Caldo Tlalpeno soup – spicy Mexican chicken soup with avocado and chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
Caldo Tlalpeno with Chickpeas and Avocado
What is caldo tlalpeno? A warm, spicy, comforting and super delicious Mexican chicken soup with garbanzo beans/chickpeas, served with creamy avocado slices and grated cheese. So good!
I think you will find I have quite a few soup recipes on the blog. Romanian soups, German soups, creamy soups, bean soups. When I have no idea what to cook, I make a soup, they are the most eaten kind of dish in our house.
And why not? Soups are super tasty, most of the time very healthy and you can combine a zillion different kinds of vegetables, pulses, meats, spices to make a different kind of soup anytime you want.
Now it was time to make a Mexican chicken soup, also known as caldo tlalpeno or tlalpeno soup. In theory not unlike any other chicken soup, yet so surprisingly different, a different set of textures, colors, and flavors than the ones I find in my regular European style chicken soups.
So different and just as delicious!
Mexican chicken soup with chickpeas – Sopa tlalpeno
Better said, this is a Mexican chicken soup with avocado and chickpeas inspired by the sopa tlalpeno.
Sopa tlalpeno or caldo tlalpeno is a classic Mexican soup recipe originating in a region called Tlalpan. It is easy to make and very flavorful, and it contains shredded meat, vegetables, chickpeas or garbanzo beans and it is garnished with avocado and grated cheese.
How to make caldo tlalpeno?
- Place the whole chicken in a large pot together with some soup vegetables, like carrots, celeriac or celery stalks, leeks and onions.
- Add some spices like allspice, cloves, bay leaves and whole black peppercorns and cover everything with water.
- Always use cold water when starting making stock, this way the soup will remain clear. Bring the water very slowly to a simmer, but don’t really let it come to full boil. A couple of small bubbles here and there are OK, but not more than that.
- Once the water is simmering lightly, turn the heat down to low and simmer the stock uncovered for about two hours. Two hours in the case of this Mexican chickpea soup, but when I am making chicken or beef stock, which should be more concentrated, I normally cook the stock for about 8 to 12 hours, depending on how early I start in the morning.
- After two hours of cooking time, the chicken should be cooked through and really tender. Remove it from the stock together with the vegetables. If you would like the soup to be really nice and clear, you can sieve it through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a clean kitchen towel.
- But I have to admit that I only bother to do that if I am cooking for guests…
- Keep the carrots, but discard the rest of the vegetables. Place the pot with the stock back on the stove, bring the stock to a boil and let it boil gently for about 15-20 minutes, it will reduce slightly and the flavor will be stronger.
- If you wish, you can add some organic chicken stock cubes at this point, they will help increase the flavor as well, but again, I rarely ever do that, we love the pure flavor of homemade stock.
- While the stock is reducing slice the bell peppers and the remaining onion thinly. Finely chop the chili and drain and rinse the chickpeas from the can.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and the bones. Shred the meat into pieces. Slice the cooked carrots into smaller pieces.
- Take another pot and heat the oil. Gently saute the peppers and the onions, about 5 minutes or until softer. Add the chili and the spices and stir for another minute or so. Add the chicken stock and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, cooked carrots and shredded chicken meat and simmer for about 10 minutes more. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
How to serve?
Serve caldo tlalpeno with sliced avocado and grated cheese. I used Emmentaler cheese, but of course, you can use Mexican cheese, if that is available where you live. It is definitely not available around here.
Fresh coriander would be great on top of the Mexican chicken soup with avocado. However, as coriander is not as easy to come by either around here, I had to use parsley instead. The sopa tlalpeno was still thoroughly delicious. 🙂
More Mexican recipes?
- 1 chicken, about 1,2 kg/ 2.6 lbs
- 5 medium carrots, divided
- 1 piece celeriac (about 75 g/ 2.6 oz) or 3-4 celery stalks
- 1 thin leek
- 2 onions, divided
- 4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 all-spice corns
- 10 black peppercorns
- about 3 liter/ 102 fl.oz/ 12 cups water or enough to cover the chicken and vegetables
- 2-3 organic chicken stock cubes, optional and according to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red chili or more to taste (the soup should be rather hot)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 2 cans chickpeas
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 avocado
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz grated cheese (See note)
- fresh chopped coriander (or parsley)
- To make the chicken stock, place the chicken in a large pot. Clean the vegetables and cut them into large pieces. Add to the pot. Add allspice, cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns, cover everything with the cold water.
- Bring to a light simmer, but don't let the water come to a full boil or the soup will not be as clear anymore. Simmer the stock lightly, uncovered, for two hours or until the chicken is very tender and cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and the vegetables from the stock. Keep the carrots, but discard the rest of the vegetables and the spices.
- Sieve the stock through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a clean kitchen towel to remove the impurities. Return the stock to the clean pot and place it back on the stove. Bring to a light boil and let cook, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, thus allowing it to reduce slightly and increase the flavor. Add salt to taste.
- If desired, you can add some organic chicken stock cubes at this point for a stronger flavor. This is optional, add chicken stock cubes and salt according to your taste.
- While the stock is reducing prepare the fresh vegetables. Slice the bell peppers and the remaining onion into thin slices. Finely chop the chili. Slice the cooked carrots as well.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove its skin and bones. Shred the meat and set aside. Drain and rinse the chickpeas from the cans.
- Heat the oil in another soup pan. Add the sliced peppers and onion and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the chopped chili, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, and oregano and stir for another minute.
- Add the stock to the pot, bring to a boil and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the drained chickpeas, cooked carrots and chicken meat and continue simmering the soup for another 10 minutes. Adjust the soup with salt and pepper.
- Slice the avocado and grate the cheese. Sprinkle the soup with fresh coriander (or parsley) and serve with avocado and cheese.
I used grated Emmentaler cheese, but you could use Cheddar or Mexican cheese
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 511Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 862mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 13gSugar: 13gProtein: 24g
Nutritional information is not always accurate.