Caldo Tlalpeno (Chicken and Chipotle Soup)

Caldo Tlalpeno (Chicken and Chipotle Soup)
Caldo Tlalpeno (Chicken and Chipotle Soup)

In North East PA, where we're located, there's something about these frigid temperatures that can chill you right to the bone, but we've found a sure cure - a bowl of nice hot soup. This Caldo Tlalpeno, pronounced CAHL-DOH T (just the t sound)-LAHL-PEYN-YO, is a traditional Mexican dish that can be most closely compared to an exotic spin on classic chicken noodle soup. This healthy soup is loaded with vegetables so you can stay warm and full without guilt. A little bit of smoky flavor and a decent amount of heat give this soup a full bodied and complex flavor.

I especially love this recipe because it was easy to prepare and on the table without much effort at all (but still looks like I spend hours in the kitchen). Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are perfect for the texture and added protein. The Queso Fresco cheese and avocado add a creaminess that balances the heat of the chipotle. If Queso Fresco isn't available where you shop, just substitute Mozzarella or Feta cheese in the recipe. On the other hand, if a nice kick of heat is what you prefer feel free to add the Chipotle Flakes as a garnish.

This is also a great recipe for the slow cooker. Use pre-cooked chicken, a rotiserrie chicken works really well. Add the chicken, water, chicken broth, chipotles, vegetables and garbanzo beans to a slow cooker. (You can leave out the olive oil since the onions will cook in the broth.) Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until soup is heated through and vegetables are tender.

Overall, we really enjoyed this recipe. It was easy to make but still full of flavor, and very low in calories. If you like chicken noodle soup, this spicy new version is definitely worth a try! 

 Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 60 min.
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 lb whole chicken
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 cups (or 1 can) garbanzo or chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 dried Chipotle Morita Chiles
  • 1 large avocado
  • 6-8 oz Queso Fresco cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Chipotle Morita Flakes
  1. Rehydrate Dried Chipotle Chiles in warm water for 5-10 minutes, drain, remove stems and seeds and slice into thin strips.
  2. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, bring water and chicken broth to a boil.
  3. Add the whole chicken and reduce heat to medium heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through
  4. When chicken is cooked, remove from heat and let cool
  5. When chicken is cool, transfer to a cutting board and discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken meat
  6. Return the meat to the broth, add the sliced Chipotle Chiles
  7. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to medium high heat
  8. Add the onions and saute until the onions become soft
  9. Add carrots and zucchini, continue cooking for 1-2 minutes
  10. Transfer carrots, zucchini and onions to the broth with the chicken
  11. Add the garbanzo beans
  12. Bring soup to medium high heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until heated through
  13. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sliced avocado, cheese, a lime wedge and Chipotle flakes
  14. Serve hot.