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.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2007


Recipe Summary

30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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).

  • 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 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 Facts

99 calories; protein 18.8g; carbohydrates 2.8g; dietary fiber 0.1g; sugars 0.8g; fat 1.2g; saturated fat 0.3g; cholesterol 142.9mg; vitamin a iu 339.8IU; vitamin c 5.9mg; folate 32.3mcg; calcium 63.4mg; iron 0.6mg; magnesium 28.6mg; potassium 354.4mg; sodium 1487.9mg.

Reviews (8)

Read More Reviews
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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;-))) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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! Read More