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Yucatan Lemon Soup

  • 20 m
  • 30 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“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.”


    • 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


  • 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 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.
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