It’s pronounced Po-sol-eh, though Kev leaves off the “eh” for reasons unknown. It comes in red, white, or green. I had my first bowl a couple years ago at Chipotle, so the authenticity may be questionable. This soup, spotted with hominy, is commonly served in Mexico as a celebratory dish. And since the next two months are filled with celebrations (especially in the red, white, and green color palette), I thought I’d shake up the traditional celebratory fare at this house. Because we’re staying home for the holidays. And that might be the bigger shakeup.
This post was created in an ongoing partnership with Muir Glen Organic. Muir Glen harvests organic tomatoes at the peak of ripeness. Tomatoes go from field to can in 8 hours or less. When I shop for canned tomatoes, I stock my pantry with Muir Glen. Of course, all opinions/endorsements are my own.
Wading through the transition from childhood to adulthood to marriage to becoming a tiny family of your own is about as awkward as middle school. We’re stumbling through it. I’m the oldest. Kev’s the second oldest of five. And Hal is the only grandchild, cousin, niece on either side. We’re the first to do Christmas at our home with our tiny 3-person family. The first to start new traditions. And the first to make the same hard decision my parents eventually made—to stay put at Christmas. It’s awkward. But mostly hard.
When I think about Christmas, I still see myself at home, 15 years old, standing at the top of our staircase waiting with my brother and sister to come down to a full Christmas tree. My mom was the best Santa on the block. I’d eat a handful of Andes Mints from my stocking before sitting down to my dad’s top-secret sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast. His was the best too. The neighbors would trickle in for a taste. Not long after breakfast, the smell of carrots, onion, and celery sautéed in butter would hit. It was the start of a long day of cooking for my mom. My dad had already started the turkey in the smoker the night before.
I’m 31 now. I cried my first married Christmas away from my family at 24. And I’ll probably cry again this year.
We’re breaking perfectly good old traditions to start new ones with our tiny family. The newness feels a lot like trying on a romper in the dressing room for the first time. Will it fit? Will it be comfortable? Can anyone see me? How will I go to the bathroom? Will I return it?
15 feels like yesterday. There’s no way I’m Santa now, stuffing stockings and making the meals. Maybe we’ll practice all this newness with friends and a batch of non-traditional Quick Red Pozole. Maybe we’ll go on a horse drawn carriage through downtown. Or a hike along the snow covered trails of the Mississippi. Or rent a cabin in the evergreens of Minnesota.
This non-traditional, vegetarian pozole earns its red from Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes and rehydrated New Mexico Chiles. It’s just a step above a broth in thickness and peppered with hominy, which is the same treated corn that yields masa. They taste like little corn tortilla dumplings. The best part about this soup is the versatility of toppings. See notes below for additional topping ideas.
Using a stock pot, turn heat to medium. Add in the oil and onion. Stir occasionally and cook for about 2 minutes or until translucent. Salt to taste. Add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Meanwhile, removed the tops and seeds from the chiles. Add in the chiles and spices to the stock pot. Using about a quarter of the broth, cover the tops of the chiles. With the heat still on medium, cook for 5 minutes to soften the chiles.
Remove from heat and pour contents into a high powered blender along with the tomatoes. Puree until smooth. Pour back into the stock pot. Add the remaining broth, bayleaf, hominy, and squirt of honey (to even out the acid). Salt to taste. Cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the toppings. See notes below for additional topping ideas.
Taste soup. Add additional salt as needed. Serve warm and add toppings.
This soup is perfect for a crowd as it’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian. Serve rotisserie pulled chicken as a topping for the meat eaters. Or serve spicy roasted chickpeas for added plant protein. Other topping ideas: crispy tortilla strips, pepita seeds, shredded cabbage, diced raw purple onion. This soup has a light heat at the beginning of the bite that even my mild husband can handle.