro Lime Soup

First off, this soup only takes about an hour to make so don’t start it too early.  You want the flavors to be strong and individual.  It’s a stand-alone soup, hardy enough to serve for lunch or dinner.  You can dress it up with all kinds of garnishes.  We had homemade tortilla strips deep fried until crispy and a dollop of sour cream.  You can serve it with salad, or a sandwich (I’d recommend a grilled cheese to help balance the flavors.)  A big bowl of tortilla ships would be good, or a scoop of lime-cilantro rice.  A quesadilla with some kind of meat in it, or a generous spoonful of salsa inside of it would also be pretty tasty.

I made homemade corn tortillas earlier in the afternoon.  We had bought a cast-iron tortilla press and I wanted to test it out.  We bought masa harina (a corn flour made commercially) which is all you need to make tortillas except boiling water.  Masa, as its usually called, can be used to make all kinds of things, but most commonly it’s used for corn tortillas and tamales.  I was unusually successful with the tortillas so I made three extra and left them cool during the afternoon.  While the soup was cooking, I cut the tortillas into strips and deep fried them so they’d be ready when the soup was finished.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Soup

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup green chili/tomatillo salsa (I used a jar we had on hand)
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets (frozen or fresh)
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small can chopped fire roasted tomatoes, optional (we didn’t use)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, crème fraiche, or Mexican crema
  • Deep fried tortilla strips, fresh if possible

Prep:  Cut chicken into small chunks.  Cut onion into small pieces.  Mince garlic finely.  Heat a skillet and place corn in it.  Oil is optional.  Stir or shake the corn until it is roasted slightly brown (hat tip to Bob for that idea!)  Separate cilantro bunch into two pieces of 2/3 and 1/3.  Wrap the 2/3 bunch in cheesecloth.  Roughly chop 1/3 bunch and set aside in a bowl for garnish.  Squeeze and strain lime.

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.  When oil is hot, add onion and garlic and stirring constantly cook them until they are soft, about 5-6 minutes.  Add chili powder and stir until fragrance is released, about another minute.  Add chicken and stir until browned on all sides.  Add chicken broth and stir well to get all flavors combined.  When the broth begins to simmer add the corn, the salsa, and tomatoes if you’re using them.  Stir to combine, then set the cilantro package on top of the broth.  Simmer for about 30-45 minutes until all chicken is thoroughly cooked and flavors are well blended.  Remove from heat and discard the cilantro package.  Add the lime juice and stir.  Spoon into bowls.  Sprinkle fresh cilantro over top.  Add a dollop of sour cream, or other cream garnish if desired.  A sprinkle of cheddar cheese will also work.  Add tortilla strips just before serving so they stay crunchy.  Alternatively, you can serve the bowls at the table and allow each person to garnish as they choose.

This recipe can also be adapted for the slow cooker.  Cook the onions, garlic, chili powder, and chicken in a pan.  Put the broth in the slow cooker and allow to come to simmering heat.  Place all soup ingredients EXCEPT the lime in the slow cooker and cook on High for 2-3 hours, or on Low for 5-6 hours.  Turn off slow cooker and follow directions above for finishing the soup.

You can also add a can of black beans, or red beans to this soup.  You can also place a spoonful of rice in the bowl and pour the soup over it.  Do NOT cook the rice in the soup as the rice will absorb the broth and fall apart making this more like a gumbo than a soup.  You can add cooked pasta, as well, but that might be stretching things a bit.

This will serve two people for two meals plus a couple of lunches.  I made this yesterday, and I expect to be reheating it this week with some rice in it.  Yum!




  1. I loves me a good soup, and I make a variation of this one because I love all of those flavors.
    I usually take corn tortillas, cut them into strips, spray with a little grapeseed oil spray, salt, pepper and cumin them, and then bake them for a crunch!

    • It was your idea to roast the corn before putting it in the soup. Got it from your Sunday post, I think it was. We love the flavor of roasted veggies, and can’t believe when we see chefs on TV taking the roasted skins off. A little bit of char is wonderful. 😉

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