sopa de lima / lime soup


Sopa de lima (Sp. 'lime soup') is a Mexican soup from the Yucatan area. This is a recipe dating back to Mayan times, that has been adjusted for modern ingredients. This used to be a turkey soup. Nowadays, it is usually a chicken soup—sometimes pork—with fried tortillas and avocado.

The defining ingredient of this soup is the lime/grapefruit juice that gives it the typical tart flavor. Without this, it's just a tortilla soup like so many others. Some recipes add a lot of lime juice. If you have not prepared this before, start easy and find your personal limit by tasting. Adding grapefruit shifts the juice flavor more towards the original bitter orange.

This soup is quite easy to make. This is a slightly simplified version. Some recipes recommend boiling (part of) the fried tortillas in the soup for a while. I left out some of the spices and I limited the fried tortillas because I'm not a great fan of tortillas.


This is what you need for 2-4 servings:

  • 2 chicken / turkey legs
  • chicken / turkey bones to make stock
  • 2-3 qts. water
  • 3-6 limes
  • 2-4 grapefruit
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 4-10 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 3-5 green onion leaves, cut small
  • S&P
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
    or more if you can handle the heat
  • 1-2 avocados
  • olive oil
  • 3-5 tortillas, corn (or flour)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped coarsely


  • 2-4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. mint
  • red bell peppers


Pic1: sopa de lima



Start the soup

Pic2: chicken, chopped green onion, S&P
Pic3: large onion
Pic4:  jalapeno pepper


Spanish-fried tortillas

Pic5: tortilla strips
Pic6: Spanish-fry
Pic7: all done.


bitter lime juice

Pic4: and this


Finish & serve

Pic5: with tomatoes

Serving suggestions:

Sopa de Lima on the internet

All pictures below were borrowed from the internet. 

Sopa de lima is a very variable dish that takes on many different forms and colors. Feel free to experiment until you find the ingredient combination that you like best.