Mexpat Mama’s Jungle Cookbook: Tomatillo, Chayote & Chile Soup

I love this soup! It’s perfect for those still-cool early Spring evenings. The tangy and spicy combination of tomatillos with guajillo and jalapeño chiles will definitely warm you up! You can keep the dish vegetarian, as it is written below, or add sauteed chicken or shrimp for extra flavor and heartiness. Another reason I love this recipe is it uses chayote – a gourd-like fruit that is native to Mexico – and fried guajillo chiles. Guajillo is the dried version of mirasol chiles. When you fry them in oil, they crisp up nicely and are great to sprinkle on top of soups (or eggs, grilled shrimp, quesadillas, and salads – basically anything savory) to add a sweet, smoky flavor and satisfying crunch. This soup is also great for breakfast – just add a fried egg on top and serve with warm tortillas. It’s kind of like green huevos rancheros. I hope you enjoy this dish. Please let me know in the comments if you make it or have suggestions for improvement. Buen provecho!


  • 2 lbs of quartered tomatillos (20-25 fruits)
  • 1 cubed chayote (remove inner core – carve it out like it is a pear.)
  • 1chopped red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 guajillo chiles
  • 1 chopped and de-seeded poblano chile
  • 1 de-seeded jalapeño chile
  • 1 can yellow corn kernels
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup crema (or creme fraiche)
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1-2 limes


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss chopped tomatillos, poblano, onion, garlic and jalapeño in olive oil and a few pinches of sea salt. Spread out the veggies onto a lined oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft and starting to brown at the edges.
  2. Remove roasted veggies from the pan and put them in a large soup pot with 6 cups of vegetable broth. Blend until smooth with an emersion blender or in batches using a blender.
  3. Add the cumin, chili powder and canned corn to the blended broth and salt to taste.
  4. De-seed and slice the guajillo chiles into thin strips and fry them with a little olive oil in a small frying pan. Watch closely and stir often so they don’t burn. Remove from heat when they start to turn from red to a more dark brown-red color. They will start to curl up and feel crispy under your spatula. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  5. In the same frying pan, sautee the chopped chayote in the oil leftover from cooking the chiles.
  6. Add the cooked chayote to the soup pot and stir into the broth/corn mixture, reheat if necessary.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with a dollop of crema, sprinkle of cotija cheese, fried guajillo chiles and chopped cilantro. Add a squeeze of lime. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Enjoy.

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  1. This recipe sounds amazing! We are growing tomatillos this summer but I can’t wait for that so will track down some soon…I’m lucky enough to find some chayote now and then!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi! Are you still in Chacala? I read a few of your posts from there and can’t tell if you stayed? I am also from Louisville, CO and we are likely about to move our family down to Mexico so I’d love to connect!

    Liked by 1 person

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