I’ve been intending to make a variation on this soup for quite some time now. I thought Zak might enjoy it because it bears a passing resemblance to pho and I’m a sucker for any variety of chicken soup. I had some leftover roast chicken from my spicy roast chicken and thought this might be an easy way to use it up. In order to extract the maximum flavors from the spices in the broth, I threw the broth ingredients in my crock pot before leaving for class in the morning and had Zak add the onions and chicken when he came home from work. Consequently, this broth was rich and flavorful with a great deal of spice extracted from the crushed red pepper flakes and clove and cinnamon flavor from the other spices. The roasted garlic mellowed everything out while the lime perked up the palate and made this soup something special.
If you don’t feel like doing the broth in the slow cooker, you could easily boil the spices for about thirty minutes to an hour before straining and go from there. It made it easier for me to eat as soon as I got home from school and I think the slow cooking improved the flavors significantly, however. This would be extra delicious with some cilantro and jalapeños, but I had neither on hand and it worked out just fine.
Sopa de Lima (Mexican Lime Soup)
Adapted from The Homesick Texan
5 cups homemade chicken stock
1 small yellow onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
Kosher salt, to taste
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook about 8-10 hours on low setting. Strain broth and return to the slow-cooker.
1 cup leftover spicy chicken, shredded
1 medium yellow onion, sliced very thin with mandolin
5 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp. lime zest
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup Mexican-blend shredded cheese, for serving
1 lime, quartered, for serving
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut the top 1/4″ inch off a head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a tinfoil packet. Roast roughly 40 minutes.
Add chicken, 5-6 cloves roasted garlic, and thinly sliced onion to the strained broth.
Add cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and lime zest. Raise heat to high and cook, uncovered, 25 minutes. Taste for seasoning and stir in lime juice immediately prior to serving.
Serve with Mexican cheese and a quartered lime.