Pozole Verde

I LOVE tomatillos.  And I love pozole.  So naturally, the two joining forces seemed like a very wise idea in my mind.

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Pozole is a Latin American soup made with hominy (large kernels of maize/corn that have been soaked until large and puffy- they’re awesome).  It’s traditionally made with pork and some type of spicy tomato-based broth, however there are many variations.  I’ve been making a chicken pozole I love for eons now… see the recipe HERE (the post could use some new photos, but you’ll get the idea!).  What makes pozole amazing to me is not just the hominy and deliciously spiced broth though… it’s the toppings.  Anyone who knows my style of cooking knows I’m a freak for toppings… I love foods that I can top with other foods!!  And pozole is just that… you can top it with whatever you want!  I’m a big fan of avocado, cabbage, radishes, oh my and tortilla strips (a must in my opinion), toasted pepitas, and Greek yogurt (or sour cream).  Not only are they tasty, but they add some color to the dish, as well.

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Speaking of color… you’ll notice this dish is green!  I typically make pozole with a tomato-based red broth, but I had all of these tomatillos on hand, so thought why not make a pozole verde (or green pozole).  Tomatillos make amazing salsas… they add a zingy refreshing quality, almost like lime, to anything they go in.  I often use them in bean soups and stews, so it seemed only natural that they would go well in a Latin-style soup such as pozole, too.  I love the color they make this… it’s a deep green that’s not typically seen in soups.

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If you don’t feel up to making you own tortilla strips, no biggie… you can omit them or just use tortilla chips if you’d like.  But homemade ones are simply better… there’s just no way around that.  :)

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serves 4–6

INGREDIENTS

approx. 3/4 lb tomatillos

1 large white onion

3-4 garlic cloves

1 pasilla pepper (or poblano)

1 serrano pepper

1 lb chicken thighs, boneless/skinless

1 cup chopped cilantro

3 cups hominy (1 – 30 oz can)

1 quart chicken broth (homemade or store-bought low sodium)

2 bay leaves

1 tsp oregano (preferable Mexican)

1/4 tsp ancho chile powder

juice from 1 lime

1 tsp salt (divided in half)

1/2 tsp black pepper (divided in half)

1 tbsp olive oil

 

 for toppings: pepitas, purple cabbage, radishes, avocado, white onion, avocado, lime,

tortilla strips (see how to make your own below), and sour cream or Greek yogurt

 

 *you’ll need an immersion blender, food processor, or blender for this

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DIRECTIONS

Begin by washing tomatillo… they often have a sticky residue under their husks

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Place them in a bowl of warm water and rub the lightly

with your fingers to get any stickiness off… remove the husks

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Then roughly chop tomatillos… quartering them works well

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Chop the onion and garlic, as well… you want a hefty tbsp or so of garlic

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Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat

Add tomatillos, onion, garlic, oregano,

and half of the salt and pepper (1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)

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Stir well to evenly coat everything

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Meanwhile, remove the seeds from the peppers…

the seeds carry the heat, so taking them out will reduce the spicy levels

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Slice them up…

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Add the peppers and bay leaves to the pot

Stir and let it all saute for about 10 minutes

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Then add chicken thighs

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Roughly chop the cilantro leaves…

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Add the cilantro and chicken broth to the pot

Lower the heat- cover the pot and let it cook for about 30 minutes

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By now, the chicken should be well-cooked… remove it from the pot and let it cool

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Remove the bay leaves from pot

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup broth until it’s smooth

Alternatively, if you do not have an immersion blender, you can pour the soup into a

food processor or blender and  blend it in batches until it’s smooth

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It doesn’t have to be perfect… in fact, I prefer some chunk to my soup, but get it mostly smooth…

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Using your fingers, shred the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces

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Add the chicken to the pot

Stir in the hominy and fresh lime juice

(Start with a half of lime and then add more as desired)

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Add the ancho chili powder…

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It’s always good to season soups again at the end, once the flavors have settled…

add the remaining half of salt and pepper, tasting it as you go to make sure you get the flavors you want

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Stir it all together, that’s it!

Keep it warm while you prepare the garnishes….

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For toppings…

lightly toast the pepitas in a small pan until fragrant

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To make the tortilla strips…

Slice corn tortillas into long strips

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Heat a little avocado oil or ghee (or other healthy cooking you like) in a pan over medium-high heat

Add the tortillas- once lightly browned, flip and fry the other side

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Place them on a paper towel to pat dry and lightly sprinkle with salt

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Very thinly slice the cabbage… the thinner, the better

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Slice the radishes very thin, as well

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Dice a little white onion (optional, depending on whether you like raw onion), chop up some avocado,

get Greek yogurt or sour cream, chop fresh cilantro, and cut some lime wedges to serve it with…

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Now you’re ready to assemble!

Ladle some soup into bowls…

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Top with Greek yogurt (or sour cream), cabbage, and avocado

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Lay some radishes over the top and sprinkle some toasted pepitas on there

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Top it all off with some crispy tortilla strips
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That’s it…

Squeeze some fresh lime on there if you’d like and enjoy!

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About Me
Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!
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