Caldo de Res: Guatemalan Beef and Vegetable Soup


Caldo de Res is a beloved dish in Guatemala, often enjoyed during family gatherings and special occasions. Rich in flavor and packed with nutrients, this beef and vegetable soup is a staple in Guatemalan households. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the cultural significance of Caldo de Res and provide a step-by-step recipe to help you recreate this authentic Guatemalan experience at home.


Caldo de Res is a versatile dish that allows for a lot of creativity. However, there are some key ingredients that make this soup distinctly Guatemalan.

For the Soup Base:

  • 1 lb beef shank or stew meat
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt to taste

For the Vegetables:

  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 chayote, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 ear of corn, cut into rounds


  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


The secret to a delicious Caldo de Res lies in its preparation. The slow simmering of beef and vegetables allows for a rich, flavorful broth that is both comforting and nourishing.

Prepare the Soup Base:

  1. In a large pot, combine beef, water, onion, garlic, and salt.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer. This will be the foundation of your Caldo de Res, so make sure to simmer until the meat is tender, usually about 1-2 hours.

Add the Vegetables:

  1. Once the meat is tender, add in the carrots, potatoes, chayote, zucchini, and corn.
  2. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, adding an extra layer of complexity to the flavors, about 30 minutes.


  1. To serve, ladle generous portions into bowls, ensuring each serving has a mix of meat and vegetables.
  2. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and a wedge of lime to add a burst of freshness.

FAQs: Common Questions About Making Caldo de Res

Caldo de Res is a dish steeped in tradition, and as such, it often raises questions about its preparation and variations. Here are some FAQs to guide you.

Can I add other vegetables?

Absolutely, Caldo de Res is a flexible dish. Feel free to add other vegetables like bell peppers or peas for added nutrition and flavor.

Can I use chicken instead of beef?

While beef is the traditional choice, you can certainly use chicken for a lighter variation of this Guatemalan classic.

How long does Caldo de Res keep?

Properly stored in the refrigerator, your Caldo de Res should remain delicious for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze Caldo de Res?

Yes, this soup freezes well. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container and it can last up to 2 months in the freezer.

Is Caldo de Res gluten-free?

As long as you’re not adding any ingredients that contain gluten, this dish is naturally gluten-free.


Caldo de Res is more than just a soup; it’s a celebration of Guatemalan culinary traditions. Rich in flavor and history, this dish is a testament to the country’s diverse agricultural offerings and cultural influences. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a cooking novice, this Caldo de Res recipe is a perfect way to dive into Guatemalan cuisine.

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