Dec 22, 2013 / 6 notes

Lime in Chicken Soup: How I Mixed Up My Traditions + A Recipe

My whole life I thought that putting lime and cilantro in chicken soup was a Jewish thing (because lime and cilantro are SUPER common in Germany and Poland…) it turns out that it is Salvadoran. “Duh”, you say? Well I only realized this a couple of years ago when I was with Neil and my aunt at a marketplace in San Salvador and we ordered the soup and the lime came with it and then basically my brain exploded. All I knew is that my Mami did it this way…so while it may not be traditionally Jewish it’s certainly my Jewish tradition! 

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever confused the origins of your traditions? I have words I thought were in Spanish but turn out to be Hebrew (“Ay que balagan”).   Share your stories with us!

Anyways, here’s my take on soup for your soul. It’s so delicious and homey and actually healthy. The more lime the better.  Buen Provecho! -Becca



1 whole chicken

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more depending on your cilantro preference)

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley 

6 cloves of garlic whole or quartered, your choice

1 cup of rice (optional) 

3 Bay Leaves

1 tablespoon of salt + more to taste

20 black peppercorns

5 allspice berries

4 limes, cut in half

All vegetables below should be chopped to your liking, but I like about 1/2 inch cubed to fit in my spoon.  Don’t do it too fine, this is a hearty soup!

2 large potatoes (or 6 small potatoes)

2 medium onions 

2 carrots 

4 stalks celery

guisquiles (chayote) 

3 small zucchini’s or yellow squash 

1 turnip

1/4 lb of green beans (ejotes) cut in half 

Other vegetable options: corn, cabbage, yucca root


Put the whole chicken (with giblets, if that’s your thing) and all chopped vegetables in a large pot.  Add salt + bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice berries, garlic, cilantro and parsley.  Cover with water. Bring to a boil.  Bring down to a gentle simmer and add rice (optional).  

Cook for 1.5 hours at gentle simmer, adding water when needed to keep everything covered.  After 1.5 hours chicken should fall apart with touch of a spoon.  Break chicken apart in the pot.  Leave the bones, people can pick them out of their bowls…

Add salt and pepper to taste.

The longer you cook it, the better it gets, but it can be served after 1.5 hours.   

Serve with half a lime (and more sliced up on the table) + thick Salvadoran Tortillas 


Share a time that you confused the origins of your traditions!  Food, Language, Jokes, Stories… Tweet @mashupamerican​ , Facebook or Email and tell us! 

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