As weather takes a chilly turn and leaves change their hue, our palate craves for a warm and filling meal to celebrate the fall. The first option which pops in our mind is a steaming bowl of soup for dinner. But the thought of tasting the same old soups makes our taste buds grumble. So why not excite them with flavours of soup with a twist – Caldo Tlalpeno! It is a spicy chicken soup cooked along with rice and packed with veggies. Simply throw in seasonal vegetables like carrots, squash and potato to the soup and welcome autumn with this hearty yet naive dish.
Caldo Tlalpeno began its journey from Tlalpan, a district located south of Mexico and soon crossed the borders to win hearts of people worldwide. The fiery Chipotle chiles as well as smoked jalapenos in tangy Adobo sauce give a Mexican touch to this dish and turn it into a spicy indulgence. However, the piquant, smoky overtone of Caldo Tlalpeno is softened by the use of avocado, which in turn makes it a creamy affair. Finish it off with a dash of lemon juice, top it up with fresh cilantro and savour the luscious flavours of caldo tlalpeno with your family.
Ingredients for Caldo Tlalpeno:
- 8 oz chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup half-cooked white rice
- 1 white onion, halved
- 2 carrots, boiled and sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 squash, boiled and diced
- 2 medium sized potatoes, boiled and diced
- 3 chiles chipotles, chopped
- 1 can adobo sauce
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- ¼ cup water
- Salt to taste
Instructions for Caldo Tlalpeno:
Boil the chicken pieces in the broth, covered, for about 10 minutes before lowering the heat and simmering the broth for another 10 minutes.
Strain out the chicken from the broth and place them into serving soup bowls; set the broth aside.
Meanwhile, sauté the chopped chiles, garlic and onion in the warm oil over moderate heat, until they start browning.
Add the broth to the sautéed mixture, give them a nice stir and simmer over slow flame.
Pour ½ cup of the flavoured broth into a blender, along with the Adobo sauce and pulse them into a smooth red puree.
Add this spicy puree to the simmering soup, followed by half-cooked white rice and season with a dash of salt.
Bring the soup to a boil and then allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat.
When the rice is properly cooked, add the veggies and continue to cook the soup for another 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup over the chicken pieces in the soup bowls.
Top it up with finely chopped cilantro and avocado.
Add a splash of lemon juice to each bowl and serve it immediately.