Thursday, November 09, 2006

Posole-Inspired Chicken and Rice Soup

I'm a big fan of posole, a Mexican soup using hominy. Of course, I rarely have hominy on hand, and I wanted something with those flavors that could be made with ingredients that I usually have on hand. Thus, this recipe.

To make this with hominy, leave out the rice, and add two drained 15-oz cans of white hominy.

Posole-Inspired Chicken and Rice Soup
serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
3 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cayenne, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

2. Add broth, water, and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. If you would like the soup to be thinner, add additional broth or water.

3. Stir in the chicken, corn, and peas. Cook until the chicken and vegetables are heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. For something more like an "authentic" posole, also serve diced avocado, chopped lettuce, sliced radishes, tortilla strips, cilantro, grated cheese, and/or onions on the side so everyone can garnish their bowls.

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