Sonora Cheese Soup

Sonora Cheese Soup

Caldo de Queso
6 to 8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: anaheim chiles, caldo, cheese, chicken broth, Mexico, pati’s mexican table, pay de queso, poblanos, queso, queso fresco, Sonora, Sonoran, sopa, soup
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Sonora Cheese Soup recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 9, Episode 9 "Cooking for my Crew in Sonora"


  • 3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds potatoes, about 4 medium, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 1 ripe medium-sized tomato, cored and diced without discarding seeds and juices
  • 4 fresh Anaheim or poblano chiles, about 1 pound, charred or roasted, sweated, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound queso regional fresco de Sonora, or queso fresco

To Prepare

  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot. When hot, add the potatoes and onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato, prepared Anaheim or poblano chiles, and salt, and cook until the ingredients are softened, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  • Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely tender and the broth has thickened a bit. Taste and adjust salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, slowly add the milk and bring back to a gentle simmer. Gradually crumble the cheese into the simmering soup and stir until cheese is completely melted – or serve in bowls with cubes of the cheese in the bowls adding the soup on top. Taste again for salt and serve hot.

42 comments on “Sonora Cheese Soup

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  1. I saw the episode with my children a couple of days ago and are so excited to make this soup tonight! Going to try and make one of your recipes at least once a week so they can experience the different Mexican kitchen flavors, since their abuelita can’t cook for them any more. We absolutely enjoy watching your show. Much love to you Pati!

  2. I never watch TV because I’m always cooking for my little family. I started watching your show 3 months ago and omg I absolutely love it! I love homemade Mexican authentic food. Como la que hace abuelita. :). Im young but cook like my grandma. ☺️ I’m obsessed with your show! I have amazing recipes I would love to share! Thank you for sharing.

  3. We are watching this right now!!! If we had the queso fresco, my husband wiuld be cooking this already; even though we never heard of this soup. Today is cold rainy and we have freezer full of green chiles💖 Most of these dishes remind me of my El Paso childhood because of the cumin, pecans, & Hatch Green Chiles! If i find the video of this one, i will give it out to my family

  4. You are my favorite chef. As a caucasian male that loves the taste of Mexico and culture, I can’t wait to make this. Sadly, I am having trouble finding Sonora Queso Fresco. Could I sub Ranchero Queso Fresco?

  5. I watched the PBS program from Sonora and couldn’t wait to make this soup, it looked so good. I’ve never used Anaheim peppers before and I was shocked at how hot they were. I know that peppers vary and I should have checked one before adding all 4 to the soup. It was just as delicious as I thought it would be, but was a lot hotter. Next time I’ll use poblanos and maybe one Anaheim – but there will be a next time!

    1. Glad you liked the soup even if it was to spicy for you Susan. Poblanos would be a great sub in this recipe, enjoy!

  6. I’m anxious to try this soup and will today, but most of all I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy all of your shows. Could watch you all day long. You are such a sweet, kind person and it shows.

  7. Sometimes I add a small amount of corn kernels. Just because. And only, mind you only, if I have some.
    You might chop up cebollitas verdes and sprinkle them on top of the caldo when done.
    I chop both the potatoes and cheese into the same size bricks, about 1 inch long.
    You might try first drying out the queso fresco on a paper towel in refri for 24 hours and then chop into firm bricks to add to the soup as the last step, never stirring. That’s up to the consumer.
    No tomatoes because I have some tomato haters in my family.
    I offer salsa bandera on the side for the tomato afficionados.
    I leave out the milk.

  8. Pati, you are my Hero!! I had been looking for a soup that they used to sell at Kroger Chicken Con Queso, but since March they have stop carrying it.
    Your recipe is so close to that soup that all I need to add is shredded chicken and it will be better than the Kroger soup. Mil Gracias for sharing this Sonoran Cheese Soup Recipe. Have a very Healthy and Safe 2021, Feliz Año Nuevo.

    1. So glad I could share this recipe to replace your favorite soup Ninfa! Now, with the chicken it will be a full meal, bravo! Feliz 2021 to you as well 😉

  9. Hi Patti, love watching your show and trying new recipes. Caldo de queso is a regular in the cooler months at our home. We are big livers of cilantro so, I add it to the caldo, it gives it great flavor.

  10. OMG the BEST SOUP EVER !!! I love the idea of how simple it is … I always seem to fall short of my mother in law’s soup skills but this was so easy and delish. I added some shredded chicken to my leftovers and still delish. Patti THANK YOU for sharing this recipe . This will be in regular rotation during cold /rainy season at my house.

  11. There were some comments on the possibility of the milk curdling. To the rescue, my eighth grade cooking class, we learned to always use canned milk, properly diluted, in every cooked recipe. This includes soup, puddings etc.

  12. Pati, we love your show! As a half Chicana and working mom, it can be tough to cook for my picky little ones but your recipes are so approachable and take us beyond the basics (without getting lost in the kitchen). Especially love these Sonoran episodes and appericiate how you engage your family, and crew, in the whole process. Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks so much for tuning in and for the kind words! So glad my recipes are working for your little ones 🙂 Happy Holidays to you as well!

  13. Hi Pati,

    I tried this soup tonight and really enjoyed it. I noticed in the show episode you put the cheese in each bowl, in cubes, instead of crumbing it into the soup to melt. That’s what I did. The queso fresco softened and was delicious bites here and there. I also didn’t have home made stock, so I added a little bit of dried oregano and black pepper to store bought to approximate the tastes of your stock recipe. Turned out great. I hope I can reheat leftovers without the milk separating.

  14. Definitely looking forward to that recipe cant wait for the cold weather we are still fighting 90 degrees weather hate it Dorothy Lamore

    1. Love these episodes.. my mother was from Sonora.. great memories of this soup and the taste of it. Recipe a little different, but can’t wait to make your’s!! Happy New Year!