Over head shot of White bowl with blue rim filled with soup zucchini, carrots, chickpeas and rice

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Whenever I’m coming down with a cold, all I want is a caldo Tlalpeño. In this vegan authentic caldo Tlalpeño  zucchini, potatoes carrots, and rice simmer in a chipotle vegetable broth. It is a comforting traditional home cooked meal. This post is also available in Spanish.

Caldo Tlalpeño is one of my favorite comfort dishes. My mom, to this day, still makes a version of it whenever anyone one of us is sick. After moving to the U.S. I searched high and low for a restaurant that would serve a good caldo Tlalpeño, but none of them measured up. Until finally, duh, I realized that I should just make it at home. It is super easy to make and it’s another one of those dishes that kids love.

White bowl with blue rim filled with authentic caldo tlalpeño soup zucchini, carrots, chickpeas and rice

There’s a legend behind this special dish. It is said that Mexican president Santa Ana (you know, the one that signed away 1/4 of Mexico to the U.S.,) was very hung over after 3 nights of partying and was looking for a quick remedy. He happened to be in Tlalpan, the largest borough of Mexico City. The cook gave him a chicken soup and when the president asked what the name of the soup was, she said caldo Tlalpeño.

Close up of white bowl with blue rim filled with soup zucchini, carrots, chickpeas and rice

So what makes an authentic caldo tlalpeño? As always the recipes can vary from state to state in some states the broth is tomato based and in some states it is not. The veggies can vary as well and some states do not add rice to the soup. What I find does not vary is the addition of chipotle peppers and avocado as a garnish. What is your favorite way of preparing caldo tlalpeño?

To make this recipe vegan I decided to simply omitt the chicken, but if you’re looking for a more meaty flavor you could add mushrooms or jackfruit. To give this a more chickeny flavor I recommend Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base 

If you’re looking for other vegan soup recipes be sure to check out this Vegan Caldo de Res and my Pozole Verde.

The Recipe: Authentic Caldo Tlalpeño

  • You can add whatever veggies you like. Chayote would also go really well with this.
  • When I make this for the kids I leave out the chipotle and add it as a condiment at the end for the adults.
  • Baked tofu would be a good addition to this soup as a garnish.

Vegan Caldo Tlalpeño Recipe

This vegan caldo tlalpeño recipe will keep you coming back for more. Zucchini, potatoes carrots and rice simmer in a chipotle vegetable broth
Pin Recipe Print Recipe
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: caldotlalpeno, vegancaldo
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 246kcal
Author: Dora S.


  • 1/2 cup Diced, white onion
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 10 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 sprigs Cilantro, fresh
  • 1/4 cup Rice, long grain
  • 1 cup Potatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup Carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup Chickpeas, canned, drained
  • 1 ea. Chipotle chile, adobo, chopped
  • 1/2 Avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 Lime, cut onto quarters


  • Heat a large pot to medium-low heat. Add 1/4 of water (or 1 tbsp. oil), add onions and sweat for 3-4 minutes until tender and translucent. Add garlic and let cook for 1 more minute
  • Pour in vegetable stock and cilantro sprigs in a large pot, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add rice and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Add carrots and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Add chipotle in adobo and zucchini and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add chickpeas and simmer for 6-7 minutes or until all the vegetables and rice are tender. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with avocado cubes and lime wedges.


To serve, garnish with avocado slices and a splash of lime juice. You can add baked tofu cubes to it for a more protein packed meal.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2430mg | Potassium: 725mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 5653IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @dorastable or tag #mexicangonevegan!


Although dorastable.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.

3 replies
  1. Timaree
    Timaree says:

    This sounds light and delicate of taste; similar ingredients to my tortilla soup (where I don’t actually bother with the tortillas) but less spicy. I would love to find a chicken soup substitute for when I need that bit of comfort!


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