Friday, May 03, 2013

Vegetable Posole Verde

I tried posole at an amazing Mexican restaurant while living in Nashville, Tennessee years ago. I've always wanted to make it at home, but had never attempted it until this week. Posole (or pozole) is a soup or stew {originating in Mexico} traditionally made with hominy as a main ingredient. The base of the soup is a combination of roasted poblano peppers, tomatillos and chicken stock {vegetable stock can be used to make this a vegetarian soup}.  The addition of roasted corn, hominy, onions, garlic and cumin results in a flavorful, yet delicate soup that is best topped with avocado, cilantro, sliced radishes and a good squeeze of lime.

This is an incredibly healthful and good-for-you soup. It is light, yet abundant in flavor. {It does have a hint of spice, but it isn't overpowering.}

I had never worked with tomatillos before working on this recipe. They can be found in most supermarkets these days in the produce section. They look like green tomatoes covered in a papery skin. Just remove the papery skin and halve the tomatillos for this recipe. They are easy to work with and are a must in this recipe.

NOTE:  Don't be intimidated by the various steps in this recipe. They are all simple and easy.  You'll, basically, be roasting the veggies first, blending them up and combining everything in one pot at the end.

Yields 4 - 6 servings.


4 medium\large or 7 - 8 small tomatillos, peeled and halved
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, cut into wedges
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 - 3 poblano peppers
1 ear corn on the cob, shucked
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, divided
Handful of fresh cilantro
3 15.5-ounce cans hominy, drained {yellow, white or a combination}
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste {as needed}

Topping/Garnish Options - sliced radishes, chopped avocado {dressed with lime juice to prevent discoloring}, additional fresh cilantro, lime wedges for squeezing and tortilla strips {see note at end of post}


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Place tomatillos {cut-side down}, onion wedges and unpeeled garlic onto a foil-lined sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with cumin. Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until charring begins.

Meanwhile, rub corn with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast corn and poblano peppers until charred on either a grill pan or over an open flame on a gas stove. Peppers should be quite blistered.

Immediately place charred peppers into a plastic storage bag and seal completely. Allow to rest until cooled.

Once cooled, peel off skin {the edge of a sharp knife works well for this}. Remove seeds and stems, then coarsely chop. Set aside.

Cut corn from cob. Set aside.

Remove and discard peels from garlic.

Combine tomatillos, onions, garlic, chopped peppers, a small handful of cilantro, lime juice and 1/2 cup of the stock in a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth.

Pour mixture into large soup pot. Add in remaining 5 1/2 cups stock.

Add in drained hominy and corn.

Simmer over medium heat for 20 - 30 minutes to combine flavors. Taste. Season with salt as needed.

Serve with suggested garnishments.

NOTE: Crispy tortilla strips can be made by cutting 8 - 10 small soft corn tortillas into thin strips, then frying or baking them. To fry, preheat vegetable or canola oil to 350 degrees in a large pot. Carefully drop in tortilla strips, stir and fry until crisp. Drain strips on paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle immediately with salt. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat strips with non-stick spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about ten minutes - tossing halfway through baking - or until just crisp.

09/10-17: Updated some photos and made clarifications to recipe/post.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That looks delicious! I am going to have to try this. Definitely not the way we make it in New Mexico, though...we tend to keep it simple. I do you hope you are using real New Mexico Chile? You will be amazed at the difference in quality and flavor. I have found a good online source; here is a link to their version of posole:
    Thanks for the recipe and please keep 'em coming!