I've done some recipe research on posole in the past and discovered that the thing that defines a posole is the hominy. I'm sure there is an original version somewhere that is considered authentic but I found so many variations of posole that I felt ok to make my own version. As long as I have hominy, I should be good. So this version comes to being because of leftover carnitas, rice and tomatillo salsa from this past weekend.
If you are not familiar with hominy, it's basically a corn kernel that has had it's outer hull removed. The dried kernels are usually soaked in lye-water to remove the hulls. You can read more about it on Wikipedia, here.
I really enjoy making soups and it's a great way to use up leftovers or those vegetables you never got around to using that particular week. To me, the key is the broth. That's what soup is, right? So if you don't have a really good homemade stock kicking around, then it's important to really build the flavors from the beginning so you have a nice, rich, satisfying broth. I used a boxed broth for my soup so I made sure to saute my aromatics to develop some flavor, as well as using my tomatillo salsa to increase the depth of the soup.
I didn't really see any recipes that called for rice, but, hey, I had a bunch of leftover rice, so, why not? I had one can of black beans left in the pantry so let's throw that in too. the other thing I was considering was that my kids like rice and beans. So, the more stuff they like to eat in a soup or stew, the better.
POSOLE WITH PORK, BLACK BEANS, RICE
Ingredients: 2 diced onions, 2 ribs diced celery, 4 minced cloves garlic, 4 sliced carrots, 6 cups chicken broth, 4 cups water, 1-28 oz can hominy, 1-14 oz can black beans, 2 cups leftover carnitas/pork/chicken, 2-3 cups cooked rice, 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 3 bay leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper. Optional garnishes: thinly-sliced radish, diced avocado, cilantro, limes
- Heat a large pot and film the bottom with olive oil.
- Add onions and celery and saute for 5-10 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add garlic, salsa, dried thyme, dried oregano and bay leaves and saute for 3-4 minutes. You want to cook the salsa for a few minutes to concentrate the flavor.
- Add the broth, water and hominy and bring to a boil.
- Add the carnitas, rice, beans and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
- Taste the soup for seasoning. You will probably need more salt & pepper.
- Ladle the finished soup into bowls and garnish with the radish, avocado, cilantro and lime if you'd like.