Caldo De Res (Mexican Beef And Vegetable Soup) Recipe

Soup is one of life's great inventions: You've got meat, vegetables, herbs, and anything else you desire all in one bowl full of savory, tasty broth. It can be a side dish or a full meal, and there's a type of soup for practically any season and diet. If you fancy yourself a beef lover who also delights in all sorts of veggies, you're going to love this recipe from Ashley Altan for caldo de res, a Mexican beef and vegetable soup that's delicious, nutritious, and full of bold flavor.

Beef shank isn't just a great cut of beef to slow cook, it also has a secret that enhances this soup's broth. "By utilizing beef shank, with both bone and marrow, you may make a bone broth with a sweet, savory, and full-bodied flavor that has been enhanced by the marrow in it. It would be quite difficult to achieve that beefy flavor without it," Altan explains. Bone broth is different than stock; it has more health-boosting properties like amino acids and collagen. Here's how to make this brothy, beefy creation.

Get your caldo de res ingredients

This soup does contain a lot of ingredients, but that's what makes it so good. You'll need beef shank, of course, as well as a whole bounty of veggies: cabbage, corn, carrots, potato, zucchini, onion, garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes. If you want to add even more veggie goodness to your soup, Altan suggests adding green beans, peas, and chayote. Aside from that, you'll also need olive oil, salt and pepper, and garnishes if you desire: sliced jalapeños and radishes, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and diced onion.

Prep the tomatoes

Start by doing something you may not have done before: Grab your whole tomatoes with tongs or something similar and place them over the open flame of your stove until they're charred on all sides, then pop them in a blender until they're pureed. Set this aside for now — you're going to need it later.

Cook the beef shank

Now it's time to cook this meat! Heat a pot over medium-high heat, and when it's warm (wave your hand over it, you'll know), add your oil along with the beef shank, plus a little salt and pepper on both sides. Sear each side until golden, then take it out of the pot, but don't turn off the stove.

Cook the soup

Next, cook your onions and garlic (with some more salt and pepper, of course, as well as oregano, an herb that conveniently pairs well with onions). Then put the meat back in the pot, add plenty of water, put the lid on, and let it boil for a while — this is when the bone broth magic happens.

"It's possible that your homemade beef broth will get cloudy," Altan notes. "Proteins from the meat seep into the water or fall off the surface of the meat, generating clumps that rise to the surface and form a layer of scum. Not to worry. Simply remove it with a spoon." Once your broth is sufficiently boiled, take out the bones and add the tomato purée, plus the carrots, potatoes, and corn. Then let everything cook a bit more.

Finish and serve your caldo de res

You're not done quite yet. You still have to toss in the rest of the veggies and let those cook a bit. Once that's done, all that's left is to garnish and enjoy. When you're ready to serve up this protein-packed, savory soup, Altan has one word of advice: "Use big bowls. This is a must since you need room for all of the tender vegetables, meat, and tasty broth!"

This recipe makes 8 servings, so you may very well end up with leftovers. "Allow your leftover caldo de res to cool before storing it," Altan says. "Place leftovers in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days [or] freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw your Mexican stew overnight in the refrigerator, then transfer it to a large pot and simmer it over medium-low heat on the stove [or] reheat at 3-minute intervals in a microwave-safe container."

Caldo De Res (Mexican Beef And Vegetable Soup) Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
This hearty caldo de res recipe is loaded up with beef shank and lots of veggies for a filling meal your family will enjoy.
Prep Time
Cook Time
caldo de res close-up
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • 2 Roma tomatoes or small tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef shank, with bone
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ears corn, husked and cut into thirds
  • 1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro
Optional Ingredients
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • sliced jalapeños, for serving
  • finely chopped onion, for serving
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • thin-sliced radishes, for serving
  1. On a high flame, char two tomatoes. When the tomatoes are charred, place them in a blender with the skin still on and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. After heating a large pot over medium high heat, drizzle in the olive oil and add the beef shank. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Flip and season with additional salt and pepper. Sear until both sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Using the same heat, add the onions and garlic. Season the onion and garlic mixture with salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir-fry until the onions are softened. Add the beef back to the pot and add water. Cover with a lid and boil for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until tender.
  4. Once the meat is tender, remove any bones. Add the roasted tomato puree, carrots, corn, and potato and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Add the zucchini, cabbage, and chopped cilantro and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked.
  6. Serve soup in large bowls, ensuring each bowl has a little bit of everything. Top each bowl with fresh cilantro, diced onion, sliced peppers for heat, and a wedge of lime if you wish.
Calories per Serving 271
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 44.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25.1 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Total Sugars 8.3 g
Sodium 724.5 mg
Protein 29.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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