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Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

Caldo de res (Mexican beef soup) is an immune-boosting classic that warms you to your bones.

Hearty and revitalizing, it’s packed with muscle-building protein and chunky veggies. Picture tender beef simmered to perfection in a bone-infused broth with a vegetable medley.

Caldo de Res or Mexican Beef Soup with Lime, Carrots, Cabbage and Herbs
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This traditional Mexican soup is just about as soul-warming as it gets. It’s chock-full of nourishing ingredients and savory flavors.

The aroma alone is enough to transport you to a cozy kitchen in Mexico!

Put on a pot when you feel under the weather or need a little boost. Caldo de res is just what the doctor ordered.

What Is Caldo de Res?

Caldo is Spanish for “broth,” and res is Spanish for “beef.” Put them together, and you get this beloved classic.

Caldo de res is a Mexican soup made with beef, beef bones, and veggies. It’s chunky, brothy, and very hearty.

You may hear some people call it cocido. Others refer to it as sopa de res. It depends upon the region.

Like most soups, there are variations. Depending on the season, the included vegetables can vary.

This soup is downright comforting. It’s often enjoyed as a cold buster and immune booster.

The bone-in beef slowly simmers with chayote, corn, potatoes, and more in the beef broth.

Right before serving, each bowl gets topped with fresh ingredients. The balance of fresh and savory makes it so complex.

But don’t rush this one. Caldo de res needs to cook low and slow. The wait, however, is well worth it.

Bowl of Warm Caldo de Res with Bone-in Beef Shank, Vegetable Oil, Salt and Black Pepper, Beef Broth and Garnishes

Ingredients

Caldo de res is all about big beefy flavors and fresh ingredients. Here’s everything you need to make this soup:

  • Bone-in beef shank – The heart of the soup! The bones are key for giving the soup flavor and nutrients.
  • Vegetable oil – For browning the meat and cooking the onion.
  • Salt and black pepper – Add a couple of pinches for proper seasoning.
  • Fresh vegetables – Veggies are an essential component. Onions, carrots, chayotes, corn ears, potatoes, and cabbage are what I use. But you can use what’s in season.
  • Beef broth – The flavorful, savory broth gives it that soul-warming touch.
  • Canned diced tomatoes – To flavor the broth. If you prefer fresh, choose a meaty tomato variety.
  • Water – For covering the bones and simmering the vegetables.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds more flavor.
  • Garnishes – Caldo de res isn’t complete without the fresh garnishes! Add onion, radishes, pickled jalapeno, cilantro, and lime.

How to Make Caldo de Res

Caldo de res is not the sort of soup you rush. Building the savory broth, cooking the beef, and simmering the veggies takes time.

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Fortunately, the steps are easy to follow. Here’s the rundown of how to make this soup:

  1. Prep the meat. Cut the beef from the bone into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat, bones, salt, and black pepper. Cook it until browned.
  1. Build the broth. Add the onions to the pot and cook them until they begin to brown. Stir in the beef broth and canned diced tomatoes. Add water (if needed) to cover the bones with 1/2 inch of liquid. Reduce the heat to low and simmer it for about 1 hour. Skim off any floating foam and discard.
  1. Simmer the vegetables. Pour in 4 cups of water and bring it to a simmer. Add the carrots, chayotes, corn, potato, and cilantro. Simmer them until tender. Add the cabbage wedges and cook them until tender, for about 10 minutes.
  1. Garnish it and serve. Divide the soup into bowls. Top it with onion, radishes, pickled jalapenos, lime, and cilantro. Serve it and enjoy!
A hearty bowl of soup filled with tender meat, sweet corn, and a medley of colorful vegetables

Tips and Variations

The more you make caldo de res, the more you learn a thing or two. Here are some tips and variations to help you build your soup:

  • Vary up your bone-in beef cut. Ribs or bone-in beef chuck work, too. Whatever you use, ensure it has bones. They’re a signature ingredient to build the savory broth.
  • Chop, chop, chop! Chop the vegetables to the same size. It helps them cook evenly.
  • Switch up the herbs. You can use other herbs like epazote or bay leaf.
  • Build the broth. Before adding anything, you need to build the broth. After all, it’s what makes this soup so meaty and savory. You can do this the day before if you don’t have time.
  • Don’t skip the bones. The bones and the marrow are the soul of this soup. If you can’t find bone-in beef at the grocery store, head to the butcher.

How to Serve Caldo de Res

The best way to enjoy caldo de res is to ladle it into a big bowl. That way, you can load it up with garnishes and get a little bit of everything.

I like to top mine off with an array of fresh toppings. Onion, cilantro, lime, and radishes are my favorite. I also like to add homemade salsa and a few dashes of hot sauce.

As for sides, there are tons of things you can serve with it. Here are some of my favorite recommendations:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Bolillo bread
  • Elote
  • Cilantro lime rice
  • Mexican sweet corn cakes
A warm bowl of mexican beef soup or caldo de Res with corn and vegetables

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating

Have leftover caldo de res? Here’s how to store, freeze, and reheat it:

To Store:

  1. Cool. Let the soup cool down.
  1. Transfer. Pour it into an air-tight container.
  1. Refrigerate. Place it in the fridge and consume it within 5 days.

To Freeze:

  1. Cool. Let the soup cool completely.
  1. Transfer and label it. Divide it between freezer-friendly containers. Give each container a label with the name and the date – no mystery containers here!
  1. Freeze. Freeze the containers and eat the soup within the next 3 months.

To Reheat:

  • Stovetop method. If it’s frozen, thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator. Pour the soup into a pot and reheat it on low. Stir it occasionally until it’s fully heated.
  • Microwave method. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator if it’s frozen. Pour the soup into a microwaveable container. Heat it for 1 minute, stir, and repeat until it’s fully heated.

Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

Servings

8

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

2

hours
Calories

234

kcal

Try caldo de res to warm up from the inside out! This Mexican beef soup is full of beef, veggies, tomatoes, and tasty garnishes. You’ll love it!

Ingredients

  • Soup:
  • 2 pounds bone-in beef shank

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • 1 canned diced tomatoes

  • 4 cups water (more if needed)

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped

  • 2 chayotes, quartered

  • 2 ears corn, husked and cut into thirds

  • 1 potato, quartered

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 medium head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges

  • Garnishes:
  • 1 cup onion, chopped

  • 4 radishes, quartered

  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, sliced

  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 2 limes, quartered

Instructions

  • Cut the bone-in beef shank from the bone into 1/2 inch pieces. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add the meat, bones, salt, and black pepper. Cook the meat until it’s browned.
  • In the same pot, add the onions and cook them until they begin to brown. Stir in the beef broth and canned diced tomatoes. If the broth doesn’t cover the beef by 1/2 inch add water. Reduce the heat and simmer it for about 1 hour with the lid loosely on. The meat should be tender. Skim off any floating foam and discard.
  • Pour 4 cups of water into the pot and bring it to a simmer. Add the carrots, chayotes, corn ears, potato, and cilantro. Simmer them until tender. Add the cabbage wedges and cook them until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top it with onion, radishes, pickled jalapenos, lime, and cilantro. Serve it and enjoy!
Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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