Monday, September 13, 2010

Vegan Blue Posole by Candlelight

Hello darkness my old friend. I’ve come to dine with you again.

I'll be the first to admit this is not the most attractive soup. On the ugly soup meter, it scores about an 8.5. But it's so tasty, in a dimly lit room, who's going to judge? Trust me, it's the most wonderful, earthy dish you won't want anyone to see. When you bite into that vibrant, chewy New Mexican maize, you'll see how amazing it is. Plus, you and your insatiable soup-loving significant other can both go back for thirds and the other one won't have to know. A dark room, two pigs and a pot of posole. Now that's my idea of a romantic dinner.

But before you call the grease police on me, I must tell you this only looks greasy. Believe me—I'm not into big oil. If you think I want BP getting its greedy, greasy paws in my posole, you're grossly mistaken. I kept big agro out of it too, by making it vegan, adapting the recipe from the package of posole that I got at the Santa Fe School of Cooking when I visited there (you can buy it here). I cut the heat by only using half the chile powder it called for ('cause I'm a wuss that way), but I added cumin seeds for extra flavor. I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and I substituted olive oil for canola. And when the broth and the oil met that glorious chile powder I got in Chimayó, they all turned an irridescent orange. Sure, it may look like Chernobyl, but it tastes like Chimayó. And that's the important thing, right? That, and you won’t have to do your hair and makeup for dinner.


¾ pound (2 ½) cups) posole, picked over for any dirt or stones

3 TBSP olive oil (you can use less if you want to eat in broad daylight)

1 ¼ cup chopped onions

1 TBSP minced garlic

1 - 2 TBSP pure ground Chimayó style red chile powder (start with less and add more if you need to)

4 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon toasted and freshly ground coriander seeds

1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds

salt to taste

½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro*

Place cleaned posole in a large pot and cover with cold water by 3 inches. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, adding water as needed until kernels are soft and beginning to burst. Drain and rinse well. Heat oil in a large pot and sauté the onions until golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the posole, chile powder, stock, ground coriander and cumin and ¼ cup of the cilantro and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the salt and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Stir in remaining cilantro, taste and adjust seasonings.

*D'oh! I forgot the cilantro!

Serves 4 - 8, depending on how dark the room is.


  1. Looks luscious even if it is vegan. I'll have to give it a try but I might have to try it with a little pig meat in it also. I've got nothing against vegan food and I cook vegan all the time but I am a Southern boy and we die if we don't have a little pork regularly.

  2. FM: Surprisingly, the recipe on the posole package didn't have meat in it, just chicken broth.

  3. I luvvs me a good chugly soup (chugly = chunky + ugly). This looks fab! Cilantro a must.

  4. I adore hominy even the canned stuff. So is it absolutely necessary to discard the pozole/hominiy cooking liquid?

  5. Dorothy: I think you should trademark "chugly!"

    Andrea: I'm pretty sure I used the hominy stock and added the veggie bouillon cubes to that (is that sacrilege?). It wasn't all thick and starchy. I like these vegan bouillon cubes from Whole Foods called Rapunzel, without salt and I think they're organic.

  6. Only you could turn Chernobyl into something truly yummy!

  7. I love pretty color of the posole in that first picture! The soup looks hearty and full of flavor!

  8. Posole sounds awesome! I've never tried it...the dish doesn't look that great, but hey, the ugliest grubs are usually the tastiest.