Food Recipe

Lime In Chicken Soup: How I Mixed Up My Traditions

Lime is not a German Jewish thing, it turns out.
Share this Post:

Co-founder Rebecca’s take on soup for your soul. The more lime the better.  Buen Provecho!

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, right? It turns out that it is Salvadoran. I only realized this a couple of years ago when I was with Neil and my aunt at a marketplace in San Salvador. We ordered chicken soup, 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 Mash-Up Jewish tradition!

Lime in Chicken Soup

Traditional Jewish chicken soup, served with lime and cilantro. Because that’s how we do.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Soup
Cuisine Jewish, Salvadoran
Servings 6


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or 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
  • 2 large potatoes or 6 small potatoes chopped to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions chopped to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 carrots chopped to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 stalks celery chopped to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 guisquiles (chayote) chopped to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 small zucchini or yellow squash chopped to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 turnip chopped to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 lb of green beans (ejotes) cut in half


  • 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 as 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.
  • 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 pass more sliced limes and thick Salvadoran tortillas. Let your soul be satisfied. Enjoy!


Good substitutes: corn, cabbage, yucca root
Posted by Rebecca Lehrer
Rebecca is co-founder and chief executive of The Mash-Up Americans. A Salvadoran-Jewish-American married to an American-American, she has worked for 10+ years in media, arts and culture. She creates cultural experiences, brings people together, and introduces newbies to Armenian string cheese. You can follow her @beccale and find her in Los Angeles.

Related Posts