CALDO de POLLO (Mexican Chicken Soup)

by Debra Wysopal

Toss a few aromatics with some chicken thighs in water to create a simple, wonderful stock – add some corn and tomatoes for sweetness and jalapenos for heat and you have my husbands’ favorite soup.  Bursting with flavor, this is largely hands-off and done in just 90 minutes – a perfect one pot meal for a snowy day or when the sniffles hit.

Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 14 voted )


  • 8 Bone-In Chicken Thighs (skin removed)
  • 10 Cups Water
  • 1 TBSP Cumin Seeds
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, smashed
  • 3 TBSP Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb new potatos (about 5 medium potatos), quartered
  • 1 nice sized onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into half inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1 (14 1/2oz) can stewed tomatos
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Muir Glen or Ro-Tel)
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn kernels
  • 2-3 jalapenos, cut into thin coins


Combine skinned chicken thighs, 10 cups of water, cumin, garlic and 1 1/2 TBSP of kosher salt in a dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce to heat to a low and gently simmer for 25 minutes. 

Add the carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, corn, barley, tomatoes and jalapenos. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until veggies and barley are tender and the chicken is falling off the bone, about 40 minutes. 

Using a fork, shred chicken and remove the bones from pot.  Stir chicken and add remaining salt.  


The barley can really soak up the soup liquid, so to reheat you may need to add additional water.

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