Recipe: Caldo Tlepeño
Many versions of this Mexican soup exist, with mostly the vegetables changing depending on the season. This one is named after a neighborhood in Mexico City. The constants, and the great thing about this soup, are the garbanzos, chipotles, and chicken. They’re a fine trio even if they don’t seem to be an obvious combination.
The other important factor is your chicken broth. I once had a cooking instructor give me a conspiratorial wink and then confess that she never made her own broth and instead bought it in cans or cartons. I found this bizarre. I can cut as many shortcuts as the next guy, but I don’t think you can make great soup without a great foundation, and that’s the broth. I have had some really good vegetarian soups, so the issue isn’t the meat. At this point, nothing you pull off the market shelf can compare with a good broth. And thankfully, stock is very easy to make. I like to poach a whole chicken to get the broth and chicken meat for this soup, along with plenty of leftovers.
- 1 cup dried Garbanzo Beans
- 1/2 white onion, minced
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, roughly chopped, with seeds and sauce
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon good-quality lard or olive oil
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
- 2 small zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
- Avocado cubes for garnish
- Lime wedges for serving
- Cook the garbanzo beans (see our master recipe for directions). Drain, then set aside.
- In a blender, combine the onion, chipotle chiles, tomatoes, and garlic and puree until smooth.
- In a stockpot or large saucepan, heat the lard over medium heat. Add the pureed vegetables and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Pour in the broth, bring just to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.
- Add the garbanzos, carrots, and zucchini and continue to simmer until the carrots and zucchini are barely cooked, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken and continue to simmer until the vegetables are just cooked and the chicken and garbanzos are heated through.
- Ladle the soup into warmed individual bowls, garnish with avocado, and serve immediately. Pass the lime wedges at the table.
Recipe from Supper at Rancho Gordo