caldo xochitl (mexican hot flower soup)

$7.24 recipe / $1.21 serving

Long ago, while going through one of those “watch what you eat” phases, I tried an unfamiliar dish at a local Mexican restaurant in attempt at being calorie conscious. I had no idea what it was, nor could I come even close to pronouncing its name (Caldo Xochitl). I did know that, being soup, it was probably healthiest option on the menu full of cheese laden and deep fried dishes.

As it turns out, the soup was not only very healthy but it was also extremely delicious! Not to mention, I’m kind of a sucker for any dish that comes with it’s own plate of garnishes (like Vietnamese Pho). I love being able to customize the flavor of each bowl with fresh herbs, vegetables and sauces. Thanks to this happy accident of an experince, Caldo Xochitl has been on my “to cook” list for a long time. This weekend its number came up.

This soup was incredibly easy to make, is full of bright flavors and is the perfect light dinner for the summer months (just eat it inside where there is AC).

I used bone-in chicken breast for the soup because they are relatively inexpensive and because the bones and attached tissues give more flavor to the broth. If boney, connective tissue filled meat scares you boneless, skinless chicken breast will work but will also be twice as expensive. I also used frozen celery left over from another recipe that I had cleaned, chopped and frozen so it would be ready to use later… like today.

Caldo Xochitl

Caldo Xochitl

5.0 from 1 reviews
caldo xochitl (mexican hot flower soup)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $7.24
Cost Per Serving: $1.21
Serves: 6
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.06
  • 1 small yellow onion $0.36
  • 2-3 stalks celery $0.37
  • 1 split skinless, bone-in chicken breast $1.89
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes w/chiles $1.08
  • 2 med. limes $0.36
  • ½ bunch cilantro $0.44
  • 2 med. avocados $1.98
  • 2 Tbsp (6 cubes) chicken bullion/base $0.60
  1. Chop the garlic, onion and celery. Place them in a large pot with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and cook over medium heat until soft (about five minutes).
  2. Add the chicken breast (freeze the others that came in the pack) and 6 cups of water. Simmer with a lid on for about 30 minutes (med/low heat).
  3. Carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and remove the meat from the bone with a fork and knife. Shred the meat into small pieces and return it to the pot.
  4. Add the chicken soup base, stir to dissolve. Add the can of tomatoes with chiles and the juice from one lime. Chop ¼ bunch of cilantro and add to the pot. Taste the broth and adjust the salt, lime or cilantro to your liking.
  5. Slice the avocados, chop the remaining cilantro and slice the remaining lime. Serve each bowl of soup with avocado, cilantro and lime as garnishes.


Step By Step Photos

cook aromaticsCook the chopped garlic, celery and onion in olive oil over medium heat until softened.

add chicken breastAdd the chicken breast, bone and all to the pot along with 6 cups of water.

simmer chickenSimmer the chicken over medium/low heat with a lid for 30 minutes.

shred chickenAfter the chicken has simmered, remove it from the pot. It should be cooked through and easy to shred with a fork. Return the meat to the pot and discard the bones. That’s the boney carcass up on the top right of the cutting board.

add chicken baseAdd the chicken base and stir to dissolve. Add the amount recommended for 6 cups of liquid; 2 Tbsp in this case.

tomatoes with chilesAdd the can of tomatoes with chiles

chopped cilantroChop 1/4 bunch of cilantro. The other 1/4 bunch noted in the ingredients will be used for garnish.

adjust seasoningJuice one lime into the pot (the other will be garnish). Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

garnishesPrepare the avocado, cilantro and lime for garnishes.

Caldo Xochitl with garnishesServe each bowl of soup with garnishes (and chips if desired).

NOTE: If you have some corn or zucchini laying around, they would also make great additives to this soup. You can also experiment with cumin, cayenne pepper or chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.

If you can not find diced tomatoes with chiles, add a can of regular diced tomatoes (or even fresh) and a can of green chiles or a fresh jalapeno.

Caldo Xochitl


  1. Katharine says:

    This reminded me of the caldo tlalpeño I see on menus here in Houston. It’s my favorite for when I’m at a Mexican place, but don’t want to eat too much. Interestingly, when I search for the recipe now, I see it’s supposed to be made with chickpeas, though the versions I’ve had never had them.
    In a quick search, this is the closest recipe I see to what restaurants here serve:

  2. citlalnahuac says:

    For anybody who’s curious about the name, ‘xochitl’ means ‘flower’ in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. It’s pronounced pretty much as ‘ZOH-chee’. The Nahuatl ‘tl’ sound occurs in neither English nor Spanish, and has mostly been lost in pronunciation, if not in spelling. ‘Caldo’ (CAHL-doh) is just Spanish for ‘brothy soup’.

    As Hugh In Dallas pointed out, the soup should also have some squash blossoms in it, at least in the spring and early summer when they’re available, hence the name.

  3. I know this is an old post but I just wanted to say, this is one of my favorite soups! I make a big batch once a month and freeze most of it for later. When I thaw it, it tastes just as good as when I first made it. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. It is an awesome recipe, one of my most favorite comfort dishes! Have introduced this to a lot of new fans!! We also slice corn tortillas into little strips, lightly fry and serve on the side as another condiment . Delish!!

  5. I know, it was an exhaustion induced typo when I first posted it and blogger doesn’t let me go back and change it! :( Super embarrassing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that the web address for this page calls it “mexican-hot-flour-soup” lol just so you know!

  7. I made this today and it was totally amazing! I managed to get my friend who hates soups to try it and she ate the whole bowl! Thank you for sharing this easy recipe!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Made this for the family last night. It was amazing. I doubled the recipe, so I have it for luch this upcoming week.

  9. It looks delicious! Not to mention healthy too!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I just made this soup. the ‘flower’ in the title is supposed to be squash blossoms. It was a fine soup just the same.

    Hugh in Dallas

  11. Okay so I made this soup last night (modified just a few things based on what we had on hand) and it was outta this world! I have loved both recipes of yours so far, thanks for such a great blog!

  12. I just happened to stumble across your blog while searching for poblano pepper recipes and I love it! This soup sounds so amazing, I have such an affinity towards Mexican flavors too. As a CPA myself I love how you breakdown how economical the dish is as well – I’m so glad I found your blog and looking forward to reading more!

  13. This is my first time commenting on your blog. I found it about a month or two ago (can’t remember how, but heaven bless whoever recommended it to me!) and immediately got excited about it! I’m LOVING every recipe I try! So far we’ve tried your hummus, szechuan pork and green beans, tuscan pasta dinner, and now this soup. Next on the list is your salsa recipe. Everything has been SO good and simple! I love how quick and easy you make delicious home-cooked meals from REAL food! And everything is healthy (assuming I don’t eat the entire recipe)!! :) Anyway, thanks for sharing. And keep ’em coming!!!

  14. The local mexican joint adds the leftover rice to thier soup. That’s what I usually get when I go out for mexican! YUM!

  15. Great soup idea! Why is it called Mexican hot flower soup? Looks like Mexican chicken soup. Yum :)

  16. Beth, this soup looks absolutely fabulous. Not only cheap, but delicious and easy!!!! I have to make this :)

  17. Hi Vanessa, I do the calculations the old fashioned way. I look at my receipt and divide the total item cost by how much of it I used. I keep using that figure until I buy a new item at a new price. It’s a pretty quick calculation, only about 5 minutes to do the whole thing!

  18. Hi Beth, Love the site. Very useful for when I’m budget eating! Where do you make your calculations for the costs of each meal? What website or application is that? Thanks!

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