Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

Caldo de Res

Caldo de Res is a classic Mexican beef soup renowned for its rich flavors and comforting qualities. This hearty soup is a staple in Mexican cuisine, often enjoyed as a complete meal due to its robust ingredients and nutritious components.

Origins And History Of Caldo de Res

Caldo de Res, which translates to “beef broth” or “beef soup” in English, has deep roots in Mexican culinary history, blending indigenous Mesoamerican traditions with European influences introduced during the colonial era.

  1. Indigenous Roots: Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, indigenous peoples in Mexico had a rich culinary tradition centered around maize, beans, squash, and various meats like turkey, rabbit, and wild game. Soups and stews were common, often prepared with local herbs, vegetables, and proteins.
  2. Colonial Influence: With the Spanish colonization of Mexico in the 16th century, new ingredients and cooking techniques were introduced. Beef, brought by the Spanish, became a prominent ingredient in Mexican cuisine. The slow cooking methods and use of vegetables like corn, potatoes, and tomatoes were incorporated into existing indigenous dishes, giving rise to dishes like Caldo de Res.
  3. Development Over Time: Over the centuries, Caldo de Res evolved regionally across Mexico. Different regions adapted the recipe to local ingredients and preferences, resulting in variations in seasoning, vegetables used, and even the cuts of beef favored.
  4. Cultural Significance: Caldo de Res not only serves as a hearty and comforting dish but also holds cultural significance. It is often served during family gatherings, celebrations, and holidays, embodying warmth and hospitality within Mexican households.
  5. Popularity and Adaptation: Today, Caldo de Res remains a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine, enjoyed for its rich flavor, nourishing qualities, and ability to bring people together around the table.

Overall, the origins and history of Caldo de Res reflect the blending of indigenous traditions with Spanish influences, resulting in a delicious and culturally significant dish that continues to be cherished in Mexican culinary heritage.

Caldo de Res

Serving Suggestions For Caldo de Res

Caldo de Res is a hearty and satisfying dish that can be served in various ways to enhance its flavors and enjoyment:

  1. Traditional Accompaniments:
    • Serve Caldo de Res hot in large bowls, ensuring each serving includes a generous portion of beef, vegetables, and broth.
    • Offer freshly chopped cilantro and onion as traditional garnishes. These add freshness and a hint of sharpness to the soup.
  2. Side Dishes:
    • Serve with warm corn tortillas or crusty bread on the side. These can be used to soak up the delicious broth or enjoyed alongside the soup.
    • Mexican rice (arroz mexicano) makes an excellent side dish. Its mild flavor complements the robust flavors of the soup.
  3. Condiments and Extras:
    • Offer lime wedges for squeezing over the soup just before eating. The citrusy tang enhances the flavors of the broth and vegetables.
    • Sliced jalapeños or a side of pickled jalapeños can add a spicy kick for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their soup.
  4. Pairings:
    • Pair Caldo de Res with a light Mexican beer, such as a lager or pilsner, or with a refreshing agua fresca (fruit-infused water) for a balanced meal.
    • For a complete Mexican dining experience, serve with appetizers like guacamole, salsa, or Mexican street corn (elote).
  5. Presentation:
    • Serve the soup in traditional Mexican clay bowls or rustic soup bowls to enhance its presentation and keep it warm longer.
    • Garnish each serving with a sprig of fresh cilantro or a lime wedge on the rim of the bowl for a decorative touch.

By incorporating these serving suggestions, you can elevate the enjoyment of Caldo de Res, making it a delightful and memorable meal for family gatherings, celebrations, or cozy dinners at home.

Variations For Caldo de Res

  1. Regional Variations:
    • Caldo Tlalpeño: Originating from Tlalpan, Mexico City, this variation includes chickpeas, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, and avocado slices.
    • Caldo de Res Norteño: Common in northern Mexico, this version often includes larger chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, and squash, seasoned with dried chilies and cumin.
  2. Protein Variations:
    • Caldo de Pollo: A chicken version of the soup, using chicken pieces instead of beef. It’s lighter but still hearty and flavorful.
    • Caldo de Pescado: A seafood variation made with fish or shrimp, often with a tomato-based broth and vegetables like carrots and celery.
  3. Ingredient Variations:
    • Caldo de Res Verde: Incorporates a green sauce made from tomatillos, cilantro, and jalapeños or serrano peppers, giving the soup a tangy and spicy flavor.
    • Caldo de Res con Nopales: Includes nopales (cactus paddles), adding a unique texture and flavor to the soup.
  4. Vegetarian/Vegan Variations:
    • Caldo de Vegetales: A vegetable-based version using a variety of seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, corn, potatoes, and chayote squash, seasoned similarly to traditional Caldo de Res.
    • Caldo de Hongos: Made with mushrooms as the main ingredient, offering a meaty texture and earthy flavor, often enhanced with herbs and spices.
  5. Spice and Seasoning Variations:
    • Spicy Caldo de Res: Infused with additional heat using extra chilies or spicy salsa, appealing to those who enjoy a fiery kick.
    • Caldo de Res con Cilantro y Limón: Highlighted by the flavors of cilantro and lime, adding a fresh and citrusy dimension to the soup.

