That moment when you realize that person, in this case my Mom, who taught you the most cherished recipes, is no longer there. Every Sunday, I would call my parents long distance and after the initial conversation, the subject would always turn to food, only after the weather, of course, lol! I don’t recall my Mom ever preparing caldo tlalpeño for us. But, she did prepare soups that were pretty close with similar ingredients. So this was the point when I was so thankful to had learned the basics of Mexican cooking and I knew with that, I could do anything. And that is the confidence and pride that my Dad instilled on us coming through. I still would have so many questions for both of them, but thank goodness for my siblings and extended family in Mexico, they give me input when they can. I didn’t mean to get too deep on that intro, but most times, I write as the thoughts come to me. My biggest piece of advice is, if you have kids, please make a habit of involving them in the cooking process. They will remember that forever.
Brief History of Caldo Tlalpeño
The history of the Tlalpeno soup reads that in Mexico in the early 1900’s in the village of Tlalpan there were tram stops where food was sold. Among the sellers there was a lady who prepared her own chicken broth recipe.
This recipe started to be liked by people and they named it Tlalpan soup… with the passage of time the name derived to Tlalpeno soup.
Yields 4-5 Servings
For Stock Base
4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
7 cups water
2 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
2 chile de arbol or 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
You Will Also Need
4 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo
1 serrano pepper, chopped (optional)
1 small white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1teaspoon dried epazote
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups chicken broth from cooked chicken
2 bay leaves
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chick peas (I added 2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 avocado, diced
6 ounces panela cheese, diced
Diced onion, optional
1. In a large pot, add the chicken, bay leaves, peppercorns, red pepper flakes (or chile de arbol), and salt. Cover with 6 cups water and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for a good 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the chicken and strain the broth, set aside.
2. In the blender, combine the roma tomatoes, water,chipotles, serrano (if using), onion, garlic, epazote, oregano, 1 cup water, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, taste for salt, set aside.
3. In a large pot, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium/high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato mixture from blender, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, stir well to combine, taste for salt. Remove all the meat from chicken thighs and add it it to the soup.
4. Add carrots, green beans, chick peas and bay leaves to the pot. Cook just until carrots soften then add the zucchini and cook for another 15 minutes, taste for salt. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with avocado, panela cheese, cilantro, lime and diced onion if using. Serve with warm corn tortillas or tostadas. Yields up to 6 hearty servings.