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Caldo Tlalpeño (Mexican Chicken Soup)

Caldo Tlalpeño (Mexican Chicken Soup)

Chipotle-laced broth and thick chunks of corn on the cob are featured in this smoky chicken soup. The secret to the great flavor is cooking the vegetables in the broth that’s made from cooking the chicken. Serve the soup with warm corn tortillas.


10 servings

Prep Time

1 1/4 hours

Total Time

1 1/2 hours


  • 3pounds bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs, with skin
  • 1/4medium white onion plus 1 diced medium white onion, divided
  • 10cups water, plus more as needed
  • 4teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2ears corn, husked
  • 1pound russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2medium chayote squash or yellow summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2cups green beans (1 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1tablespoon corn oil
  • 2large plum tomatoes, diced
  • 8cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2tablespoons chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 15fresh epazote leaves, chopped (optional)


  1. Place chicken and 1/4 onion in a large pot. Add 8 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam from the surface. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is just cooked through but not yet pulling away from the bone, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken to a bowl; discard the onion. Reserve the broth.
  2. Meanwhile, place corn, potatoes, carrots and squash in a 10- to 12-quart stockpot.
  3. Set aside 1/4 cup broth. Add enough water to the remaining broth to equal 10 cups and add to the stockpot with the vegetables. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add green beans. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cover and cook until the vegetables are slightly tender but not completely cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. Add zucchini. Remove from heat and add the chicken; cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and the reserved 1/4 cup broth; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in chipotles. Transfer the mixture to the stockpot and stir to combine. Add epazote leaves (if using). Cover and cook the soup over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more. Serve the soup in large deep bowls.


Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (recipe makes 10 servings)

Calories 258kcal
Carbohydrate Total 20g
Total Sugars 5g
Added Sugars 0g
Fiber 3g
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 3g
Mono Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 60mg
Sodium 542mg
Protein 21g
Potassium 685mg
Calcium 50mg
Folate 80mcg
Omega-6 3g
Vitamin E 1mg
Zinc 3mg
Vitamin B3 5mg