My wife lived on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico for four years and is a connoisseur of all things Mayan. She is extremely fond of Sopa Di Lima (Lime Soup) which is traditionally made not with chicken, but the native turkey. Chicken is an adaptation for non-Yucatanian chefs with easier access to these birds, but I still think it is best made with turkey stock and turkey meat.
Lime soup is a traditional dish from the Mexican state of Yucatan, which is made of chicken or some other meat such as pork or beef, lime juice and served with tortilla chips. This dish was originally created by the Mayans and with the passage of time has evolved to take its present form.
Lime soup is a traditional dish from Yucatan. Traditional Yucatan cuisine has its origins in the Hispanic and Mayan culture. The combination of meat from animals brought from Europe, the spices, and cooking methods and preparation of multiple local ingredients, resulted in many dishes such as the lime soup.
The lime soup as it is known was first created in 1946 by the master called Katún (means “warrior” in Mayan language). Today it is considered as one of the most representative soups of Yucatan.
If you’ve ever tried this at a chain Mexican restaurant made with bland chicken stock, a few tired slices of aged lime and some limp vegetables, blot that travesty out of your mind!
Sopa di lima is a Mayan dish that should include turkey stock flavored with many herbs and spices, roasted hot peppers, roasted tomatoes, fried tortilla strips and – of course – limes and lots of them. Recipes vary between families, this is mine.
Yucatanian limes are similar to key limes, but I’ve adapted my recipe to use the easier to find Persian limes that are commonly found across the U.S. That is my only concession – everything else in my sopa di lima recipe is as authentic as it gets, Citizens (and my wife agrees!).
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Yucatanian Sopa Di Lima
- Total Time: 0 hours
- The Broth:
- 2 turkey wings
- 1 turkey, gutted
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 Lime or 2 Key Limes, halved
- 4 sprigs of fresh mint
- 8 whole allspice berries
- 20 black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 5 whole cloves
- 10 average-sized peeled cloves of garlic, halved
- 1 head of roasted garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled, cut and diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- PART TWO: THE SOUP
- 2 quarts salpimentado broth
- 1 turkey breast
- 3 limes
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 serrano chili, split and seeds removed
- 1 habanero chili, split & seeds removed – Be careful when handling chiles! Wear protective gloves, or make certain to wash your hands well before touching your face or anything else – IT WILL BURN!
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon dried epazote (or use Mexican oregano if unavailable)
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 6 tortillas
- Chopped Avocado to taste
- The Broth:
- Place the wings and carcass in four quarts of cold water. If they are not covered, add water to cover. Season with the salt (or to your personal taste) and boil. Remove the scum as it forms on the surface of the broth.
- You need to prepare the spices (garlic, peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds) for this recipe by roasting them.
- Roast the spices in a cast iron skillet, moving them around constantly with a spoon or implement. You will know they are done when the cumin seeds begin to pop and their aroma is pronounced. Take care not to burn them.
- Grind the roasted spices until you have a medium powder in a spice grinder. Put into a 4” square of doubled cheesecloth and tie off with the string.
- Add the onions, garlic, spice bag, lime, bay leaves and mint to your broth. Reduce over a low heat to about 10 cups. This should take about one hour.
- When done, strain the entire mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the bones, spice bag & vegetables. Cool and skim fat from the surface. Save the meat for turkey salad. You now have salpimentado broth!
- The Soup:
- Roast the tomatoes in the oven at 400 degrees. When the skin begins to split and the tomato smokes a bit, take them out and pull away the skin. Remove the seeds with the aid of a teaspoon, fry the tomato into a puree with some oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Peel and section the limes.
- Toast the habanero and Serrano chilies in the oven until the skin is a medium brown.
- Boil the turkey or chicken breasts in the broth with the lime sections, the chilies, tomato puree, cilantro, oregano and epazote.
- When the meat is cooked, remove from the broth and allow to cool. Reduce the heat on the other ingredients and allow to simmer.
- While this is simmering, cut the tortillas into strips and fry them in a bit of oil to make them crispy.
- When the meat is cool to your touch, shred into small strips and add back to the broth. Bring it back to a boil.
- Add the tortilla strips and avocado to the soup just prior to serving. Adjust sourness to your preferred level with more fresh lime juice. Serve with plenty of good Mexican beer!
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
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