Soup for the Snowed in Soul

Today is the perfect day for soup.  It’s snowing (again!) and nothing warms the body and soul like a big bowl of piping hot soup.  For most of us, that means popping the top on a can, pouring it into a pot and letting it heat up.  Sure it’s easy, but it also means ingesting tons of sodium.  Have you ever actually looked at the sodium content on a soup label?  One common brand contains 690 milligrams per serving with 2.5 servings in a can or 29% of your daily intake.  Now do the math if you plan on eating a whole can for dinner!  I should point out, however, that the amount of salt found in canned soup has dropped about 17% since 2007.  That’s good, but making your own is even better and not nearly as time consuming as you think it  is.

One of my favorite kinds of soup is lime soup.  Sounds weird, but I guarantee it’ll warm you warm the inside out!  I first tasted it while on vacation in Mexico and ever since then, I’ve been trying to recreate it at home.  Here’s the recipe I’ve come up with.

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts

2 quarts water

1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced

3-4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons oil (whichever you like)

4 quarts chicken broth (if you don’t make your own, buy the low/no sodium kind!)

2 tomatoes, diced and seeded

2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (depends on how hot you like it)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon or 1 Mexican cinnamon stick

5 whole cloves

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 lime, quartered

Preparation:

Bring water to a boil and place chicken in the water.  Continue to boil until the chicken is done and no longer pink inside.  Remove the chicken from the water, let it cool to the touch and then shred it, removing meat from the bones and skin.  Put meat aside.  Discard skin, water and bones.  (If you’re really adventurous, use the water and bones to make your own chicken stock.)

Toast cinnamon, cloves and oregano on a baking sheet.  Be careful not to burn.

In a large pot, heat oil and saute the onions and garlic until soft. 

In a separate pot, heat chicken stock and spices and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Strain and then add it to pot containing the onions and garlic.

Add the chicken, tomatoes, jalapeno.  Squeeze lime juice into pot and then throw in rinds.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Remove lime rinds, season with salt to taste and serve with extra lime wedges and flour tortillas.

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