Each variation offers a unique twist on the classic Caldo de Res, showcasing regional influences, ingredient substitutions, and creative adaptations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Experimenting with these variations allows you to discover new flavors while enjoying the comforting essence of this beloved Mexican soup.

Caldo de Res

Storage and Shelf Life For Caldo de Res

  1. Storage Instructions:
    • Refrigeration: Allow the Caldo de Res to cool completely before storing. Transfer it to an airtight container or tightly covered pot. Refrigerate promptly within 2 hours of cooking. Properly stored, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
    • Freezing: Caldo de Res freezes well. Once cooled, ladle it into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion. Label with the date and freeze. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  2. Thawing and Reheating:
    • Thawing: To thaw frozen Caldo de Res, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can thaw it in the microwave using the defrost setting or gently on the stovetop in a saucepan over low heat.
    • Reheating: Reheat thawed or refrigerated Caldo de Res gently on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. Bring it to a simmer but avoid boiling to prevent overcooking the vegetables and beef.
  3. Safety Tips:
    • Cooling: Cool hot Caldo de Res quickly by placing the pot in a sink of ice water. Stir frequently to help it cool faster and reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
    • Refrigeration: Always refrigerate leftover Caldo de Res promptly to minimize the risk of foodborne illness. Discard any leftovers that have been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  4. Quality Considerations:
    • Vegetables: Vegetables in Caldo de Res may soften upon reheating but will retain their flavors. Consider adding fresh vegetables or herbs as garnish when serving reheated soup to add texture and freshness.
    • Broth: The flavors of the broth may intensify upon storage, making reheated Caldo de Res even more flavorful.

By following these storage guidelines, you can safely enjoy Caldo de Res over multiple meals while preserving its flavors and nutritional benefits. Proper storage ensures that each serving remains as delicious and satisfying as when it was freshly made.

Health Benefits Of Caldo de Res

  1. Nutrient-Rich Ingredients:
    • Protein: Caldo de Res is rich in high-quality protein from beef, which is essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall body function.
    • Vitamins and Minerals: It contains a variety of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and corn, providing essential vitamins (like vitamin A, C, and K) and minerals (such as potassium and magnesium).
  2. Hydration and Fluid Balance:
    • The broth in Caldo de Res helps maintain hydration and fluid balance in the body, particularly beneficial during hot weather or when recovering from illness.
  3. Digestive Health:
    • The vegetables and broth in Caldo de Res provide dietary fiber, which supports digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and aiding in digestion.
  4. Immune Support:
    • Ingredients like garlic, onions, and herbs (often used in Caldo de Res) contain antioxidants and compounds that may support immune function and help the body fight off infections.
  5. Heart Health:
    • Lean cuts of beef used in Caldo de Res provide protein without excess saturated fats. Potassium-rich vegetables (like potatoes and carrots) may help support heart health by regulating blood pressure.
  6. Bone and Joint Health:
    • The slow cooking process of Caldo de Res extracts nutrients from beef bones, potentially providing collagen, gelatin, and minerals that support bone and joint health.
  7. Weight Management:
    • Caldo de Res can be a satisfying, low-calorie meal option when prepared with lean cuts of beef and a variety of vegetables. Its high protein content can also help promote feelings of fullness.
  8. Comfort and Mental Well-being:
    • Enjoying a warm bowl of Caldo de Res can provide comfort and a sense of well-being, which can positively impact mental health and reduce stress levels.

Overall, Caldo de Res offers a wholesome combination of ingredients that contribute to a balanced diet and potentially provide various health benefits. As with any dish, moderation and balance in ingredients and portion sizes contribute to maximizing these benefits.

