Pozole Verde Vegetariano

Green Pozole with Zucchini, Chayote, and Mushrooms

“Green pozole, or hominy stew, is much loved by people from the state of Guerrero, in southwestern Mexico. It is rare to find green pozole made without any meat. My mother, however, prefers it that way. And when you taste the thick, velvety base of toasted pumpkin seeds and oregano combined with poblano chiles and tomatillos, you probably will too. A mix of vegetables — zucchini, chayote, mushrooms — and the cooked hominy play off each other, and nobody will ask where the meat is.

If you taste the poziole before the end of the cooking process, it may taste overly grassy to you. That will change once the vegetables are thoroughly cook and the the stew will taste completely fabulous.”– Pati Jinich


Text excerpted from Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens by Pati Jinich. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/HoughtonMifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Click here to purchase your own copy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 pound tomatillos (about 6 medium), husked, thoroughly rinsed, and quartered
  • 1 pound poblano chiles (4 or 5), seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and upper part of stems
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 cups cooked hominy (one 29-ounce can) or cooked dried hominy
  • 1 1/4 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), diced (4 cups)
  • 11/4 pounds chayote squash (about 2), peeled and diced (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and diced

To Garnish

  • 2 limes, quartered
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • chopped white onion
  • 4 radishes, halved and thinly sliced

Note:

The pozole, without the garnishes, can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

Serves 4

PREPARATION

  1. Heat a small skillet or comal over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to brown and pop, like popcorn. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Toast the oregano in the same pan for 8 to 10 seconds, just until it goes from green to brown, stirring constantly and taking care not to burn. Immediately transfer to the bowl with the pumpkin seeds.
  3. Place the tomatillos, chiles, onion, cilantro, and garlic in a blender, add the water, and puree until smooth.
  4. In a large heavy pot or casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the green puree. It will sizzle, sear, and smoke, which is what you want! Add the salt and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken and darken in color and the flavors will intensify.
  5. Meanwhile, place the toasted pumpkin seeds and oregano in the blender, along with 3 cups of the broth, and puree until completely smooth.
  6. Stir the pumpkin seed mixture into the simmering green sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Cover partially, as the mixture will splutter, and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot; it will be thicker and pastier on the bottom.
  7. Add the remaining 5 cups broth and bring to a simmer. Add the hominy, cover partially, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, chayote, and mushrooms, cover partially, and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the soup is thick and olive green. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  8. Ladle the pozole into bowls and serve, passing the garnishes on the side.*
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