Sopa de Lima y Naranja

This is my take on a classic Yucatecan lime soup. The limes used in that soup are fairly different than the super tart green limes we usually see in the grocery store, so I decided I was going to do a mix of limes and oranges. Wow, this soup turned out well! It’s a nice mix of sour and sweet with a hint of caramel from the roasted onion and garlic. 


Time to Make: 1 hour
Makes 8 cups


The Broth

1 white onion, cut in half
1 bulb of garlic, with the top third sliced off
1 banana chile or 1 Anaheim chile
6 cups of water
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 orange
2 veggie bouillon cubes
1/3 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 (2-inch) piece of cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
Salt to taste

The Bits

1 white onion, chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 poblano chile, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil or mojo de ajo
2 zucchini, chopped
1 1/2 cups of cooked, rinsed pinto beans (1 can)

The Garnish

1 lime, sliced thin
1 orange, sliced thin
Chopped cilantro
Blue corn chips


Place both halves of the onion and the garlic cut-side down in a pot (you’ll need about a 3 quart pot), and add the whole banana chile. Bring the heat to medium and cover the pot. After 5 minutes, flip the chile and then recover the pot, letting everything roast for 5 more minutes. Add the remainder of the Broth ingredients, leaving the onion, garlic, and chile in the pot, and bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the broth for 30 minutes. Once it’s done simmering, remove the onion, garlic bulb, and chile, but keep the broth simmering.

“I have a cast iron Dutch oven that I used for this and it worked perfectly, but any sort of heavy-bottomed pot with a lid should do. If you don’t have a lid for yours, cover the pot tightly with foil. This creates a mini-oven to roast the onion, garlic, and banana chile and it will create a flavor profile that has elements of oven roasted ingredients and pan-roasted ingredients with which to infuse your broth. I love it.”

In a saute pan, bring the oil to just above medium heat. Add the chopped onion, tomato, and poblano chile and saute this until the onion lightly browns. Add the contents to the pot of broth, along with the zucchini and beans. Simmer this for 6 to 7 minutes, until the zucchini softens.

“You can use plenty of other veggies here. Try chayote squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, or even jicama.”

Plate the soup and garnish with a slice of orange, a couple slices of lime, fresh cilantro, and corn chips.

“Traditionally, this type of soup is served with fried tortilla strips, but I find the blue corn chips work very well and make for a nice presentation. They’re basically used like soup croutons.”


Cutting Board
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoon
3-quart Pot
Saute Pan
Stirring Spoon