Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Whoa. My last post was super popular. Either there are other sleep deprived parents searching for baby cat nap answers (hallelujah! We are not alone!) or you guys really have a thing for stir fry...

O- to the -M- to the- G. You guys, I haven't been getting your emails. A friend recently told me that she had written me and email through my "contact" tab here on the blog. Odd, I thought, never got it. And then BAM! I remembered several other people had told me the same thing. You see, I'm not getting those emails. If you've written me and I didn't get back to you, know that I'm not ignoring you! I do get my comments but I'm needing to fix the email issue. For now if you need to get a hold of me you can drop me a line at

Other than this revelation we have been preparing for winter up in these parts. Winter here means cold and snow and soup and stew. We've had a few snowstorms already, most recently one that dropped 12" of snow in 24 hours. It was wet snow. Perfect for snowman building, which a huge Carhart overalls, a santa hat and nothing October.

That would be my husband and it might be why I love him.
Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

And this would be the snowman (snow giant?) that was built
Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Halloween is this week and almost as if on cue another snowstorm is due. It always snows on Halloween here. It's like a rule or something. The newest soup on the menu for such a time as this is vegetarian posole. I love it. My mom and step-dad used to make this growing up. My step dad is Mexican so he knows how to make a good pot of posole. Only thing is, it's supposed to be made with pork or chicken which is delicious but not gonna fly in my house all the time. My mother reminded me though that the star of posole is in fact, the posole (or hominy) and the toppings add all the charm- crunchy, fresh shredded cabbage, cilantro, radish, and a squirt of lemon all add brightness to the hot soup. I questioned my mom on the lemon. Didn't she mean lime? She balked. No. Lemon it is. The soup is awesome on its own but the toppings bring it to life. The cabbage wilts ever so slightly upon hitting the hot soup and the lime and cilantro tie in perfectly to the cumin scented tomato broth. The key here is to use frozen hominy, not the canned stuff. It's just not the same. The frozen variety comes raw and you cook it into the broth and it becomes something more in the pot than just another ingredient. Also, the texture can't even be compared. I love to bite down on my hominy and feel that satisfying chew, like an al dente pasta. That's why you need to go the extra mile and find the frozen hominy. It's actually a common ingredient in grocery stores. It's usually kept in the Mexican section of the freezer aisle. Look for where the frozen burritos are and you'll be close.

It looks like this: Posole and "Duck Sauce"

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Another ingredient you may not be familiar with is something we refer to as "duck sauce" because it has a picture of a duck on the can...not sure why... (?) but it's actually just Mexican tomato sauce and again, I promise you it's an easy to find ingredient in the Mexican section of the grocery stores where the dried chili's are and such. This product right here is what defines your broth. It gives it a little spicy edge, and flavors everything with tomato and chile. If you really can't find it, my mom says to add jalapeño to the onions in the soup. But really, don't let it come to that. Just find the sauce.

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

You can make this in a crockpot too, if you'd rather- double points! And, it's sure to warm you through on a snowy night. Think of us on Halloween while those of you in warmer climates are running around in sleeveless glory, my kids will be layering. At least snow fairies can have long sleeves, Spiderman already has long sleeves, bumblebees can have black cardigans, and Rosie the Riveter can wear a jean jacket instead of shirt. Pic's in the next post.

Mom and Dave's Mexican Posole Soup
serves 4-6

*Use frozen posole for this soup, not the canned stuff. See note above.

*You can make this with chicken or pork as well. Cook it seperately, then add it in. Use shredded boiled chicken, like you would for chicken and dumplings.

1  large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 (28-oz) can of diced tomatoes
1/2-1 can of  El Pato brand "duck sauce" or "Mexican tomato sauce"
8 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/2 a bag of frozen hominy (about 3 cups)
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 head of cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
Kosher salt
black pepper
Shredded green cabbage, for topping
Lemon wedges, for serving
Slivered radishes, for serving

In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for five minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the can of tomatoes, chicken stock, zucchini, frozen hominy (I just put the whole frozen chunk in the pot and let it break apart as the broth heats) half the cilantro (reserve the other half for topping), cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/2-1 can of the duck sauce. I use a whole can. A 1/2 can is fine if you don't like a little kick. It's not very spicy-it's just right in my opinion. Bring soup to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the hominy is tender. Taste for salt and adjust seasonings. Serve soup with the cabbage, lemon, reserved cilantro and radishes.


  1. this looks so good was hubby not cold

  2. Excellent post!...As usual :)

  3. I feel a bit mislead since the title of this says "Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup" but the recipe calls for chicken stock. Have you ever tried it with vegetable stock?

  4. Yes! So sorry. I actually used vegetable stock but wrote chicken stock in the instructions. Thank you for pointing that out. My mother uses chicken stock and it's her recipe so I wanted to offer that as an option. It's fabulous both ways.

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  6. Hahaha, everyone I know calls it 'duck sauce' too! The duck is because "El Pato" means "the duck" in Spanish. Why is it called El Pato brand? I have no idea! It's like Eagle brand snacks, or Original Penguin brand clothing; just a company name.