Caldo de Queso
One night, I was trying to get some Mexican birria from a local place in Tucson. I had a serious craving for soup, so when I found out they were out of birria, I checked out their other options. I went through two more soup choices before I finally found one that was still available.
It was a soup I’d never had before, and it was called caldo de queso. This essentially translates to “cheese broth.” I was skeptical, but figured I’d give it a try.
When it was finally delivered (#COVIDfriendly), I poured it into a bowl and dug in. And it was……SO GOOD. Like absolutely out of bounds, good. My gears started turning, and I wanted to figure out how I could make this soup myself.
I tried the recipe a couple times, and this is my final version! All of the ingredients should be easy to find. Thankfully, green chiles are super easy to come by here in Arizona. I’m sure you can get some version in your local grocery store too! This is what mine looked like after they were roasted and before they were peeled.
I got the queso fresco from my local grocery store too. I’m sure any brand would work, but this is the brand I ended up with myself.
The most important part of this recipe is heating the milk. I know it seems strange, but if you put cold milk into a boiling hot soup, the milk will split and become almost curdled. Just warm it in the microwave until it’s warm to the touch, then add it into the soup.
After you add the milk, throw in the cheese and it’ll get soft and somewhat gooey. Then you can add in some fresh cilantro before you throw it in the blender.
I blended this with my nutribullet, and it came out great. When I blended mine, it came out as an IDDSI level 0 – thin. Be sure you test yours using the syringe test to make sure it comes out the same. If you’re unsure how to do that, you can find more information here.
Level 0: Thin
Level 0: Thin is appropriate for individuals who can consume liquids with the texture of plain water. Foods at this level flow quickly, and can be drunk from a cup, spoon, or straw easily. Foods are tested using the Flow Test at this level.
The IDDSI Flow Test is a standardized test for determining the level of a liquid sample. You must have a 10ml syringe for this test, and not all syringes are created equal. Hold a ruler up to your syringe and the distance from the very bottom line to the 10ml mark must measure 61.5 mm. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Flow Test as well as this comparison between Levels 1-3 before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.
Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.
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Level 0: Thin Caldo de Queso
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 14 ounces whole peeled canned tomatoes
- 3 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 7 green chiles
- ¼ cup 2% milk
- ¼ cup half and half
- 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- Grill hatch green chiles until charred. Place immediately in a plastic bag. Put in the refrigerator, let cool.
- Put canned tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse until broken down into small chunks.
- Heat dutch oven over medium heat. Put in olive oil and add the onion. Cook until translucent, ~5 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute more.
- Add in the pulsed tomatoes. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in chicken broth, potatoes, and oregano. Cover and simmer ~20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
- While soup is simmering, peel the green chiles and slice into strips.
- When potatoes are almost tender, add in the green chiles. Let simmer another 10 minutes. Reduce heat to very low.
- Put milk and half and half together in a microwave-safe dish. Heat until slightly warmed, then add into the soup. Stir gently.
- Add in queso fresco, let melt slightly. Add some fresh cilantro leaves.
- Put into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
- Serve and enjoy!