Caldo de Res

FAQ Related To Caldo de Res

  1. What cuts of beef are best for making Caldo de-Res?
    • Typically, tougher cuts of beef with some marbling are preferred for Caldo de-Res because they become tender and flavorful when simmered. Examples include chuck roast, shank, or beef bones with marrow.
  2. Can Caldo de-Res be made ahead of time?
    • Yes, Caldo de-Res can be made ahead of time. It actually develops more flavor when allowed to sit overnight in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container and reheat gently before serving.
  3. How can I make Caldo de-Res spicier?
    • To add more spice to Caldo de-Res, you can include spicy peppers like jalapeños or serranos during cooking. Alternatively, serve with a side of hot sauce or add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to individual servings.
  4. What are traditional garnishes for Caldo de-Res?
    • Traditional garnishes include freshly chopped cilantro, diced onions, and lime wedges. These add freshness and enhance the flavors of the soup.
  5. Can Caldo de-Res be frozen?
    • Yes, Caldo de-Res freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Caldo de Res

Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

Rachid Yousfi
Caldo de Res is a classic Mexican beef soup known for its hearty and comforting qualities. It features tender chunks of beef simmered with a variety of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, corn, and cabbage in a flavorful broth.
Seasoned with garlic, onions, and aromatic herbs, Caldo de Res offers a balanced combination of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Traditionally served hot with garnishes like cilantro, onion, and lime wedges, it is a beloved dish that embodies the rich culinary heritage of Mexico, perfect for warming the body and soul.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 220 kcal


  • Large Stock Pot or Dutch Oven: A sturdy, large-capacity pot is essential for simmering the soup and accommodating all the ingredients comfortably.
  • Chef's Knife and Cutting Board: For chopping vegetables, slicing onions, mincing garlic, and preparing the beef. A sharp knife and a stable cutting board make prep work safer and more efficient.
  • Wooden Spoon or Ladle: For stirring the soup and serving individual portions.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups To accurately measure spices, broth, and other ingredients.
  • Tongs Useful for handling hot beef chunks and turning them during cooking.
  • Strainer or Skimmer: For removing impurities or excess fat from the broth during cooking.
  • Soup Bowls: To serve the finished Caldo de Res.


  • 2 Pound Beef: Beef chuck roast is preferred for its flavor and tenderness when simmered. You can also use beef shank or other stewing beef cuts.


  • 2 Large Carrots: peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 Large potatoes: peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 Ears corn: husked and cut into rounds or halves
  • ¼ Small cabbage: sliced thinly

Broth and Seasonings:

  • 8 Cups beef broth:
  • 4 Gloves garlic:
  • 1 onion:
  • 2 bay leaves:
  • Salt and pepper:


  • Fresh cilantro, chopped:
  • Lime wedges:
  • Diced onion:


  • Prepare the Beef:
    Cut the beef chuck roast into large chunks, trimming excess fat if desired.
  • Sauté the Beef and Aromatics:
    In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
    Add the beef chunks and brown them on all sides for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.
    Add the minced garlic and chopped onion to the pot with the beef. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent and aromatic.
  • Simmer the Soup:
    Pour in the beef broth (or water with beef bouillon cubes) into the pot with the beef and aromatics.
    Add the bay leaves to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Cooking the Soup:
    Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the soup simmer gently for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beef is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Stir occasionally and skim any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
  • Add the Vegetables:
    After the beef is tender, add the sliced carrots, diced potatoes, and rounds of corn to the pot.
    Continue to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Adjust the cooking time based on your desired doneness for the vegetables.
  • Finish the Soup:
    Add the thinly sliced cabbage to the pot during the last 10 minutes of cooking. This allows the cabbage to wilt and become tender without overcooking.
    Season the Caldo de Res with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed to suit your preference.
  • Serve:
    Remove the bay leaves from the soup before serving.
    Ladle the hot Caldo de Res into individual bowls.
    Garnish each serving with chopped cilantro and diced onion.
    Serve with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the soup to enhance the flavors.
  • Enjoy:
    Serve the Caldo de Res hot and enjoy this comforting and hearty Mexican beef soup with warm tortillas or crusty bread.


  • Beef Selection: Choose cuts of beef like chuck roast or shank that are suitable for slow cooking. These cuts become tender and flavorful when simmered in the broth.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to adjust the types and quantities of vegetables based on availability and personal preference. Popular additions include zucchini, chayote squash, or green beans.
  • Broth Options: Use store-bought beef broth or prepare your own using beef bones for added depth of flavor. Adjust the amount of broth based on how thick or soupy you prefer your Caldo de Res.
  • Seasoning Adjustments: Taste the soup as it cooks and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or additional herbs and spices to suit your palate.
  • Garnishes: Fresh cilantro, diced onion, and lime wedges are traditional garnishes that enhance the flavors of the soup. Serve these on the side so each person can customize their bowl.
  • Storage and Reheating: Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage. Reheat gently on the stovetop to maintain the soup’s flavors and textures.
  • Serving Suggestions: Enjoy Caldo de Res as a satisfying main dish accompanied by warm tortillas or crusty bread. It’s perfect for family gatherings, cold weather days, or anytime you crave a comforting meal.
Keyword Caldo de Res

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