Welcome the warmth of the sun in the dead of winter with a welcoming bowl of sopa de lima — chicken lime soup.
This simple chicken lime soup has a surprisingly deep flavor; thanks to whole bulbs of roasted garlic – a garlic lover’s dream! Roasted garlic adds a subtle, sweet, and buttery soft sophisticated note. While dried herbs give the broth a dense flavor, intensified with a base of pan-roasted tomatoes and jalapeños. Finally the addition of tangy lime gives the soup its characteristic taste.
TIP: If time is of the essence, you can skip the roasted garlic and substitute it with 4 or more cloves of garlic (minced).
Served with a topping of red onions, avocado and fresh cilantro; it’s amazing how good a few simple ingredients can taste!
ROASTED GARLIC CHICKEN LIME SOUP
4 cups chicken broth (1 l) (preferably homemade)
3-4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and/or thighs (preferably organic)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic bulbs, whole
4 vine-ripened Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 jalapeño or fresh red chili, halved and seeded (more if you like the heat)
juice of 3 limes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
to taste sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red (or white) onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
1 cup cilantro, chopped (about 2 bunches)
1. Make the roasted garlic: Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Slice the top quarter of the head of garlic off; set in a small casserole dish and drizzle olive oil on top. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes until the garlic is soft and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool until easy to handle. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the garlic skin shell. With the back of a spoon, mash the cloves until a thick paste is formed. Set aside.
2. Add olive oil to a large skillet. Add tomatoes and jalapeño with a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and transfer tomatoes, jalapeños and roasted garlic to a food processor or blender. Blend until pureed.
3. In a large pot, add the pureed mixture along with the chicken stock, thyme, oregano and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
4. Add the chicken and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
5. Remove the chicken from the pot and slice or shred the meat into bite-size pieces; returning the shredded chicken back to the pot and discarding the skin and bones. Stir in the lime juice. Add more salt, if needed, to taste.
6. Serve into four bowls and garnish with red onions, avocado and cilantro. Serve immediately.