I am sure it sounds like I have some incurable disease, but actually I think it has just been a bad winter/spring for viruses, I have 2 toddlers, and I catch EVERYTHING. So once again my blogging has slowed down and my pictures have gotten lazy. *sigh*
But I do have some good recipes to share with you. First, for today, is my Kitchen Sink Sopa de Lima. I have said before that for me brothy soup is good sick food—and hot and sour is even better. Which makes this Sopa de Lima perfect.
I take a basic chicken soup, make it a little more south of the border (cumin, Mexican oregano, beans, hominy, bell pepper, corn, whatever is around), add loads of lime juice and some tomatoes, and then when serving it I add cheese, sour cream and (this, in addition to the lime juice, is the crucial part) lots of my favorite super-hot green salsa. Sinuses cleared, tummy happy; objective achieved.
This recipe is simple, but excellent, which I attribute to using a homemade stock. Here is an example of why it is such a great idea to keep chicken bones/carcasses in your freezer. Being sick, I certainly did not want to have to roast a chicken, but I had frozen shredded rotisserie chicken meat and I had frozen bones, so I threw some bones, onions, carrots, garlic and peppercorns, bay leaf and chile de arbol into a pot with water the night before to make the stock, and I used the meat to put into the actual soup. Super low effort but super homemade.
This recipe is made to be played with, but here is the basic blueprint for the version I made this time:
Laura’s Kitchen Sink Sopa de Lima
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1 T Mexican oregano
1 t ground cumin
1 can of diced or whole tomatoes
Good quality chicken stock, 64 oz (low sodium if commercial)*
2 cans of beans of choice (I used some of the homemade chicken stock and cooked up some Yellow Indian Woman beans from Rancho Gordo)
2-3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
Juice from 3-5 limes (taste as you go)
2 corn tortillas, ripped into small pieces
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Green salsa, preferably hot
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. When it is hot, add the oil and heat to shimmering. Add the onions, and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Then add the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly to prevent scorching of the spices. Add the tomatoes—if using whole, squeeze the tomatoes into the pot 1 by 1. Cook for another 6 to 8 minutes to concentrate the flavors. Add the chicken and beans (and corn or hominy if using–I did not as I did not have any).
*OK here is the embarrassing-remember-my-brain-is-foggy-and-sick part. I measured everything for you guys except the stock. The point at which you put the stock in, there is not much else left to go in, so to a certain extent you can just eyeball it to what looks right for a chicken soup to you. I want to say around… 10-12 ladles maybe? Maybe 6-8 cups? I am pretty sure that if I had been using commercial stock, 2 32 oz containers would have been plenty.
After adding the chicken stock, add the small pieces of corn tortillas, then turn the heat down to low, cover, and let simmer for at least 45 minutes, but longer is fine if it works into your schedule. Before serving, uncover and add the juice of 3 limes. Taste for salt and more lime juice. I like this soup quite sour and will add quite a lot of lime juice—and when I eat it as leftovers I will add even more lime juice, in case any of it has dulled. Throw in the cilantro and serve, accompanied by the garnishes.