Pasilla Oaxaca Vegetable Soup

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Sometimes it’s hard to get enough of a good thing, and that is certainly true with Pasilla Oaxaca chiles. Every summer we run out of the small crop of these rare chiles, and celebrate when they are harvested again in the fall. They come only from the Oaxaca region of southern Mexico and combine a rich dose of smoky chile flavor with just the right level of heat- not too much. We are thrilled, because this years crop just arrived!


Use Pasilla Oaxaca in your favorite recipe for chili or vegetable soup, or try this creative Afro-Latin fusion. We’ve used both our Harissa spice blend, traditional in North Africa, and the Pasilla Oaxaca chile to season a chunky melange of carrots, zucchini, okra and black eyed peas in this satisfying fall soup. Enjoy!

Pasilla Oaxaca Vegetable Soup

Pasilla Oaxaca Vegetable Soup


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground Harissa, divided
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup dried black eyed-peas, pre-soaked
  • 1 Pasilla Oaxaca chile, whole
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced okra, fresh or frozen
  • 4 cups chopped kale


  1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion, salt and 1 teaspoon Harissa in 1 tablespoon of oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and continue cooking until they change color and begin to sweat, about 3 minutes more. Add the apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan.
  3. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, black eyed peas and Pasilla Oaxaca and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes until the beans begin to soften.
  4. While the soup is simmering, in a separate pan, sauté the zucchini in the remaining 1 teaspoon of avocado oil with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of Harissa for 3-5 minutes until golden.
  5. Add the sautéed zucchini, okra and kale to the soup pot and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Remove the Pasilla Oaxaca before serving.


**Chef tip!** It is worth the extra effort to sauté the zucchini with some spices before boiling them in the soup pot. This allows the flavors to be fully absorbed by the zucchini, and creates a nice texture too.


Pasilla Oaxaca are traditional in molé sauces, rellenos and salsas but are also SUPER easy to use whole if you want fabulous flavor in your next hearty fall soup. Just drop one in and remove before serving…like a bay leaf!



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  1. Judith says:

    thanks for this tasty fall soup. I made it last night and noticed a few things,. First, the instructions about the divided oil could be slightly clearer. I assumed the first step uses 1Tbsp and the sautéing of the zucchini uses the remaining tsp., but that was a little ambiguous.

    The black-eyed peas: the recipe doesn’t specify to soak the beans overnight, and there’s just no way they would have softened in a half hour of cooking, unsoaked. In fact, even presoaked, in my experience you’d need to simmer the soup for at least an hour. I decided to work around this by using frozen black-eyed peas and simmering for a half hour. (In fact, it took a half for the even the frozen peas to reach al dente. )

    All in all, a really nice soup. Thanks again.

    • Sherrie says:

      Thank you for clarifying that – we’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect your suggestions. And we are so glad you enjoyed the soup as much as we did!

    • Sherrie says:

      You definitely want to keep the Pasilla Oaxaca – taking the seeds out will tone it down some. (The chile provides the smokiness in the soup.) You could also cut the Harissa in half (1/2 tsp in the beginning, 1/4 tsp with the zucchini at the end). That would also help alleviate some of the heat. Try that next time and let us know how it turns out.

  2. Betty says:

    We liked this soup very much but would like to tone down the “heat” a bit. Would it be better to reduce the amount of harissa or remove the seeds from the chile – or what do you suggest?

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