February 09, 2007

Soup, glorious soup!

I'm a big fan of citrus in savory recipes, so I was really pleased to see the current issue of Eating Well magazine hit the stands (as an aside, how unfortunate, that a magazine with such consistently good recipes abbreviates to "EW"). As I strolled through the pages of the magazine, plenty of recipes jumped out at me, but the one that demanded immediate attention was this one: Yucatan Lemon Soup. Bright flavours, simple construction, and the promise of a sunny lift in dreary February more than spurred me to the market for the requisite ingredients.

The recipe calls for Meyer lemons, which I had never used before, but which I had noticed were available at Capers Market recently. I followed the recipe pretty closely, and I have to tell you that it was fabulous! This will be made again and again, in our household.

Two things, in addition to the basic goodness of the recipe, contributed to my overall success: One, I had a pot of fresh, homemade chicken stock made from an organic, free range chicken, and two, I didn't shortcut the shrimp. By which I mean to say, I started with raw, shell-on shrimp, and peeled the little darlings before tumbling them into the finished broth.

The results were so outstanding, that I think I will make this again before the month is out - while Meyer lemons are still in season, at least. I suppose in the Yucatan, such soup would really be made with lime juice, and I'm game to try that, too. However, the beautifully mild sweetness of the Meyer, offset with the earthy cinnamon stick and the brightness of the cilantro were a truly winning combination.

Serves four, indeed! Not in this household.


kickpleat said...

wow, this looks amazing! i love lemon in all kinds of soup and i've yet to get my hands on a meyer lemon. thanks for the recipe & on the tip on where to find the elusive lemon!

Joanna said...

I'd never heard of a Meyer lemon until a couple of weeks ago ... what makes it different from ordinary lemons? Would it be a disaster to use everyday lemon in your delicious-sounding soup?

I've only just come across your blog, love it ...


Dawna said...

Kickpleat, you'll have to give it a try! I've also seen Meyer lemons down at Granville Island Market in South China Seas.

Joanna, thanks for stopping by! A Meyer lemon is a fairly new thing, a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It is very fragrant, and not quite as sour as a regular lemon (but still plenty tart). I don't think it would be a disaster at all, to use a regular lemon, although the recipe did indicate that you might want to try two parts lemon juice to one part orange juice to get a similar effect. A more authentically Yucatan version of the soup would use lime, and I'm keen to try that, too.