If anyone tells you they don’t like Mexican food, would you even believe them? It would be hard, wouldn’t it? Mexican food is a world favorite! Simple, fresh and wholesome ingredients turned into the most delicious recipes.
I’m sure many famous recipes come to mind when we think about this amazing cuisine, but soup is not necessarily one of them, right? Well, I’m sure once you try this new recipe, it won’t be easily forgotten. It’s a spicy Mexican-inspired soup (or pozole) full of flavorful and fresh ingredients.
This recipe from the 30-Minute Vegan Dinners cookbook carries all those signature Mexican flavors we love like tomatoes (what would Mexican food be without those intense red and sweet tomatoes!), poblano peppers, chilies, kidney beans, cilantro and, of course, avocado. I promise you this soup has it all! The sweet, the spicy, the fresh, and the creaminess. Are you excited to try this vegan pozole soup yet? I know I am!
Summer Mexican Soup?
We usually associate soup with fall and winter, with cold days and cozying up inside, right? Well, this soup is a bit different. It’s one of those soups that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Is there such a thing as a summer soup? Well, if there isn’t then this Mexican soup could be it!
Ok, I get that in a hot summer day no one wants to be indoors cooking up a steamy hot soup, but this recipe will be worth the effort. First of all, it only takes 30 minutes so don’t stress over the idea of having to stand and stir for a long period of time. It will be quick and easy!
If you wanna skip the steaming and the deseeding of the peppers you could use some store bought ones and save yourself even more time! Wanna make it even quicker? Buy some packaged baked tortilla chips and crumble them on top instead of frying your own.
Ready? Take notes!
Spicy Mexican Pozole
- 2 poblano peppers
- 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp all-purpose or rice flour
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- 1½ tsp dried oregano (Mexican if you can find it)
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp cayenne optional, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp salt plus more to taste
- ½ 6-oz can tomato paste
- 1 4-oz can green chiles
- 1 15-oz can red kidney beans
- 4 cups vegetable broth (vegan chicken broth if possible)
- 1 25-oz can hominy
- Handful cilantro
- 2 avocados
- 2 –3 radishes
- Purple cabbage
- 2 –3 corn tortillas
- 2 limes
- Stem and seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces.
- Put the oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.
- Finely dice the onion. Add the onion and peppers to the pot. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until softened. Mince the garlic. Add the flour, garlic and chili powder. Stir well to combine and then add the cumin, oregano, bay leaf, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Open the tomato paste and chiles. Drain and rinse the kidney beans. Add the tomato paste, chiles and 1 cup (240 ml) of broth to the pot to dissolve the tomato paste. Drain the hominy.
- Stir well and then add the kidney beans, hominy, and remaining broth. Reduce the heat to medium and bring the soup to a rolling boil for 10 minutes or so, or until the peppers have softened. Taste then add another pinch of salt and cayenne, if desired.
- Chop the cilantro and avocados. Slice the radishes and cabbage. Cut the tortillas into thin strips. Remove the bay leaf.
- Toast the tortilla strips in a small oiled pan over medium-high heat until crispy and golden brown. Serve the pozole with avocado, cilantro, radish, cabbage, tortillas strips and a squeeze of fresh lime.
- This soup is on the spicy side! Omit the cayenne if you prefer mild spice.
- If you don’t want to make your own tortillas strips, which I highly recommend, you can also break up a few tortilla chips.
Swap 1 cup of frozen corn and 1 can of chickpeas for hominy if needed.
What On Earth is Hominy?
It’s quite possible you’ve never heard of hominy. Well, you can learn something new every day, right? Hominy is basically whole dried kernels of corn that have been soaked in a special alkaline solution. This soaking not only enhances the corn nutritional value but it also makes it easier to digest as the skin gets loose (this is what they do to before grinding the corn to make those yummy tortillas later!)
So how do you cook it? Well, the cooking process is very similar to beans. You soak them overnight (with a mix of water and calcium hydroxide) and then cook them for a few hours or less if you do cook them in a pressure cooker. But I’m sure you’ll be very happy to know that you really don’t have to go through this and you can jump ahead and buy the ones in a can and ready to cook with! Pheew, right?
Don’t have hominy or can’t find it anywhere? No worries! You can use 1 cup of frozen corn and 1 can of chickpeas instead! It will taste amazing!
Viva el Avocado!
Raise your hand if you love avocado! I truly love this fruit but, who doesn’t? It’s good for you; it’s creamy and just so delicious! We don’t need to talk about how healthy avocado is because it’s not up for discussion. Along with nuts and seeds, it’s one of the healthiest sources of fats out there.
And it’s also so versatile! You can literally put it on everything. Ok, almost everything. But to name a few, you can throw in your smoothie, use as a spread on toast, on a wrap, as a base for healthy chocolate mousse or on top of your favorite chili. It could also take your daily buddha bowl to the next level, especially if you mash it beforehand. Try adding it to dishes you wouldn’t usually add them to! You’ll see how they make (almost) everything better!
Now…how do you pick the perfect one? Usually the darker the skin the riper it is but don’t take this as a rule. Since you may be looking at avocados that have not been harvested near you they might have been stored in really cold temperatures, and that can interfere with the ripening process a bit, as can the transport and bumping. So, make sure you also focus on the top (where the stem used to be!) and check the color of the avocado inside. If its pale it might not be ready to eat.
Bottom line is the only way to check if your avocado is perfect for eating (ahem devour!) is a mix of color and feel. If it’s too soft to the touch then it’s time has passed but too firm and it’s not ready. You’ll have to find that ideal “in between”, that sweet spot! But remember that even if those avocados at your local grocery store are too firm they can be taken home and left to ripen slowly over the counter!
The “30-Minute Vegan Meals” Cookbook!
This book is such a great addition to your vegan cookbook shelf! Full of delicious and quick (obviously! 30 minutes or less!) recipes that are golden for those weekdays when you don’t have time to think about what to make and even less time to prepare it. Still, the recipes have fun twists and use super fun ingredients so you won’t be bored with another simple recipe of vegan mac & cheese!
Megan Saad, the author, is a passionate chef and photographer behind the resourceful blog “Carrots & Flowers” which also has a great facebook page full of dynamic recipe videos aiming to inspire those who feel overwhelmed by cooking vegan meals from scratch.
Megan has made it her mission to help others transition into the plant-based lifestyle with ease and success. Go grab your copy of her book “30-minute vegan meals” here!
Feeling inspired to give Mexican vegan dishes a try? Check out these recipes!
- Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” Tostadas
- Meat Lover’s Beefy Vegan Tacos
- Vegan Mexican Red Rice
- Cozy Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican soup recipe reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Vegan Dinners by Megan Sadd, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Megan Sadd. Please note that this article contains affiliate links and shopping through them supports our work at World of Vegan.