Mexican Soup with Chicken and Lime

This soup is perfect for these in-between-y days – it can be warm and comforting, thanks to the spice-infused broth, or fresh and energising, thanks to the zingy topping. 

I dusted off the ol’ blog archives before posting this. The very first time I blogged my Mexican soup recipe was in 2008. And then again in 2011. But like a fine wine, it has gotten better with time so I reckoned it was due an update. 

Mexican Soup with Chicken and Lime |

The broth is now richer and smokier, thanks in no small part to a hefty dose of chiles en adobo. Sometimes it’s the handy tinned version – which you can pick up in My Mexican Shop – and sometimes we steep some dried ancho chilies (picked up from My Mexican Shop or Fallon & Byrne) in just boiled water, blitz and go from there. We also hit upon the genius idea of crushing a handful of corn tortilla chips on top right before serving and honestly, I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life that I didn’t think of that sooner. 

Mexican Soup with Chicken and Lime |

This is not a super authentic recipe; I’m not going to regale you with stories of my abuela making it for me when I was a little girl. Truth be told, I have no idea where I got it from back in 2008. But these days, it’s a regular staple and features our core weekly ingredients for Mexican dinners – coriander, lime, tomatoes, chilies. 

I hope you’re tempted to give it a try!

Mexican Soup with Chicken and Lime
Serves 4
A warm and comforting soup with a fresh, zingy kick.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
40 min
For the soup
  1. Rapeseed or olive oil
  2. 2 chicken breasts
  3. 1 onion, roughly chopped
  4. 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. a few stalks of celery, chopped
  6. 3-4 carrots, roughly chopped
  7. Dried ancho chilli, or a tin of chipotles en adobo
  8. 1 litre of chicken stock
  9. salt and pepper
  10. 1 lime
  11. For the rice
  12. 1/2 cup of wholegrain basmati rice
  13. 1/4 onion
  14. 1 chicken stock cube
For the topping
  1. handful of cherry tomatoes
  2. 2-3 spring onions
  3. A handful of chopped coriander
  4. 1 red chilli, de-seeded if you want less heat, and chopped
  5. Small bowl of corn tortilla chips (plain salted)
  6. 1/2 lime + 1 lime for serving
  7. salt and pepper
  1. To make the chicken, you can simply season it with lime juice, salt and pepper and grill. Ben likes to make up a DIY rub of paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder and ground coriander and it's super tasty, definitely worth a shot too.
  2. For the broth, heat a little oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and sweat for a bit.
  3. Add in the chopped carrots and celery. When they have softened, pour in the chicken stock.
  4. In a handblender, blitz a two tablespoons of the chipotles en adobo wth a little water and add to the broth. If using dried chillies, rehydrate according to pack instructions, blitz and add in.
  5. Season well and bring to a simmer.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, add it to the soup and continue to gently simmer while you prep the rest of the meal.
  7. Now for the rice. In a separate pot, sweat the onion in a little oil before adding your rice. Top with the hot chicken stock and cook until the liquid is absorbed or the rice is cooked.
  8. For the topping, simply chop all the ingredients (excluding the corn chips), squeeze over some lime and pop in a small bowl.
  9. To serve, scoop a large tablespoon of rice into a bowl. Top with the broth, and serve with a wedge of lime, the topping and the bowl of corn chips. These are delicious when crushed onto the soup right before eating. | photos and finds for the creative and curious

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