Vegetarian Pozole (or Posole) with Scarlet Runner Beans is a hearty soup and one pot meal exploding with different textures and flavors.
I had a devil of a time when naming this dish. Looks simple, I realize, until you try to confirm the spelling of the word “pozole.” Or “posole.” As best I can tell, a more Spanish spelling of the word is poSole and a more Native Mexican (think Aztecs) spelling of the word is poZole–although some sources claimed part of it even has to do with whether you are from New Mexico or not! I have an instinctive preference for poSole, but as it turns out many more of you search for poZole, so that is what I went with it.
So please, please, PLEASE don’t anyone yell at me about how it should be spelled. I did try to figure it out.
Further complicating issues is that traditional pozole– at least in some areas of Mexico– should have pork. And supposedly that can affect the spelling–one spelling means it has pork and one spelling just means it has hominy. I no longer remember which is supposedly which. Whether or not making it vegetarian negates it as pozole– or posole– I am not sure. But honestly, when it is this delicious it is hard to care. And you guys know I am a pretty dedicated carnivore, especially when it comes to Mexican food. So this is really good.
As far as I am concerned, the best thing about vegetarian pozole– or any pozole is the garnishes–and this one is no different. If it sounds good, put it in there! For me the non-negotiables are fresh lime juice, rinsed and soaked chopped onion, sour cream and queso fresco (some people in my family prefer feta cheese–that works too!). I am not a big avocado eater, but I am sure avocado is crucial for some people. The roasted poblano peppers were added on a whim, and I really liked them.
The timing of this soup will depend a lot on the age of your dried beans and hominy; you can either start early and remain flexible, or if you are concerned, split it into 2 days and make the beans and hominy the first day. Also, as written this makes a lot. Split in half if desired.
- 1 lb dried hominy, soaked in cold water overnight
- 1 lb dried scarlet runner beans, soaked in cold water overnight
- 1 T New Mexico chile powder, plus more (see below)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 t salt, plus more to taste
- 1 T chicken stock base (use vegetarian stock base for a completely vegetarian soup)
- 1-2 T avocado oil
- 1 red onion, diced, divided
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 T minced garlic
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 sweet bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 T New Mexico chile powder
- 1 t chipotle or smoked paprika, heat tolerance depending
- 2 t Mexican oregano, crumbled
- 1 t ground cumin
- 2 15-oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
- juice of half lime
- chopped avocado
- rinsed and soaked red onion
- crumbled queso fresco or feta or combo
- chopped roasted poblano peppers
- chopped cilantro
- lime wedges
- sour cream
Soak the dried beans and dried hominy overnight in cold water.
The next morning, bring the the beans and hominy to a boil, covered by at least 2 inches of water.
While the water is coming to a boil, chop the onion and add it to the pot. Then add the New Mexico chile powder and the garlic.
Let the beans and hominy cook at a rolling boil for 5 minutes, then cover and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
How long this will take depends a lot on the age of your beans and hominy; plan for at least 3 hours for them to cook. Make sure the beans and hominy remain covered by water by 2 inches.
When the beans are mostly tender and the hominy is mostly chewy-tender, add the salt and the stock base (chicken or vegetarian). Let it keep cooking if it is close to serving time; if not, turn off the heat and let it rest until 1 hour before serving.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. When it is hot, add the chopped yellow onion and half of the diced red onion with a pinch of salt.
Place the remaining diced red onion in a small-medium bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside.
Cook the onion until translucent, and then add the garlic, carrots and bell pepper. Add another pinch of salt.
If the beans and hominy are no longer simmering, now is a good time to bring them back to a simmer.
Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the veggies are softened and the onion is browning.
Add the spices (New Mexico chile powder, chipotle or smoked paprika, cumin). Stir. Then add the Mexican oregano by crumbling it in your fingers into the pot. Stir again.
Let the spices roast for 1-2 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching.
Add the fire roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomato-vegetable mixture to the beans and hominy. Stir and continue simmering, covered, for 20 minutes to blend flavor.
Add the lime juice and taste for salt. Remember some of the garnishes will add saltiness too.
Serve hot with garnishes.
Looking for a Vegetarian Pozole collage to pin?…
I tried this and it was wonderful! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for letting me know!
Made this and it was fabulous, only modification was I added red lentils to the pot to simmer as well, gave it some more body. I have a daughter who recently chose to be vegan, and this was a way to have a hearty meal that made everyone happy and satisfied. Many many thanks…
Thanks for letting me know! And I agree, red lentils are a great way to thicken a soup or stew.