Pozole reminds me of menudo. And not the Ricky Martin version of Menudo. I still remember the song “Súbete a mi moto,” my sister played constantly back in the early 80s.
I’m talking about the deliciously rich and flavorful soup we would have every New Year’s Eve. Most people think of it as a cure for a hangover, though our family never had any beer, wine or even champagne for the celebration. We had Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider at midnight instead. It tasted good to me!
Though I liked menudo, I would always make sure to fill my bowl with the pozole (hominy), broth and plenty of the fresh toppings. I never liked the tripe and other meats that were used to make the stew.
This is not menudo, but a pozole that has a lot of hominy, has a lot of flavor and is even vegan. I know that may be sacrilegious for many people: pozole is usually made with pork and sometimes chicken. But this tastes great and is very filling. If you try it, I hope you like it.
Pozole (Vegan Version)
I large onion, chopped into wedges
3-5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 medium poblano peppers
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper
1 lb. tomatillos
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 (29-ounce cans) white hominy
6 cups vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 medium/large sweet potato, diced
1 – 2 cups, cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 large zucchini, diced
1 tablespoon red miso
Toppings: finely chopped Savoy or Napa cabbage, cilantro (chopped), radishes (chopped), avocado (diced and tossed with lime juice), and lime wedges.
Preheat your broiler. Place the onion, poblano peppers, serrano or jalapeño pepper, garlic and tomatillos on a baking pan, preferably rimmed because the tomatillos will release some of their liquid. Broil for about 20 minutes. Flip the ingredients halfway through the process. When finished, place the poblano peppers in a bag and let them steam for 5 – 10 minutes. Let the other ingredients cool on the pan.
Place the onion, garlic, tomatillos and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in a food processor.
Process until smooth.
Add to a large pot. Peel, seed and chop the poblano and serrano/jalapeño peppers and add to the pot as well.
Add the hominy, sweet potato, broth, oregano, ancho chile powder and cumin. Bring to a boil and reduce to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir often.
After 30 minutes, add the zucchini, cannellini beans and the miso. Stir and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
Serve the pozole in bowls. People can add the toppings to their own taste.
We usually eat this with corn tortillas on the side. We like to roll them up, sometimes with slices of queso fresco, as we eat our pozole.