For those of you outside the southwest who might not be familiar with posole, it refers to those supersize corn kernels sometimes called hominy. Traditional New Mexican recipes for posole call for a ham hock soup base; I’ve varied it a bit and used chicken broth instead.
This winter I’ve been trying to use up items in my pantry and freezer before shopping for more food, and I recently came across two packages of dried corn posole kernels: one blue corn and the other yellow. I tossed the blue kernels into a bowl of water to soak for a few hours first as the minimal directions on that package said to soak overnight for best results. Then I drained and rinsed them and added them — along with the yellow posole kernels– to my 12-quart stock pot with a quart of vegetable broth that I made some time ago and pulled out of my freezer. I also threw in an entire bag of baby carrots that I halved, because my kids LOVE carrots in soup.
Into the pot went some garlic, a few cans of chopped tomatoes, and once it came up to a boil, four frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I ran this mixture at a low simmer for a couple hours until the chicken was cooked, then pulled out the thighs and cut them up into bite-sized pieces. I also cut up a can of mild Hatch green chiles and tossed them in, then seasoned with sea salt.
By the time we were ready for dinner, the posole had exploded into soft little pillows of chewy delight, making this a satisfyingly filling soup that is an entire meal in and of itself.
Now I’ve got containers of frozen chicken soup with posole waiting in my freezer for defrosting on a night when I just don’t want to cook or for when someone needs an infusion of “Latino penicillin” to help heal their body. “Jewish penicillin”, of course, is chicken soup with matzoh balls! 🙂
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