Posole with Chorizo, Pepitas and Cotija Recipe

Spice up your day with comforting, hearty South-of-the-Border inspired soup

A cold weekend is the perfect time to craft a pot of soup, and this posole can give chili a run for its money on game day, too. Plus, it only needs to cook for about 30 minutes. The word “posole” refers to both the stew-like Mexican soup and the kernels of dried corn (also called hominy), says chef and cookbook author Marie Simmons, who created this recipe for Real Food. Based on a sauce of tomatillos, this soup features hominy, roasted poblano pepper, and a mixture of vegetables. To make hominy, dried corn is soaked in slaked lime to remove the hull and boiled until tender. Fortunately, the canned variety works perfectly for this recipe, says Simmons. It adds crumbled, browned chorizo for a hearty taste and is thickened with a spoonful of masa harina, traditionally used to make tortillas. Garnish with toasted, salted pepitas, sliced radishes, avocado and crumbled cotija, a Mexican cheese similar in taste to Asiago.

Posole with Chorizo, Pepitas, and Cotija

Makes 6 to 8 Servings

1 poblano pepper
12 ounces chorizo, casings removed
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño, or more to taste
2 cloves garlic, smashed with side of a knife
2 large white potatoes, peeled and quartered (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 cup white onion, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 (14-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained
1 pound tomatillos, husked, trimmed, and cut into ½-inch chunks
½ cup carrot, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup celery, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup diced tomatoes in juices
¼ cup chopped cilantro, including stems
2 teaspoons coarse salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon dried wormseed or Mexican oregano
2 cups packed spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 cup corn
3 tablespoons masa harina or fine cornmeal
¼ cup fresh lime juice

1 to 2 avocados, cut into ¼-inch wedges
½ cup radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ cup toasted, salted pepitas (see recipe below)
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
½ cup crumbled cotija or Asiago 

1. Lightly char skin of poblano over a gas flame, in a pepper roaster, or under broiler, turning until evenly blistered. Cool slightly. Rub off charred skin and remove and discard seeds and stem. Cut into ½-inch pieces and set aside.

2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, crumble chorizo and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Pour off fat and discard. Set aside.

3. In a large soup pot, combine broth, poblano, jalapeño, garlic, potatoes, onion, hominy, tomatillos, carrot, celery, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, and wormseed. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes, until tomatillos are dissolved and potatoes are tender.

4. Stir in chorizo. Add spinach, corn, masa harina, and lime juice, and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring, 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.

5. Set out a tray with garnishes. Ladle posole into large, deep bowls and let each diner top with desired garnishes.

Salted, Toasted Pepitas

Makes ½ cup

½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
coarse salt

1. Spread pepitas in a small skillet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat 2 minutes, until turning golden-brown and “popping” in pan.

Nutrition info Posole W. Chorizo, Pepitas, & Cotija (Per Serving): Calories 545 (289 from fat); Fat 33g (Sat. 11g); Chol 53mg; Sodium 1866mg; Carb 44g; Fiber 8g; Protein 22g

In her role as Senior Editor on Greenspring’s Custom Publications team, Mary leads Real Food magazine, the nationally syndicated publication distributed through our retail partner grocery stores. She also leads editorial on the nationally syndicated Drinks magazine and writes a weekly blog post focusing on food and drinks for the MinnesotaMonthly.com. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.