On occasion we will leave our comfortable confines at La Villa Bonita and cook in different environments or different parts of Mexico to add to my repertior and give guests a new and different experience. This year we had cooking sessions on the island of Cozumel. While big tourism has changed the cuisine offered in hotels, there is a local cuisine that is still delicious and good. It needs to be elevated and learned. I was amazed at the amount of Italian cuisine restaurants in both Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Such food is great but there is a wonderful local cuisine that is not being appreciated. When we travel, we always try to elevate the local cuisine so that it is visible and accessible. When we come back to Tepoztlán we integrate these elements into our repertoire for our culinary packages.
We had a great time with our guests in Cozumel, getting to know or fish providers and the wonderful variety of seafood available in the region and discovering these great local dishes.
This particular dish, sopa de lima, is very popular in the southeast section of Mexico. It calls for Limas which are a specific type of lime. We have them in Tepoztlán in our back yard and they are a different type of lime. If you do not have them substitute Key Limes and they will work fine but the Lima has a distinct flavor.
Sopa de lima (Lima Soup) 6 servings
1 chicken breast with skin and bone
10 oz. chicken feet or wings or backs
2 garlic cloves, pealed
½ medium white onion
1 cilantro sprig
1 epazote sprig (if possible)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 quarts or 12 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
½ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cups tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
6 Limas or Key Limes or 3 Persian limes, thinly sliced
4 corn tortillas cut into strips and dried for 2 to 3 hours or over night
1 cup of canola oil
1 avocado (optional)
My preferred method of making broth is with a pressure cooker but if you don’t have one you may use a regular stock pot. Place chicken into the pressure cooker or the stock pot and add garlic cloves, the clove inserted into the onion (so they are not floating around in the pot), cilantro, epazote, dried oregano, water and salt. Place pot over a high heat and allow for broth to come to a simmer. Reduce the heat. Take off the foam that will form with a spoon and repeat this procedure until the broth doesn’t produce any more foam.
If you are using the pressure cooker place the top of the pressure cooker and cook for another 45 minutes on medium high. If you are using a regular stock pot, cook for 1hr and 30 minutes on medium high. When chicken broth is ready take the chicken breast out. Allow it to cool enough to shred.
In your soup pot place the olive oil and red onion and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until transparent. Then add the green pepper and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth with slices of lime. Save a few fresh slices for serving. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes and take the lime slices out.
In a sauté pan add the canola oil on high heat. When it is hot add the corn strips and then fry until golden. Take out and place on paper towels to drain.
In a soup bowl place the shredded chicken, tortilla strips and a slice of avocado and a fresh slice of lime. Ladle some of the chicken broth and enjoy.
If you would like to print out this recipes click here for the PDF version.