Divas on a Dime: Celebrate Hatch chile season with a fresh, easy soup

It’s not soup season, but it is Hatch chile season! This soup, starring Hatch chiles is so light, fresh and budget-friendly, I think we’ll make an exception.

Hatch chiles are in season for a few weeks beginning in August and are available in mild, medium and hot. The hot are seriously hot. You’ve been warned.

Roasting chilies is easy. Set your oven broiler on HIGH and place the peppers in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets. Roast the peppers, turning until blistered on all sides.

Place the hot peppers into a bag or cover with plastic to steam for at least 5 minutes. Once cooled, you can easily peel the skin and remove the stems and seeds. Chop and freeze the peppers until ready to use.

What’s posole? Technically “posole” is Spanish for hominy. But it usually refers to this traditional soup made with hominy, meat and peppers. It can be green (verde) or red (rojo), determined by the peppers used. Pork pozole is most common but today we’re using chicken.

What the heck is hominy? Hominy is dried corn that’s been soaked in a mineral lime bath in a process called nixtamalization.

This alkali process loosens the hulls and softens the kernels themselves, causing them to double in size, which is why hominy looks like giant mutant corn.

Without hominy, we wouldn’t have masa or ground corn. No masa, no tortillas, tamales or tacos.

Hominy is easier to digest, thus more nutritious and makes an excellent alternative to potatoes or beans, especially in soups like this.

EASY POSOLE VERDE DE POLLO

This green Mexican hominy and chicken soup is ready in just 45 minutes on the stove, or you can let it simmer in the slow-cooker all day. Add jalapeños if you like heat. You can use leftover or rotisserie chicken to make it even quicker.

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

What You Need:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 cups mild Hatch chiles, roast, seeded and diced

2 jalapeños, seeded and minced – optional

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR 3-4 cups cooked shredded chicken

8 cups chicken stock

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 (110-ounce) can hominy, drained

Garnishes: diced avocado, cilantro, cotija cheese, thinly-sliced radishes, lime wedges, shredded cabbage, and tortilla chips.

Here’s How:

Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the peppers and garlic and sauté for an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock, 2 cups water, cumin and salt, and bring to a simmer. If you’re not using pre-cooked chicken, add the raw chicken and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and shred. Add the hominy. Return the chicken to the soup. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with your desired garnishes.

With posole, it’s all about the garnish. Everyone can customize their bowl just the way they like it. Enjoy!

Frugal and Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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