Everybody likes a dish they can customize, and that might be one of the reasons Mexican posole is trending in California and other parts of the U.S. Posole is certainly not new, but it seems to be gaining in popularity. Like Vietnamese pho, posole is a flavorful soup that individual diners top with fresh vegetables at the table. There are green chile and red chile versions of posole, usually made with chicken or pork.
This easy green posole recipe is made with fresh chiles and tomatillos, so it’s not as quick as my red posole, which gets its chile flavor from canned enchilada sauce. I still call it easy, though, especially because you can cook it hands-free using an electric pressure cooker or crock-pot. This recipe makes a big batch of soup, so you can freeze some of it in small containers for individual meals, or freeze half to serve for dinner later on a night you don’t have time to cook.
The secret to this soup’s fresh, bright flavor is a mixture of tomatillos, poblano chiles, jalapeños, onions, garlic, cumin and a little salt. Put all the vegetables in the blender and puree until smooth. Add this mixture to the pressure cooker or crock pot, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. You’ll have something that looks like abstract art, but tastes like flavor magic:
At this point I like to cook the vegetable mixture for 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat, using the sauté setting on the electric pressure cooker to develop a slightly roasted flavor. This step is completely optional, though.
I use cooked diced chicken for this soup, because it’s easier to keep the soup clear that way. Add the diced chicken to the vegetable puree with some chicken broth, and cook using the pressure cooker’s soup setting, or cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down using a natural pressure release. If using the slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours.
Once the pressure is released and it’s safe to remove the lid, finish the soup by adding some hominy. Hominy is corn that has been soaked in lye so the outer husk can be removed from each kernel. It doesn’t taste like sweet corn or corn on the cob, but more like corn tortillas or masa. You can use white hominy, yellow hominy, or a mix. When I made this soup I used yellow hominy, because my husband had done the grocery shopping and that was what he bought. After adding the hominy, simmer the soup for a final few minutes to heat through.
Toppings for posole include sliced radishes, diced avocado, cabbage, diced onion, cilantro, and lime wedges. If you’re in the mood, you could add a spoonful of sour cream.
- 2 pounds chicken, cooked, or 4 cups cooked and diced chicken
- 8 tomatillos, husked and quartered, or 1 28-oz can tomatillos
- 3 poblano or Anaheim chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cans hominy (white, yellow, or a combination), drained[br]
- Sliced radishes, sliced cabbage, sliced green onion, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, diced avocado
- Place all the ingredients except oil, chicken, chicken stock and hominy in the blender. Blend until pureed. Pour into the pot of an electric pressure cooker or slow cooker, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- (Optional) Set the lid loosely on top of the electric pressure cooker. Select the saute setting, and saute the tomatillo-chile mixture to develop a roasted flavor. Turn off the heat after 20 minutes, and wait a few minutes for the bubbling to stop. Remove the lid.
- Add the chicken stock and chopped chicken, and stir to combine. Seal the pressure cooker and cook using the soup setting, or cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to come down using a natural pressure release. If using a slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours.
- Once the pressure is released, add the drained hominy. Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes to heat through. Serve with desired toppings.
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