Guajillo Chile and Mexican Chocolate Soup

The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces

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Yields 6-8 Servings


  • 3 dried Guajillo chiles
  • 1 to 2 dried chipotle peppers (add more for spicier flavor)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, partially frozen, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 large onion, trimmed, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 26 oz chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (start with 4 cups then add more to reduce spicy heat)
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (65%-70%)
  • Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste


  • Place the dried chiles in a medium mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak and soften for 30 minutes.
  • While the chiles are soaking, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. When it is shimmering, add the chicken and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked about halfway through and the onions are beginning to soften about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and onions to a bowl. Turn the burner down to low under the Dutch oven.
  • Drain chiles, (carefully squeeze out water trapped inside) remove and discard the stems, seeds, and ribs, and cut into chunks. Place the chiles in a blender. Pour in 1 cup of the stock and puree until very smooth.
  • Set a wire sieve over a bowl and pour the chile puree through the sieve to remove remaining solids. Discard the solids.
  • Add the strained chile puree to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until reduced and thickened a bit, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the remaining stock to the pan along with the garlic, tomatoes, cinnamon, sugar, cumin, and oregano. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, onions, and accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil for 10 minutes.
  • Ladle about a cup of the liquid into a small bowl and whisk in the masa harina until smooth. Whisk the masa mixture into the large pot, adding it slowly to avoid creating lumps. Cook, stirring often for another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the soup has thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add the chopped chocolate, stirring until completely melted. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan well. Once the chocolate is fully melted and the soup is smooth, taste and adjust the seasonings again, adding salt and pepper and lime juice to taste. Whisk to completely blend the ingredients.
  • Ladle into warmed soup bowls and garnish with your choice of toppings. Serve immediately. Top with avocado, tortillas, or sour cream

Recipe from The Heritage Cook, 2015