There’s nothing quite as comforting as a bowl of steaming hot soup when you’re feeling under the weather, gloomy, or homesick. And this pozole verde is my chicken soup for the soul. At the first sight of a cloud, or the thought of an upcoming Monday, I gravitate towards this soul-nourishing goodness. It’s warm, filling, and has a pick-me-up zing to it.
Pozole (which literally translates to hominy), is a Mexican soup, traditionally made with hominy and some kind of meat. There are different variants of pozole, but the two most popular ones are pozole rojo and pozole verde. Pozole rojo is made with red tomatoes and has a deep, almost sour tang. Pozole verde gets its hue and flavor mainly from tomatillos and poblano chilis. It has a light, piquant tang with an undertone of a mild almost fruity spiciness from poblano, making it ideal for summertime.
The star of this soup is hominy. Ideally dried hominy, cooked from scratch, along with shredded, fork-tender chicken is what gives this soup its famous moreish chewy texture, but if you can’t get your hands on dried hominy, or if you’re short on time, canned hominy works well too.
The toppings on this soup are not for mere garnish. They give it a contrasting play of textures and flavors that complement the verde salsa-like base. To serve, set out the condiments in separate bowls, so each diner can customize their pozole as they like.
Making Pozole Verde with Chicken:
Fill a saucepan with chicken broth. Add chicken breast, bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer till the chicken is fork tender. Meanwhile, in another saucepan take water and hominy. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, till tender.
Fill a large stockpot with water. Add tomatillos, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water starts bubbling, reduce heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, till tomatillos are tender. Once done, add poblano chilis and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Deseed cooked poblanos and transfer them along with the tomatillos to a blender. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and oregano and blend. Then add a cup of cooking liquid and blend until smooth, and season with salt and pepper.
Take boiled, shredded chicken in a large stockpot. Add blended tomatillo mix, freshly ground black pepper, cooked hominy and cooking liquid. Mix and simmer over medium-high heat till the soup is thick. Transfer into individual serving bowls, add radish, lettuce, sour cream, squeeze in juice of half a lime (optional), and serve.
1 lb tomatillos, husked
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 chicken breast
½ white onion, diced in quarters
7 cups chicken broth
10 sprigs of cilantro, stems removed
1 tbsp dried oregano
420 grams hominy
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
½ lettuce, thinly shredded
2 radishes, sliced
½ onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lime, halved
- In a saucepan, take chicken broth. Add chicken breast and cook until tender. In another saucepan, take some more water. Add hominy, bring to a boil and simmer until tender.
- Fill a large stockpot with water. Add tomatillos and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Then add poblano chilis and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Transfer tomatillos and deseeded poblanos to a blender. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, oregano, and cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
- Take boiled shredded chicken in a stockpot. Add the tomatillo mix, cooking liquid, black pepper, and hominy. Simmer until thick.
- Transfer pozole verde into individual serving bowls. Top off with sour cream, radish, onion, lettuce and lime.