Hominy and Tomatillo Stew

December 31, 2006 at 2:19 am (B_(3 stars, like), Dark leafy greens, Derek's faves, soup, The Vegan Gourmet)

It’s hard to find vegetarian recipes that call for hominy and tomatillos. Most are simply a version of posole, which I have never had. I decided to try this posole recipe from the Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Minday Toomay, which also includes sorrel, another rare ingredient in vegetarian cookbooks.

  • 1/2 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos (about 10-12)
  • 1 cup firmly packed chopped sorrel
  • 3.5 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 2 medium serrano chiles, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 3 cups white hominy (one 28 ounce can, drained)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Topping additions:

  • minced white onion
  • diced avocado tossed with lemon juice
  • chopped raw or pickled jalepenos
  • dried oregano
  • lime wedges for squeezing into the soup
  • diced fresh tomatoes
  • minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • shredded lettuce
  1. Place the pumpkin seeds in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Seeds will turn golden brown and pop in the pan. Imeediately transfer to a bowl to cool. When cool, grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor to a fine meal consistency. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the tomatillos. Place the tomatillos in a small saucepan with 1 cup water, cover the pan, and cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Tomatillos will be very soft. Drain the tomatillos and transfer them to a blender. Add the sorrel, 1 cup of the vegetable stock, the chiles, and garlic and puree thoroughly.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy, deep pan over medium-high heat. Pour the tomatillo puree into the pan through a wire-mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to force the mixture through the mesh. The tomatillos seeds will remain in the strainer; discard them. Cook the puree for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ground pumpkin seeds, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, occasionally stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.
  4. Add the remaining 2.5 cups stock, hominy, and salt to the pan. Increase the heat to medium high and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings and place them in bowls or plates to serve alongsize the posole. When the soup is done, ladle into bowls and serve hot. Diners may add whatever combinations of toppings they like.

This recipe makes 4 main dish servings, or 6-8 appetizer portions.

My Notes:

This is a very interesting soup. Grainy and green and rich. Very unusual. It actually tasted Spanish rather than Mexican. I wonder if pozole has spanish influences? I unfortunately couldn’t find any sorrel so used chard instead. I also used canned tomatillos, so skipped the cooking step, although I did strain the pureed tomatillos. It’s odd that they call for the tomatillos to be peeled–I assume they mean that the husks not the peels should be removed. Both my canned tomatillos and hominy were already salted, so I didn’t add any salt. Still the soup was extremely salty. I guess using canned tomatillos was a bad idea, unless I can find some with less salt. When I went to add the last 2.5 cups of stock the soup looked so thin that I decided to hold off. I reduced the soup quite a bit but never needed to add the stock, not sure why.

I served the soup with avocado and cilantro, both of which were a nice addition, and lime, which contributed a pleasing acidity.

Update Aug 2007: I made this soup again, using fresh tomatillos this time. I still couldn’t find sorrel so subbed beet greens, and I didn’t have serranos so substituted one jalepeno, with the seeds. It was very spicy! Not unbearable but definitely noticeable. I ended up adding all the broth, but it wasn’t too watery. I left out the salt, but shouldn’t have, because we had to salt it at the table. This time I skipped the avocado aond I topped the soup with halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes, which were quite pretty. I served this soup to guests, and gave very small portions due to the spiciness, but everyone went back for seconds except me. I still find it a bit odd tasting–interesting and unusual, but I just don’t have the inclination to eat much of it. Derek, on the other hand, finished the remaining two bowls for lunch the next day.

Rating: B
Derek: A-


  1. Sol Flamberg said,

    You can buy tomatillos in UK at the website http://www.mexgrocer.co.uk they also sell masa harina for making tortillas. Lots of chillies and more mexican ingredients.

  2. Paul said,

    This soup really needs sorrel to make it taste right. It is an amazing soup – and making your own vegetable stock only makes it better. Sorrel is EASY to grow and much cheaper than buying it. It comes up at the end of every summer and you never need to re-plant. Sorrel likes sun and heat, but can do ok in partial shade.

    • captious said,

      Now that I’m in Germany I can finally get sorrel, but I can’t get tomatillos or hominy anymore!

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