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Spicy Chicken Lime Soup


This spicy chicken lime soup is like chicken noodle meets chicken tortilla soup for a spicy, noodle-less middle ground perfect for a cold winter day.

*This post for spicy chicken lime soup was originally published 11/16/2012. It’s been updated with new pictures and a few tweaks of the recipe. I could (and do!) literally eat this soup all winter long. It’s got the best limey broth, a good kick of spice and lots of warm, comforting chicken broth making it a great go-to whether you just need an easy dinner or a big bowl when you’re feeling under the weather. Hope you try it out this season! *content below is original*


So I’m writing this post in the airport (on Wednesday night…that’s about as far ahead as I ever get) and I feel the need to talk about a few things…

This spicy chicken lime soup is like chicken noodle meets chicken tortilla soup for a spicy, noodle-less middle ground perfect for a cold winter day.

Firstly, CNN.

No matter which direction I turn in the gate area, it’s on.

And not only is it thrown up on the TV screens with subtitles but the lovely JFK airport has wired the sound into every 5 feet of ceiling space so you can’t escape it.

Without getting political in either direction, all I have to say is this…is the media even effing serious with the crap they televise?

The bs story after bs story that makes national headlines literally makes me sick to my stomach.

How and why do we tolerate this crap they feed us and call “news”?

Secondly, the birds.

There have been no less than 7 birds that have landed at my feet over the past 30 minutes in hopes that I’ll magically drop my $33 airport kiosk dinner on the floor for them.

That wouldn’t be weird if I were outside maybe, but I’m inside an airport.

Classy, JFK.

And lastly, the poor whiter than white American Delta gate agent assigned to the Shanghai flight.

This woman has been making repeat announcements of passenger names for the last 15 minutes straight and each one that comes out of her mouth you just want to give her a hug for trying really hard to sound it out like she’s on stage at a spelling bee.

I’m pretty sure she keeps repeating the same names because whoever those people are, they have no idea they’re even being called with the butchered attempts that are coming out of her mouth.

Spicy chicken lime soup is perfectly comforting for winter with a delicious tangy broth.

Now that that’s out of the way, I feel like I can focus on this soup.

Spicy chicken lime soup. Here we go…

I love the idea of chicken noodle soup but when it actually comes down to it, it does nothing for me.


I like my soups refreshing. As in spicy, limey and with tons of cilantro, just like traditional sopa de lima.

THAT makes me feel like I can kick a cold, not soggy noodles in chicken-y broth.

Jenna has an awesome Asian chicken noodle soup that totally fits the bill for me (and I’ve made multiple times) but when bok choy and Asian noodles aren’t on hand, this spicy chicken lime soup is my go to version.

This spicy chicken lime soup is my go-to winter soup and perfect if you're feeling under the weather.

How To Make Spicy Chicken Lime Soup

The base for this chicken lime soup is very similar to most soups. You have the typical ingredients to start things off:

  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery

What makes the soup spicy and gives that refreshing, lime flavor are:

You can make it as spicy as you like by just adjusting the jalapeño amount, but for me, a full one goes in without question.

I kinda like the numb mouth feeling the full pepper leaves you with when you get to the end of the bowl and if you’re sick, it’s one sure way to open up those sinuses!

I love using rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to throw in because the last thing I want to do when I’m sick is cook more than I have to.

This is a warming, refreshing and cozy kind of soup.

Pretty much everything this airport experience isn’t. I kind of wish I had a big bowl of it in my hand right now.

Love this spicy chicken lime soup recipe?

Try out these cozy soup recipes: sweet corn egg drop soupbuffalo chicken soup with orzo and Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup.

This spicy chicken lime soup is like chicken noodle meets chicken tortilla soup for a spicy, noodle-less middle ground perfect for a cold winter day.

Spicy Chicken Lime Soup

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This spicy chicken lime soup is like chicken noodle meets chicken tortilla soup for a spicy, noodle-less middle ground perfect for a cold winter day.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • salt & pepper
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Once hot, add onion, carrot, celery and jalapeno and saute for about 5-8 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, salt & pepper and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add lime zest and chicken broth, let mixture come to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add shredded chicken, cilantro, vinegar and lime juice and stir to combine.
  6. Remove from heat, serve hot and garnish with additional cilantro.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 2093mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 24g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


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Denay DeGuzman

Thursday 24th of December 2020

My heart is filled with nostalgia! This chicken soup is very similar to the one my grandma would make. I've been thinking about her and missing her this holiday season. Thank you for the delicious recipe!

Gina Matsoukas

Sunday 27th of December 2020

So glad to hear you liked it! Nostalgic recipes are the best :)


Tuesday 19th of March 2019

I never post reviews, but had to share that this soup is incredible. Easy, light, super flavorful, perfect. Love it. Thank you!

Running to the Kitchen

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

So glad you liked it! Appreciate the review :)


Friday 15th of February 2019

Used shrimp instead of chicken. The broth is prob going to be my new go-to for Asian soups. Thx for sharing!

Running to the Kitchen

Sunday 17th of February 2019

Yay! Glad you liked it :)


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

LOVE this soup!! It was incredibly delicious. Really incredible flavor profile! Nom :)

Just a note - I assumed the garlic should be added with the ginger, but it's not in the directions.

Running to the Kitchen

Wednesday 6th of December 2017

Yay! So glad you like it and thanks for letting me know about the garlic, recipe has been updated.

Carissa Burns

Friday 17th of November 2017

I could see dressing this with some chopped avocado and chicharron (pork rinds) - as you would tortilla soup. Looking forward to making this!

Running to the Kitchen

Saturday 18th of November 2017

Yes! Love both of those ideas :)

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