I don’t know if many of you know this, but I when I was little I had a Mexican nanny. She lived at our house with us and because my parents worked nights (and had to sleep during the day), she was our caretaker for most hours of the day. She didn’t know any english when she first arrived (I was only three years old) therefore my sister and I learned to speak spanish to communicate with her. Her name was Angelica and she was beautiful in so many ways. She was a sweet nurturing little lady who taught me more than I will ever be able to recount. She left our home when I was about eleven or twelve and I haven’t spoke to her since. I think she went back to Mexico to be with her own family. Angelica was an incredible lady with the kindest heart and I miss her dearly. Although she isn’t in my life physically, she is often with me in memories. Her food is something that I remember fondly. She often cooked for my sister and I and sometimes for the whole family. She enlightened us with traditional Mexican flavors and frequently introduced us to her own favorite meals. There are a few dishes I will never forget; her homemade tamales, this strawberry, sugar, and sour cream dessert she always treated my sister and I to, and of course her amazing Pozole Rojo. Pozole (sometimes spelled Posole) is a Mexican stew typically made from chicken or pork and hominy (dried maize kernels, otherwise known as field corn kernels). There are different versions of the broth too; some are red and some are green. The truth is, they really are all so good! It seems that you can’t mess it up, so I that is why I wanted to try my own vegan version, and it turned out just like I had thought; DELISH! It is honestly one of my favorite soups I have ever made. My mother had a recipe for red Pozole with pork, and when Angelica left, she made it often for us. I used her recipe, as a guideline, and changed and adapted it accordingly to fit the vegetarian rendition I was going for. It is amazing my Mom has saved this recipe for all these years; it was clipped out of the newspaper and has stains all over it. Classic signs of a well-liked meal! I wanted to add something to the soup that bumped up the nutrition content and figured that quinoa, that protein-packed little seed, was the perfect addition! I hope that you enjoy my take on the classic and warm-up with it real soon!
Vegan Pozole Rojo w/ Hominy & Quinoa
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 3 quarts of vegetable broth
- 2 30oz cans hominy* (see note below)
- 2 whole dried California chiles* (see note below)
- 1/4 cup (about 1oz) dried California red chili pepper powder* (see note below)
- 1 cup dried red quinoa (or any color quinoa you have on hand)
- extra-virgin olive oil
- dried oregano
- ground cumin
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 TBSP flour
- juice of a small lime, plus extra slices for garnish
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
- 1. Chop up one yellow onion and mince 4 cloves of garlic. Open the two cans of hominy and drain and rinse the hominy in a large colander and set aside. Also, pour 1 cup dried red quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and rinse well under cold water and set aside for later use. In a large stockpot add two TBSPs of extra-virgin olive oil of medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and garlic with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and sauté for a few minutes. Add 1 tsp oregano and1 tsp cumin and stir. Add in the two whole dried chiles (with their stems removed) to the pot. Add in the drain and rinsed hominy. Pour in about a half of a cup of the vegetable broth to start, and scrape up all the little brown bits from the bottom of the stockpot (this is called de-glazing the pot and all those little brown bits are incredible flavor that you don’t want stuck to the pot and not in your soup!). Then add all the rest of the broth. Raise the temperature to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pot and reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 45 minutes.
- 2. In a bowl, add 1 cup of water and about 1/4 cup of the dried California red chili pepper powder, whisk to combine and set aside. Dice up about 1/4 of the other yellow onion (save the rest of the onion for another use). Dice up the last two cloves of garlic. In a small saucepan, add 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the diced onion and garlic with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add about 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp oregano and stir. Add 1 TBSP of flour to the onion/garlic mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the dried chili powder and water to the pot and stir it all together well. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the pot for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce is thickened add in the juice of a small lime. Turn the heat off and set the red sauce aside.
- 3. Once the 45 minutes is up on the soup, add in the cup of rinsed quinoa to the large stockpot. Cover the pot again and let the quinoa simmer over medium-low heat into the soup for 15- 18 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the two whole dried chiles and discard. Add about half of the red sauce into the soup and save the rest of the red sauce for a later use* (see note).
- 4. Divide the soup among the bowls and serve immediately with garnishes; shredded cabbage, chopped avocado, diced cilantro and lime wedges! Enjoy!! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week, reheat and freshly garnish each time!
- These three items are found at your local grocery in the “Latin foods” aisle. Make sure to get California or New Mexico whole dried chiles and dried chili powder.
- You really only need about half of the red sauce for this recipe, but not to worry because the red sauce is incredible on scrambled eggs or on homemade nachos!
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