Caldo Tlalpeño (Mexican Chicken Soup)

Chipotle-laced broth and thick chunks of corn on the cob are featured in this healthy, smoky chicken soup recipe. 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.

Prep Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
10 servings


  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs, with skin

  • ¼ medium white onion plus 1 diced medium white onion, divided

  • 10 cups water, plus more as needed

  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 ears corn, husked

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 2 medium chayote squash or yellow summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 cups green beans (1 1/2-inch pieces)

  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon corn oil

  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced

  • 6 cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped chipotles in adobo sauce

  • 15 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.


To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

258 Calories
11g Fat
20g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Serving Size 2 1/3 cups each
Calories 258
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 21g 42%
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Vitamin A 2454IU 49%
Vitamin C 17mg 19%
Folate 80mcg 20%
Sodium 766mg 33%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 2mg 12%
Magnesium 54mg 13%
Potassium 685mg 15%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles