Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Julie’s Vegan Posole

I’ve been making posole for years, but this is the first time I’ve made it without pork. I think it turned out well! Plus, it was easy to make!

This is what I made for the soup party last weekend.

Here’s my recipe for porkless posole. Posole is a Mexican hominy soup eaten traditionally at Christmastime, but it tastes great in all sorts of cold weather. If you can find dried posole (hominy), by all means, use it. (Like dried beans, it takes a while to cook and soften, so as a shortcut, I often use canned hominy.)

Use your own judgment about how much of what kinds of chiles to use, based on your preferences. I love the rich flavor of Chimayo chile powder, which I bought from the Santa Fe School of Cooking. You could substitute any other rich dried red chili powder, per your preference.

The canned chipotle, being smoked, adds an almost bacon-y flavor to help replace the pork that we’re missing so bad. Smoked paprika would be a good idea, too, I’ll bet. Of course, adjust all the spices and seasonings to your own taste.

Julie’s Vegan Posole

1½ cups chopped onion
2–3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2–3 Tbsp. olive oil
1–2 Tbsp. canned chipotle (crushed or chopped) with adobo sauce
1–2 Tbsp. Chimayo chile powder
1 whole chile negro, dried, ground up in a spice grinder (ca. 2–3 tsp. ground)
½–1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. crushed dried oregano
4 16-oz. cans white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 16-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 32-oz. tetra-pack boxes of vegetable broth (such as Swanson’s)
1 zucchini squash (ca. 9 in.) (quartered lengthwise and chopped into ½-inch chunks)
1 yellow squash (ca. 9 in.) (cut same as zucchini)
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup fresh, chopped cilantro (you can include some of the stems, chopped)
salt (to taste)

Cilantro sprigs and wedges or thin slices of lime

In a large stock pot, sauté onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add chipotle and all the spices and stir to distribute. Add hominy and stir to coat. Add beans and broth and heat to boiling; reduce to simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes to make the flavors meld. Add chopped squashes and cook another 10 minutes or so, or until squash is tender.

Place cornstarch into a cup, jar, or bowl; ladle about ½ cup broth into it and stir or shake well to mix. Add cornstarch mixture to the soup and stir to mix (the cornstarch will thicken and silken the texture of the broth, to replace the gelatin that meat would have provided; adjust the quantity of cornstarch per your preference).

Add salt to taste; finally, stir in the cup of chopped cilantro, which requires the least amount of cooking.

Serve garnished with pretty sprigs of fresh cilantro and wedges or thin slices of lime.

This soup is usually served with a salad/garnish of chopped lettuce, thin-sliced radishes, chunks of avocado, and/or sour cream.


Shelda said...

That posole was SO good! I didn't even really miss the pork, but that's me. And I love love love love posole. So I'm thrilled to see this recipe! Thanks, both for the original posole, and for the recipe too.

Julianna Schroeder said...

Thanks, Shelda! Yep, it's nice when you've done a recipe so many times you can kind of wing it, tweak it, get it right.

I have a confession to make: The picture in this post isn't of the vegan posole--it's of the porky kind, plus a lovely avocado-and-radish salad, and some fish tacos that we had one year when it was just Sue and me for Christmas. Or, in this case, it was "Feliz Navidad"!

It was the only picture I had of it!

Thanks again for your kind words.


Matt G. said...

This is amazing. I lived in Mexico for several years before I became vegetarian and I have missed pozole for years. Thank you so much. And I've received so many high marks for this dish.

One thing that I found added was the addition of chopped cabbage instead of lettuce. I feel like the texture adds something.

Again, Thank you so much!

Julianna Schroeder said...

Interesting! I don't tend to think of cabbage as a very "Mexican" ingredient, but then I'd put it on a fish taco in a heartbeat. But I guess I usually "texturize" my posole by adding about a ton of chopped fresh cilantro on top of it!

Thanks, Matt, for the comment and suggestion!