Not as in Lima, Peru, as in Mexican lime. I had a reader request for Yucatecan sopa de lima
, the Mexican version of Jewish penicillin, and I was happy to oblige, in part because I had a big jar of freshly made chicken stock
in my fridge. The timing didn't really work out for photos as I only know how to make them look good using natural light. So you'll have to make do with a couple that show the difference between the small, seed-filled Mexican limes (not unlike key limes) and the more ubiquitous Persian limes. Either one works for this soup, and you can even use lemon. I ended up using both. This recipe was not something I grew up eating. My mother's cooking was much more influenced by her mother's New Mexico roots. And although I have eaten this soup in Mérida, I consulted a number of sources to get it right, including Rick Bayless
, the Chicago-based chef (and Obama favorite) whose recipes tend to be impeccably researched and very authentic. I can't really say this is his recipe; I changed it too much. His stock calls for pork bones, and for a few other ingredients I didn't have on hand. But in the end, I wound up with a delicious, light but satisfying soup redolent of cinnamon and cumin, with a bit of chile heat, a pleasingly tart finish and a fabulous garnish of crispy tortilla strips. It's great in hot weather and cold, and if you have stock on hand, you can cook up a pot in about an hour.