Yucatan Lemon Soup

Yucatan Lemon Soup

8 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2007

Although it's traditionally made with limes (and you could certainly make it that way), Meyer lemons add a gentler, subtle twist to this classic Mexican soup with shrimp, garlic and lots of fresh cilantro. Meyer lemons are usually available only during the winter months; they are rounder and smoother than common lemons. Serve as a light entree with a big salad or as a special starter.

Ingredients 4 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest, (see Tip)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 4-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, (see Tip)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring broth, onion, jalapenos, garlic, zest, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves to a simmer in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cover, reduce heat, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth (discard solids).
  2. Return the broth to the pan and bring to a low simmer. Add shrimp, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce (if using). Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Store the spiced broth (Step 1) in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost and return the broth to a simmer before continuing with Step 2.
  • Substitution Tip: Meyer lemon juice concentrate can be purchased online from perfectpuree.com. Although nothing can replicate the distinct sweet, tart, floral taste of a Meyer lemon, you can use 2 tablespoons regular lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon orange juice to replace the 3 tablespoons juice in this recipe, and regular lemons for the zest.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 99 calories; 1 g fat(0 g sat); 0 g fiber; 3 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 32 mcg folate; 143 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 340 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 63 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 1,488 mg sodium; 354 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 0
  • Exchanges: 4 lean meat

Reviews 8

June 22, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Interesting mix of spices I'm not sure the ingredients balance out so well, though it's an interesting flavor. I generally love complex mixes of spices but these tasted pretty random. I'm trying to think of what would give it the depth it needs but haven't yet figured our what that would be. Pros: light, easy, healthy Cons: a little strange tasting
January 02, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Good for a starter dish Prior to cooking this recipe I read the comments and I must say that I'm really glad I did. I think even half a jalapeno pepper is enough for those who prefer to have soup that is spicy but not burning hot. I had to add a few extra ingrediants as I wasn't as accustomed to the taste of the spices. I added mushrooms and tomatoes and a tablespoon of sugar. Overall this soup is budget friendly and simple to cook. Pros: Filling, fresh and light Cons: Very spicy and hot
January 23, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Tasty and low calorie I love spicy food and can generally stand very spicy dishes. I used one jalapeno (unseeded) and omitted the hot sauce and it was plenty spicy for me. Closing your eyes this tastes somewhat like a more slightly more aromatic hot and sour soup, although it does not have an overly sour or lemon flavor though, just subtle. Full of flavor, well balanced, easy to make, pretty and satisfying. Pros: Diverse flavors Cons: None
May 12, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
My husband and I loved it! I didn't have Meyer lemons; so i used the tip of substituting a bit of orange juice. It turned out great! Also, for the two of us the peppers and hot sauce were just right! One bowl fills you up, but the delicious taste lures you to keep on eating!
February 09, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
We love it! I reduced the We love it! I reduced the Pepper to 1. It was perfect in the middled of cold Winter. We needed something tasty, fresh and lemonie. I cooked it with white fish because I have allergy to soft shell fishes and made it with shrimps for my husband and friends seperately. It became one of our favorite seafood soup ;-)))
January 09, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Tasty and easy to make. I love Meyer lemons for lemonade in the winter and thought this was a nice way to put them into a dish. We'll definitely make this again.
November 23, 2009
profile image
By: EatingWell User
I think this could be very good, but the jalapenos were overwhelming. One would have been plenty. Given that they're so variable, I'd start with fewer. I also added some preserved lemon peel which I thought was a good addition. I get one chance with my husband so probably won't make again.
September 13, 2009
profile image
By: Stephanie Rashel
I thought this was going to be delicious but instead it had a weird taste. I think it was the cloves. Will not be making this again.
More Reviews