POSOLE VERDE

Posole or pozole is a traditional Mexican soup or stew.  Posole comes in all the colors of the Mexican flag (i.e., green, white, and red).  No matter which version you make, hominy is a key ingredient.  You can read about the process of making hominy here, which involves a process called nixtamalization.  (I know, I know . . . z-z-z-z-z-z.)

While we’re still enjoying cool weather, I busted out the stockpot and made Posole Verde  — for all you non-Spanish speakers, that would be the green version.  Despite all the naysayers on the internet, I used canned hominy, as opposed to searching for Latino markets with dried hominy and then soaking it overnight.  So much easier to just pop the top on this can of hominy and get on with things:

While I was making the soup, I could not get the phrase “homina, homina, homina” out of my head — a phrase made popular by Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners, used to express “shock, befuddlement, or general speechlessness.”  As I puttered around the kitchen, I found myself alternately muttering “homina, homina, homina” and “hominy, hominy, hominy” to myself.   I definitely talk more to myself now that I’m an empty nester.

This soup is great — hearty, tangy from the tomatillos, satisfying.  Set out a plate of garnishes and let everyone prepare their own bowl.

POSOLE VERDE
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Recipe type: Soup
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 lbs tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
  • 2 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large jalapeno, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 29-ounce can hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup roasted and salted pepitas, ground
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnishes: thinly-sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, diced avocado, crumbled queso fresco, pepitas
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapeño on a baking sheet (cover sheet with foil to make clean up easy). Broil vegetables, turning occasionally with tongs, until the skins of the peppers are blackened and the peppers have softened, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove and discard the seeds, stems, and blackened skins from the peppers. (Avoid touching eyes after handling jalapeños!)
  3. Transfer the tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapeño to a blender, and blend until almost smooth.
  4. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and cumin, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, approximately 6-7 minutes. Add the tomatillo mixture and chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the hominy, shredded chicken, oregano, pepitas, and cilantro, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If soup is too thick, add a little more chicken stock to thin soup to desired consistency.
  5. Ladle the posole into bowls and garnish as desired with avocado, queso fresco, pepitas, radishes, and cilantro.

Roast the tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapeno

Pureed roasted vegetables

Grind the pepitas

Soup’s on
Avocado, queso fresco, pepitas, radishes, and cilantro for garnish

Hominy, hominy, hominy