Here is a warming, savory soup for corn tortilla and roasted pepper lovers. I’ve been making this for years, just never got around to blogging about it.
This was inspired by a restaurant recipe that appeared in the newspaper years ago. Their version had a base of chicken broth and ground corn tortillas. Corn tortillas (and tamales) are made from corn that has undergone the nixtamalization process, which uses an alkaline solution, usually water and calcium hydroxide (i.e. lime) or wood ash, to remove the husk. Nixtamalization makes nutrients more available, important for cultures that depend on corn as a staple grain. It also gives a distinctive, earthy flavor to the corn.
The corn that tortillas and tamales are made from is hominy, or posole in Spanish. When I made this soup, I was wanting to make it more filling, since I was leaving out the chicken. I thought, instead of tortillas, why not go straight to the source? So, I pureed a can of hominy for the soup instead. The funny thing is that I love corn tortillas and think that the hominy here tastes just like them, while Jim hates corn tortillas, but loves this soup just as much as me. So, I’d say my substitution was a success!
Roasted peppers are a must for this soup, and an avocado and coconut milk help make this rich and creamy. I serve this with a black bean salad or jicama salad sometimes, or quesadillas if I’m really hungry (or just feeling lazy.)
- 2 poblano peppers, about 8 ounces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 1 can hominy, white or yellow, drained
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Salt to taste (I didn't add any, as my broth was salty)
- Tortilla chips (optional)
Roast poblanos under a broiler, turning over once or twice, until the skin starts to turn black and loosens. Transfer peppers to a paper bag or wrap in wax paper and let cool. Peel off as much of the skin as you can and discard. Remove stem and seeds. Set aside half of one of the peppers for garnish and transfer the rest to a blender or food processor.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute onion until tender, 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the blender. Add the hominy and coconut milk. Cut open the avocado, remove the seed, and scoop the flesh into the blender. Puree until creamy. (If you need to, you can add some of the vegetable broth to help it blend.)
Transfer mixture back to the soup pot and heat through. Cut the reserved pepper into short, thin strips. Divide the soup among 5 or 6 bowls and top with the reserved pepper strips and some crushed tortilla chips, if desired.