Combine chicken with lime and a medley of vegetables and herbs to enjoy an unusual soup that is healthy and satisfying. Although the underlying flavor is powered by the chicken, it is the lime juice that adds that decidedly south of the border taste.
The leading producer of limes in the world is Mexico, which is also the largest consumer. Limes, though, are popular in most countries and the United States is no exception. Limes give a delightful tartness to many recipes, including this soup. Limes, like lemons, are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin C and a good source of the B vitamin folate. Loaded with phytochemicals like limonoids and flavonoids, limes enrich a cancer-protective diet.
When buying limes look for those that are brightly colored, have smooth skin and are heavy for their size. Avoid limes that are soft, have blemishes and are starting to shrivel. You can refrigerate limes for up to 10 days to retain their peak flavor. You can also freeze lime juice for up to 3 months.
This lime juice-infused soup is typical in Latin countries. The jalapeño adds a subtle heat because sautéing it with onion, celery and garlic softens its bite. Like lime juice, the Italian seasoning, oregano and cumin help bring out the flavors of the vegetables and chicken breast. Yellow corn and tomatoes add texture, color and even more cancer-protective fiber and more phytonutrients. Avocado toppings are typical in Latin inspired soups, adding a sweet creaminess that contrasts with the slightly tart flavor and varied textures of vegetable soup. Avocado also adds beneficial monounsaturated fat and vitamin E.
You can prepare this easy-to-make soup with leftover chicken. And, the soup itself makes a great leftover. Simply refrigerate it or freeze for a super cold day with little time to cook. Whether enjoyed freshly made or reheated later, Lime and Chicken Soup with Avocado is part of a cancer prevention home menu because of its powerful combination of lime, vegetables, herbs and spices.
Lime and Chicken Soup with Avocado
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 258 calories, 12 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 18 g carbohydrate, 24 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 589 mg sodium.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
- 3 stalks celery (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper (seeded, diced)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 lb. boneless (skinless chicken breast)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can (14.5 oz. no salt added diced tomatoes)
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1½ tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 3 medium limes (2 cut in half, 1 cut into 6 wedges for garnish)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (rinsed, chopped)
- 1 medium avocado (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
- In soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, celery, jalapeño and garlic for 6 minutes or until tender. Add whole chicken breast, corn, tomatoes, broth, Italian seasoning, oregano and cumin to pot. Stir to mix ingredients. Over high heat bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 55 minutes.
- Remove chicken breast to large platter and shred using two folks. Return chicken to soup.
- Over strainer to catch seeds, squeeze juice of 2 limes into soup. Add cilantro and gently stir. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top each bowl with avocado, garnish with lime wedge and serve.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $100 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.
Photographs by Heather Victoria Photography