Let’s make the original -if you can call it that-Caldo Tlalpeño. This soup is basically a Mexican chickpea (garbanzo) and chicken soup with carrots in a tomato, garlic, and onion broth seasoned with epazote and chipotle peppers.

This soup is full of flavor and it’s a meal on to itself and it is perfect for a cold-weather day. Some add rice and corn but the original does not call for it. I personally like it with avocado and queso fresco (soft white Mexican cheese). This recipe can feed 4 to 6 people.

So I had Judith Montenegro, an up and coming Latinx leader, over for lunch and we made Caldo Tlalpeño. She just received the Latino Diamante Latino Advocate Award. It was the first time she had eaten this soup.


  • 2 Chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 2 Cups of chicken broth or stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Salsa (see below for recipe)
  • 1 Can of chickpeas (garbanzos)
  • 1 Large carrot
  • 1 Zucchini (Calabazita)
  • 1/2 Cup of green beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • 4 Fresh epazote leaves (use cilantro if you can find it)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Queso Fresco cubed
  • Avocado cubed
  • Lime wedges
  • Onions or cilantro (if used in the soup)


  1. In a large dutch oven, begin by cooking the carrot, zucchini and green beans along with the bay leaf, garlic and epazote leaves in the chicken stock and salsa for about 5 minutes.
  2. Once your vegetables are soft, add the chickpeas and shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes and serve.

Salsa and broth video instructions

Salsa Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon of oil
1 Medium onion
3 Roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of thyme
2 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 cup of water


  1. In a small pan, sauté the tomatoes and onion in the oil until onions are translucent.
  2. Blend tomatoes, onions, chipotle peppers, and spices for about 2 minutes.

If you have leftover chicken, and two cups of chicken stock, feel free to use it and skip the broth step. This recipe can also work with leftover turkey, especially after Thanksgiving.

Broth ingredients:
2 Chicken breasts
4 Cups of water
1/2 Onion
2 Cloves of garlic or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
4 Epazote leaves


  1. In a saucepan place chicken, water, onion, garlic, and epazote leaves and poach the chicken until it is cooked through.
  2. Remove chicken and let cool.
  3. Save broth for soup.
  4. Shedd chicken and save.


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