Happy weekend everyone! Today is the first installment of a monthly blogger challenge I’m suuuuper excited about, the Monthly Ingredient Challenge! Each month we are given a certain ingredient and we all then come up with a new recipe using that ingredient. It’s like a smaller, easier, blog version of the TV show Chopped, with a month instead of just 45 minutes, one ingredient instead of four, and no snarky judges! This month’s ingredient was cilantro, one of my favorites! And I have a ton of it in the garden right now so I didn’t have buy any :) I love love love cilantro so it was hard to narrow down what to do with it. I knew I wanted to try something different and also that I wanted to make a main dish. So with the authentic posole from Christmas Eve at my aunt’s house in Arkansas fresh on my mind, and my love for soups, this cilantro soup with blue posole was born. Posole is a traditional Mexican (and New Mexican) dish that usually consists of dried hominy, pork, cabbage, and red chile. The base of it is the dried hominy and my aunt uses blue which was so very pretty in their posole at Christmas. Ever since we got back, I’ve been on a hunt for it in our stores, thinking it would of course be there considering we’re three hours from the Mexico border, but not so much, so I had to order it from Amazon (here: Los Chileros Posole, Blue Corn, 12 Ounce). The posole has to soak overnight and then boils for at least three hours, so make sure you do this on a day when you have some time. Make sure your water is well salted when you boil so that they have alot of flavor. Mine soaked for about 12 hours overnight then turned mine on to boil after we had breakfast yesterday morning. Either use a bunch of water to start or keep an eye on it and keep adding water as needed. They’ll swell up and open and the longer you boil them, the less chewy they’ll be. So three hours at the least. When the posole is ready, start making the soup. All this entails is boiling the potatoes, adding the lemon juice, garlic, spices, and cilantro, then blending. Amounts of all of the ingredients can easily be tweaked to your preferences, but I wanted mine with a medium soupiness, a good lemon taste, and with just a little heat so that’s what the amounts in the recipe are. If you want a thinner soup, use less potato, a thicker soup, use more. Less lemon juice for less zing, less pepper for less heat, etc. You can also add heavy cream to make it even creamier (I mixed some into my bowl and it was really good). And yes, I got myself a new immersion blender after the Thanksgiving burn up of my old one! An immersion blender makes this really easy but you don’t need one, you can blend the soup with a blender or food processor. You’ll add the cilantro while blending, either in the beginning if you want it in small pieces, or mid-blend if you want larger pieces (like I did). Once you have the soup blended to your liking, then it’s time to drain the posole and add it in. I served mine with some blue corn chips and crumbled queso asadero (a Mexican provolone) but there are a ton of ways you could serve this: with a dollop of sour cream, shredded carrot, red chile, all kinds of cheeses, some fresh bread, etc. There are so many flavors in this soup with only a handful of ingredients, and it is really good for a chilly evening! I just love the blue of the corn and red of the potatoes with the green of the cilantro.
- 12 oz dried blue pasole
- 2 lbs red potatoes, cubed
- 10 cups vegetable stock
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- Juice of 3 lemons or limes
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Soak pasole overnight in water.
- Drain pasole, rinse, then boil in heavily salted water for at least 3 hours, the longer the better.
- In a large saucepan or dutch oven, boil potatoes in vegetable stock until fork tender (~20min.s)
- Add lemon/lime juice and spices.
- Using an immersion blender, blend to break up potatoes to desired consistency. Use a blender or food processor if you don't have an immersion blender.
- Add cilantro and blend slightly to break up.
- Add pasole and flavor with salt and pepper to taste.
- Optional toppings may be various cheeses, sour cream, carrot, blue corn chips, and shredded or pickled carrots.
If you can't find the dried blue pasole, you can use canned hominy, but the blue pasole is much, much better! If you desire a thinner soup, use less potatoes. Heavy cream can also be added to make it even more creamy.
There are 11 other bloggers in this challenge and all are sharing their cilantro recipes today too. Click around below to check theirs out as well and watch for our next secret ingredient post on February 25th!