Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

This hearty Mexican sweet potato chicken soup is loaded with veggies, lean protein and has a smoky, sweet flavor from dried guajillo Mexican peppers. Grain/gluten-free, diary-free, paleo and whole30 friendly. 

Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

Okay, I’m going to come right out and admit something I’m kind of embarrassed about… cooking with dried peppers has always intimated me. I used to walk past them in the store and think, what the heck do people do with those things? This is naive, but I honestly thought that all dried peppers were super spicy and I had no clue how I could use them in my cooking.

CLEAN EATING Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup // Paleo, Gluten-free and Whole30 approved.

It wasn’t until I attended a cooking demo during a yoga retreat at the Veritas Farmhouse where the chef used dried guajillo Mexican peppers in a creamy sweet potato soup that I realized they’re actually pretty easy to work with and they’re awesome for adding a unique depth of flavor and spice.

Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup with Guajillo Mexican Peppers // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

I’d never heard of guajillo Mexican peppers before, but I quickly learned that they are one of the most popular chiles used in Mexican cuisine. They’re a little on the sweeter side with a hint of tang (similar to a cranberry) and a mild smokiness. I wouldn’t consider these peppers spicy so if you’re not a huge fan of spicy foods this would likely be a good pepper to test out.

After trying the amazing soup at the retreat I decided it was officially time to conquer my unnecessary fear of cooking with dried peppers at home and ordered a bag of guajillo Mexican peppers from nuts.com. I remade the creamy sweet potato soup that we had at the retreat, which is thick, rich and oh so creamy.

We enjoyed it, but I wanted to experiment with making a chunky soup with more veggies and protein so that it could be eaten as a meal. And that’s how this Mexican sweet potato soup with cauliflower, spinach and chicken came to be.

Mexican Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

Working with the dried peppers for this soup is super simple and not intimating at all. You simply remove the stems and dump out all the seeds from inside the peppers. Place the peppers in a saucepan with water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until they’ve softened. That’s it! At this point they’re rehydrated and ready to be used!

What I really like about this soup recipe is that you start out by making and sautéing a flavorful chile sauce, made from the rehydrated guajillo peppers, rather than the standard onion, garlic, celery, carrot sauté. This makes for a savory, smoky broth with just a hint of spice.

Mexican Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

To make the soup a meal I added protein and lots of veggies including boneless skinless chicken, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and spinach. The combo makes for a healthy, chunky soup with a variety of textures… especially when topped with avocado, crunchy radishes and a little cilantro. We absolutely LOVE this soup and I think you’re going to love it as well.

If you’re like me and haven’t really experimented with dried peppers before I highly recommend grabbing a bag and hopping to it. They’re such a great way to add a ton of flavor and spice to a dish without adding a ton of extra calories! Plus, peppers have a ton of health benefits so they’re perfect for healthy cooking.

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Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This hearty Mexican sweet potato chicken soup is loaded with veggies, lean protein and has a smoky, sweet flavor from dried guajillo Mexican peppers. Grain/gluten-free, diary-free, paleo and whole30 friendly. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-size cubes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 dried guajillo Mexican peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 32 oz carton vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, broken into bite-size florets
  • 12 cups baby spinach
  • for topping: avocado, radishes, cilantro, lime

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with oregano, 1 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Add dried guajillo peppers into a saucepan and cover with water (at least 1 cup). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the peppers have softened.
  3. Add peppers and ¾ cup water from saucepan into a high-powered blender. Add onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and ½ teaspoon salt; blend until smooth.
  4. Add oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. Add chile pepper purée into the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add broth, seasoned chicken cubes, sweet potato and cauliflower into the saucepan. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through and sweet potatoes are fully cooked, this should take about 10-15 minutes. Stir in baby spinach until wilted and season with additional salt, if needed.
  5. Portion soup into bowls and top with avocado, sliced radishes and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing over the top.

Notes

Recipe adapted and inspired by this Mexican Spice Chile Soup.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 427kcal
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 47g
  • Cholesterol: 131mg

This post is sponsored by nuts.com, but as always opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make EBF possible.

Mexican Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

If you make this Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup let me know how it turns out in the comment section or share a photo on social media. Just be sure to tag me (@eatingbirdfood + #eatingbirdfood) so that I see it! 

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    4 comments
  1. I am looking forward to trying this recipe. Has anyone tried using ground guajillo Chilis? I am.having a difficult time finding them in the full dried form. Thanks!

  2. I tried it and it’s delishes! I made a few modifications… I was trying to see if sweet potatoes could be used in a “caldo de pollo”. My mom is diabetic and am trying to find authentic Mexican recipes without so much of the carbs and starch. I knew sweet potatoes are a good super food. Instead of canned broth I cooked a chicken breast with bone in skinless. My mom insists the bone and skin give it the rich flavor but since we are health conscious now we compromised with skinless and bone in. I timed so as the chicken cooked I was able to add the veggies and the Chile purée to the pot. In addition to sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and spinach I also added chayote which is a type of squash that you normally find in authentic Mexican chicken soup (caldo de pollo). And also threw in Mexican squash. It’s like zucchini just lighter green and spotted and fatter. And I threw in the cilantro sprigs like normally with a caldo de pollo in the last 5 minutes of cooking. That cilantro cooked with the soup gives it that awesome home made flavor and scent. Mmmmm…. next time I’ll be straining the Chile purée through a hand colander to get rid of the skin. I do that when I make the purée I just don’t know why I skipped this time. And for garnish I’ll use the next time some thin sliced raw cabbage. The lime is a great addition too as it counters the sweetness of the potatoes and the avocado adds that nice creamy texture. Great recipe! I’ll definitely be adding this to the familia recipes at Casa Olvera. Thumbs up!

  3. Dried peppers can sometimes be a little dusty. I like to clean them before using them, especially if you use the soaking water as you do in this recipe. I sometimes wipe them with a damp cloth. If they are really dirty I rinse them in cold water after de-stemming, de-seeding, and de-veining them i(f you want them to be a little more mild, since a lot of the heat is in the seeds and veins). Rather than boiling the peppers, I pour boiling water over them and cover them until they soften. I think this prevents some loss of flavor. This soup sounds yummy, and the sweet potato and cauliflower are unique additions.

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