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Vegan Pozole

Pozole is a traditional Mexican spicy thick soup, containing hominy, which are the large kernels from white maize cobs used extensively in South American and Mexican cooking. Pozole has a spooky past that originates from the ancient Aztecs. We will spare you the gruesome and very un-vegetarian history as we have adapted the recipe to make a delicious and nutritious vegan dish to warm you up on a cool night.

Vegan Pazole Recipe

Vegan Pozole

Dietary: Vegan option, gluten free

Serves: 4/6

Prep Time: 45 minutes |Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • Chilli Sauce
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 large mild fresh red chillies
  • 2 dried Ancho chillies
  • 2 dried Pasilla chillies
  • 200ml hot water
  • 1 tin green jackfruit, drained and sliced
  • 1 tin pinto or black beans, drained
  • 1 800g tin Hominy maize, drained
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 cloves, ground to a powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Garnishes

  • 100g spring greens or white cabbage
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • small pot of sour cream or soya cream
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • small handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 red chilli, sliced

Method

  1. First make the chilli sauce. In a heavy frying or griddle pan, dry toast the dried chillies, turning as they crackle and puff and begin to smell aromatic. Remove onto a board or plate to cool. Do the same with the onion wedges, whole garlic cloves, and whole chillies, toasting on all sides till charred in places and beginning to soften. Set aside on a plate to cool.
  2. Remove the stalks and seeds from the toasted chillies, and tear or cut into smaller pieces. Place the toasted chillies in a bowl with the hot water, and soak for 10 to 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and reserve half of the water for later.
  3. Remove the stalk, seeds and skin if it comes away easily from the fresh charred chillies, and place in a blender. Remove the skin from the garlic and add to the blender with the onions and soaked dried chillies with half the soaking water, then blend to a smooth sauce.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan.
  5. Fry the jackfruit gently until golden in places.
  6. Add the spices, oregano and bay leaf and stir for 1 minute.
  7. Add the chilli sauce and stir well to coat jackfruit.
  8. Stir in the drained Hominy, and cook for a minute or two on a low heat.
  9. Add 600ml vegetable stock, increase the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  10. Add the pinto beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes. You may need to add extra liquid, either stock or water. (You could use the reserved soaking water from the toasted chillies).
  11. The dish should be thick but soupy.
  12. Add the juice of the lime and a teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavour. Season generously with salt and pepper then taste and adjust.
  13. Serve the Pozole in bowls, garnished with a spoonful of sour cream or soya cream, shredded cabbage, avocado slices, slices of radish, coriander leaves, lime wedges and a little red chilli.

Tips: 

  • We buy hominy maize from Otomi in Clifton Arcade in Bristol, a wonderfully quirky Mexican stockist of ingredients and home-ware. You can find cans of hominy available to buy online as well as the dried kernels which need soaking and boiling for several hours until tender. Using the dried kernels is very time consuming, so we recommend using the canned variety. Regular sweet-corn is a completely different flavour and texture, so wouldn't make a suitable substitute. If you prefer less spice, halve the quantity of chillies in this recipe, and instead, you could add a skinned roasted red pepper to the sauce, when blending. We buy our dried chillies online from The Cool Chilli Company, stockists of many Mexican ingredients including the dried hominy maize.
  • Jack fruit is the world’s largest tree borne fruit and each knobbly green fruit can weigh up to 35kilos each! They grow in the tropics. We buy green jack fruit in tins and for savoury dishes make sure you buy the sugar free version, it is sold as a tinned dessert too. Jack fruit soaks up flavours and is fibrous so it is said to mimic ‘pulled pork’.

Find more inspiration with sweet peppers and chillies, check out Rachel's October 2017 column in Vegetarian Living magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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