This recipe is based loosely on the traditional Mexican sopa de lima – a lime soup from the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Tender shredded chicken sits in a bowl of aromatic broth made tangy with a hint of lime. Matthew Evans suggests the condiments (creamy avocado, feta, chilli and crumbled corn chips) be placed on the table to allow everyone to build their own soup.






Skill level

No votes yet


  • 1.3 kg whole chicken
  • 2 onions, 1 quartered
  • 14 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 6 allspice
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus extra wedges, to serve
  • chopped avocado, crumbled corn chips, crumbled fetta and sliced red chilli, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Pat chicken dry, including cavity, with paper towel. Place in a large saucepan with 1 whole onion, 4 garlic cloves, carrot, spices, 1 tbsp salt and the coriander stems with roots attached. Cover with water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove pan from heat and cool.

Remove chicken and strain stock into a large clean saucepan, discarding solids. Remove and shred chicken meat, discarding skin and bones. Set half aside for soup and keep the leftovers for sandwiches. Leftover chicken will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Preheat grill to high. Place onion quarters and 10 garlic cloves on an oven tray and grill for 8 minutes or until soft and a little charred around the edges. Squeeze garlic from the skins and process with grilled onion and 250 ml (1 cup) or so of chicken stock in a food processor to a paste.

Bring remaining stock to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and stir in onion paste. Season with salt and pepper, and add lime juice to taste.

Divide shredded chicken and soup among bowls. Top with chopped avocado and corn chips, and scatter over coriander. Add fetta, if desired. Serve immediately with extra lime wedges and chilli.



Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Charlotte Bell.


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.