Pozole Verde! YUM, but I’d never made it and wasn’t sure if I could.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” This is a bit of what dining and cooking are all about — testing our limits and trying new things.
When I cook, I love to experiment, especially when I’ve been inspired by a dish I’ve tried at a restaurant or a friend’s home. My desire to cook Pozole Verde was inspired by a dish Anthony ordered when we visited our friend Delilah’s market/cafe Alta Baja Market at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana.
Anthony can’t eat dairy, so when our friend’s husband posted on Facebook that Alta Baja Market was serving a Vegan Pozole Verde, we rushed over and ordered a bowl. The flavors were complex and spicy and delicious. As soon as I saw Anthony’s happy eyes as he devoured his soup, I knew I had to learn how to make it.
I’d identified some of the ingredients by tasting the soup, so what I really needed to learn most was the technique. After some online study and a trip to the grocery store, I decided to give it a try.
Our friend advised, “roast the tomatillos before making the soup.” Thanks! I’ll take all the advice I can get!
The result was a tasty soup that Anthony and I both loved, but it wasn’t as delicious as the one we ate at Alta Baja Market.
- 1 pound of tomatillos husked, quartered, and roasted
- 1-2 peppers (I used Anaheim peppers) chopped and roasted (I suggest a stronger pepper if you love spicy)
- 1 Jalapeno chopped and roasted (can be adapted for taste)
- Half an onion chopped and roasted (I roasted all four of these ingredients in the oven together with salt, garlic, and pepper — leave out the limes)
- After roasting, let cool before blending. I added some room temperature broth (chicken or vegetable) to it to cool it down.
- Process in the blender
- Pour the soup into a stock pot, add cumin and cayenne (to taste), hominy (about 2 cups), and more broth (based upon your desired thickness and taste)
- I simmered for about 45 minutes and served it with chopped purple cabbage, sliced radishes and jalapeños on top. I served corn tortilla lime chips on the side.
Most recipes call for pork or chicken, but I chose to make it without meat. My dad makes a similar soup with pork, and he adds a dollop of sour cream mixed with lime on top. You can do that too! It’s all up to you. The fun is in the experimentation.