Vegan Pozole Soup
Mexican meets soul food in this fusion soup recipe featuring cabbage poblano, and collard greens. It’s a delicious and warming soup that comes together fast and can be included as part of your 30 minute meals repertoire.
I’ve heard all the chatter about a cabbage soup diet being this miracle weight loss regimen. I’m not making that claim here, nor do I know if it’s true, but this cabbage poblano pozole is delicious. Simple in execution, but complex in flavor profile. Cabbage is pretty much a staple in our house -pickled red cabbage, cabbage soup, cabbage stew, Caribbean cabbage saute, and Cabbage and Ground Beef. Typically cabbage is a shredded thinly and used as a garnish in pozole. I decided to flip it and make the cabbage the base along with the hominy and collard greens.
Are hominy and pozole the same thing?
I’m a big fan of pozole soup which is essentially a traditional Mexican stew/soup made with hominy. And if you’re not up on hominy peep the Huffington Post article for a detailed description. In a nutshell, its corn kernels that have been puffed out by a mineral lime soaking process. Hominy is a close cousin to grits or Island style polenta not to be confused with Italian polenta. I feature many Mexican ingredients in my cooking partially due to Texas proximity and partially because of the frequent vacations there.
Where can I buy/find pozole?
I’m a frequent shopper at Fiesta Grocery chain here in Texas and frequently buy pozole there. They have a huge section of Hispanic food, but also South and Central American and Afro-Caribbean. Note pozole can be found in most large format grocery stores, but will be labeled as hominy. It is typically located in the canned bean/vegetableÂ aisle.
The crew at my local Fiesta Grocery Store know me as Jamal Fernandez due to the frequency of my trips; furthermore because of my knowledge and use of many of the more traditional ingredients I have earned some serious cred including enough to get 1st class treatment during my visits. My daughter thinks it’s hilarious that one they actually think my name is Jamal Fernandez despite my very limited Spanish and non-Hispanic features and two that I get so much love in a grocery store. As she walks the store with me witnessing the steady flow of Buenos dias, senor from the staff, she chastises me for acting like we’re friends, to which I respond, “why not, why can’t we be friends? they’re my peeps!”
What proteins go well with pozole soup?
Hominy is the one constant ingredient, but other ingredients vary regionally and even from family to family. Pork is perhaps the most common protein followed by chicken which is featured in healthier versions. Beef is another option as well. Traditional soul food staples like cabbage and ham hocks are a great fit if you want more of a Soul Food/Mexican fusion. I kept this dish vegan so went sans the pork and substituted vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock. Both versions are flavorful, but the ham hocks give the soup more of a stew feel. However, to maintain that soul food element, I combined collard greens in place of the hocks. We eat collard greens at least once a week in some form, and I thought this would be a unique and comforting way to feature them.
Vegan Pozole Cooking Tips
- If you have time steep a dried smoked chili (chipotle or morita) or two in the stock for 5 to 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients for extra flavor
- Garnishing with radishes adds some color and a bit of piquant aka pleasant, but biting sharpness. But feel free to be as creating as you like with toppings options. cilantro, onions, avocado, etc. are common
- Epazote as an optional ingredient adds a very rustic note to the dish
- Taste the pozole before serving it, as you may find it needs more salt. Hominy and cabbage dishes will typically need more salt than you would think initially.
- Finish the soup with a squeeze of lime juice
- This dish and pozole, in general, are best made a day ahead if possible, as it tastes even better the next day.
Vegan Pozole with Collard Greens
If you make this quick and easy Vegan Pozole recipe, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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- 1 cup water
- 2 cups vegetable stock homemade or low sodium store bought
- 1 12 oz can of hominy
- 1 head of cabbage shredded
- 1 bunch collard greens, de-stemmed and cut into strips
- 1 tsp dried epazote optional
- 1/2 cup yellow onions diced
- 1/2 cup poblano pepper chopped coarsely
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onions and poblano peppers. Saute until slightly tender.
- Stir in garlic and sautÃ© an additional 2 minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth and add bay leaf and epazote if using
- Stir in cabbage and collards.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
- Stir in dried herbs, red pepper flakes, and spices
- Cook until cabbage is tender 20-30 minutes
- Taste broth and adjust seasoning if needed.