Yucatan Lemon Soup

January/February 2007, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)

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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.

"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...
Yucatan Lemon Soup

Makes: 4 servings, 1 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 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)
  • 1/2 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)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Bring broth, onion, jalapeños, 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.

Tips & Notes

  • 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.


Per serving: 99 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 143 mg cholesterol; 0 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 0 g fiber; 1488 mg sodium; 354 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (15% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

Exchanges: 4 lean meat

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