Caldo Tlalpeño Soup, Cornucopia of Ingredients

This Mexican soup stands out for the variety of ingredients that go into it. There’s quite a few stories as to its origins, but the most likely one points to the way soup was prepared in Tlalpan, to the south of Mexico’s capital, and which according to legend was improvised for the enjoyment of President Santa Ana. This could explain the presence of such diverse ingredients as corn, chickpeas, corn and chayote squash.

In this recipe we’re using canned chickpeas, but if you prefer them fresh, remember to let them soak overnight before preparing them. The foundation of this dish is of course the stock, which the more intense and flavorful, the more you will enjoy it! I recommend you use a high-quality chicken stock, but there is nothing better than one you make yourself.

Serves 6–8


2½ quarts chicken broth
1½ pounds chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch dice
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, skinless and seedless, cut into small dice
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
2 ears of corn, cleaned and cut into 1-inch slices
1 chayote, peeled and cored, cut into 1-inch dice
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 sprig epazote
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large pan, cook chicken, onion, garlic and tomato in chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. When it starts to boil, add carrots, ears of corn, chayote and chickpeas. Cook for 18–20 minutes at medium-low heat, semi-covered.
3. Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, add the epazote and chipotles. Cook a few minutes more and adjust seasoning.
4. Serve with cheese and avocado on top.

To learn more about me or my recipes, visit me at and at AARP, where I am a chef and nutrition expert.

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