During December and January the Costco in my area sells 5 pound bags of fresh posole – corn soaking in slaked lime water. Every year, I buy a bag, make a couple of posole dishes, then divide the rest into freezer bags and freeze. One of this year’s dishes was this hearty bowl of soup made with Mexican chorizo, posole, mushrooms and Swiss chard. It’s a bit lighter than the traditional posole stew made in New Mexico which is mostly posole, pork and red or green chile. With this soup, the posole is just one of several vegetables and the chorizo is used more to add flavor than to add bulk.
So what is posole? Is it a stew or is it a corn product? Actually, in New Mexico, it’s both. Posole stew is a relatively filling and delicious soup made with posole, meat and chile. The meat is usually pork, chicken, or turkey. The bulk of the stew is the corn product, also called “posole (aka hominy)”, which is corn boiled and soaked in slaked lime water (cal). This process (called nixtamalization) improves the nutritional value of the corn as well as its flavor and size. Here in New Mexico you can buy bags of dried posole at most of our local grocery stores. Some stores carry frozen posole in the freezer section. And then of course, you can buy the canned version called hominy. Personally, I prefer the flavor and texture of fresh, frozen or dried posole over canned hominy; however, if I only had access to canned hominy, it wouldn’t stop me from making this soup or any other dish in which I use posole, including the stew called posole. (Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more information about “posole” and recipes for the stew called Posole.)
Chorizo, Mushroom and Posole Soup Recipe
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep and Cook time: 2 hours with fresh posole, less than 45 minutes with hominy
Recipe author: MJ of MJ’s Kitchen
2 cups fresh or frozen posole, rinsed or 3 cups canned hominy, drained, or 1 cup dried posole (See Kitchen Notes)
6 to 8 cups water and chicken stock
1/2 pound Mexican chorizo, crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ pound button mushrooms, chopped or sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed (toss or compost), leaves chopped
1 tsp. red chile powder
½ tsp. smoked Serrano chili powder
½ tsp. cumin coriander spice mix
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of ½ lime plus 4 lime wedges
- If using fresh or frozen posole’, add 6 cups water/stock to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for an hour or longer until just tender.
- In another skillet saute the chorizo quickly on high heat until browned (a couple of minutes). Add to the soup pot after the posole has cooked for an hour.
- Add the onion to the skillet, reduce heat and saute’ for 2 minutes. Transfer onion and any liquid to the soup pot.
- If using canned hominy, brown the chorizo in a soup pot for 2 minutes on high.
- Reduce to medium, add the onion and saute’ for 2 minutes.
- Add the hominy and 6 cups water/stock and bring to a boil.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, chile powders, oregano, and cumin/coriander mix.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add additional water or stock as needed.
- Add the Swiss chard. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes or until the posole is tender.
- Stir in the lime juice and serve. Squeeze a wedge of lime over each serving.
- Serve with warm tortillas.
The Posole – In Mexican markets and most groceries in New Mexico, you can find frozen, dry, and sometimes, fresh posole. Two cups of fresh or frozen posole yield a little over 3 cups of cooked posole; whereas, 2 cups of dried posole yield about 4 cups of cooked posole. Frozen and fresh posole are cooked using like methods (the method used in this recipe). Dried posole needs to be soaked overnight and then pre-cooked for at least 2 hours before adding additional ingredients.
As previously mentioned, you can also substitute the posole with canned hominy. Since canned hominy is already cooked, using it eliminates that initial hour of cooking for fresh/frozen posole; therefore, allowing this soup to be made in less than 45 minutes!
The Water and Stock – The amount given in the recipe is not exact because, as posole cooks, it absorbs quite a bit of water and some of the water evaporates. So just keep adding water and/or stock as needed to achieve a “soup” consistency. If you use hominy, 6 cups is probably all you need. As far as how much of which, use what you have or want to use. I normally use a ratio of 1:1.
The Mushrooms – Button mushrooms, baby bellas or white, work best. I usually chop the mushrooms by cutting each mushroom into little wedges (like a lime); however, you could also slice the mushrooms if you choose.
The Swiss Chard – Kale or spinach can be used in place of Swiss chard. Other greens might be too strong in flavor and end up competing with the other flavors in the soup.
The Smoked Serrano Chili Powder – For this soup, I used Season With Spices’s Smoked Serrano Chili Powder. However, any smoked chile powder would work (e.g., chipotle or smoked paprika). Just be aware of the heat level. Chipotle can be pretty hot, so you might need to adjust the amount used for your heat tolerance.
If you like this Chorizo, Mushroom and Posole Soup, you’ll probably also like a more traditional posole stew. Here are a few posole recipes that I would highly recommend.
If you want to purchase dry or frozen posole online, check out some of these Sources of New Mexico Chile Products.
This Chorizo, Mushroom and Posole Soup has been shared with the following blog hops: Hearth and Soul .