Mexican Spice Chile Soup

Cooking with chiles is a skill that Mexican cooks have honed into an art form over centuries. This bowl with soul contains beans and corn, two staples of south-of-the-border recipes, but also keeps things light and fresh with cubed avocado and thinly sliced radishes.

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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
50 min


  • 2 lb 
boneless, skinless 
chicken thighs, 
trimmed and cubed
  • 1 tsp 
dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 tsp 
sea salt, divided 
+ additional to taste
  • Ground black 
pepper, to taste
  • 2 
dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 3 
dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • ½ 
yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 
cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ tsp 
ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp 
ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp 
extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cups 
chicken broth
  • 1¾ cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1¾ cups frozen and thawed corn
  • Optional garnishes: cubed avocado, sliced 
radishes, lime wedges 
and cilantro


  1. Season chicken with oregano, ¾ tsp salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, place dried chiles and cover with water (at least 1 cup). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until very soft.
  3. To a blender, transfer chiles with ¾ cup liquid from saucepan and add onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and ½ tsp salt; purée until smooth.
  4. In a large saucepan on medium, heat oil. Pour purée into pan and reduce to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add broth, beans, corn and chicken. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt, as needed. Serve with suggested garnishes (if using).

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/6 of soup
  • Calories 369
  • Carbohydrate Content 24 g
  • Cholesterol Content 142 mg
  • Fat Content 13.5 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 37 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 811 mg
  • Sugar Content 1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g