12.1.16 Red Chile Chicken and Hominy Soup
After gorging on Thanksgiving food last week, and with a semi-ridiculous amount of leftover turkey still needing to be eaten, something needed to be done. I clearly needed to cook something. Something warming, but not overly heavy; something that would use up our seemingly endless turkey supply; something, most importantly, completely different from traditional Thanksgiving fare. That something was this soup.
I’d been hankering for pozole - a Mexican soup traditionally made with pork and hominy - for a while, which is why I happened to have a can of hominy on hand. I figured I’d riff on the original and make a sort of pozole-esque soup with turkey. I had plenty of chile powder and spices, plenty of onions and garlic - I knew this soup was going to be good. But in fact, it turned out even better than expected. Bowls were licked clean in record time. And I realized that hominy is something I need to make a point to have on hand more often.
If you haven’t used it before, hominy is corn that’s been treated with lime (as in calcium hydroxide, not the fruit) in a process called nixtamalization. The hominy still have the shape of corn kernels, but due to this process, they have no hull, and are softer and much bigger in size than regular kernels. Their flavor is distinctly different from regular corn as well. If you’ve eaten corn tortillas or masa harina before, both are made from nixtamalized corn, so the flavor is similar.
And so I made soup. I cooked down tomatoes, onions, and garlic with plenty of red chile powder and spices. I added my hominy and turkey (but let’s be honest, any other time of year, you’re making this with chicken) to give it heartiness. And I topped the whole thing with a crunchy cilantro lime slaw, which, with its crunch, heat, and acidity is kindof the perfect topping to a piping hot bowl of this soup. I can’t think of a better remedy for last week’s food hangover.
Red Chile Chicken and Hominy Soup
Serves 4 generously
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tsp ancho chile powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 25oz can hominy, drained and rinsed well
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked chicken (or turkey), chopped
- Sliced avocado and hot sauce for serving
- 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
- 1 medium carrot, peeled into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ tsp salt
1. Start by making the soup. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, then add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook until vegetables start to soften, about 3-4 minutes, then add the chile powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, and lime juice and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the hominy and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. While soup simmers, make the slaw by combining all slaw ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. Set aside while you finish the soup.
4. After soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the chicken, and bring back to a boil. Season to taste with additional salt if needed. Serve soup hot topped with the slaw, as well as sliced avocado and hot sauce.