Updated: Sep 6
I love green things. The green version of a recipe is always my favorite version. Give me the green curry, the green salsa, green shakshuka, the green eggs and ham - I love everything green! So when I came to Mexico to start learning about the cuisine, pozole verde really caught my attention.
Green pozole is traditionally made with chicken, from what I hear from local people, menus and recipes online. But I like to veganize things, especially soups, so I had it in my mind that I could make a lovely version using the chickpea broth that I refuse to stop talking about. I looked around the internet for more traditional recipes so I could make sure I had all the essential elements in my version. I ended up going with a version I found on the Latina Mama Tips blog and used their recipe for Green Pozole with Chicken as my main resource. The recipe is really simple and made of super fresh ingredients - as is typical of Mexican cuisine. It starts with a simple aromatic chicken stock, and then a fresh blended salsa is added to the soup. It's finished with lost of tasty crunchy and fatty toppings.
When I set out to develop my vegan version, the first thing I knew I would do was to borrow from the essential flavor base of Thai cuisine, "sam glur." This is a flavor base I've mentioned before. It's quite neutral and lends itself well to nearly any cuisine, but it particularly makes sense in the Mexican context because it's made of ingredients common in Mexican cuisine - garlic, cilantro (roots if you can find them) and white pepper. The reason I'm so fond of the Thai flavor base is that it's really concentrated in flavor and aroma, so a small amount of it added to soup recipes delivers a really great foundation. For this recipe, we pound up a sam glur and sauté it in our soup pot like a sofrito, before adding in our stock ingredients.
The other change I made was, obviously, not adding meat. My favorite base for a veggie soup is chickpea stock, which I use in many recipes. For this version, I do the entire recipe in one pot, no need to strain out chickpeas and reserve the water. We're doing it all at once! It's a lovely little flavor base and the chickpeas work really nicely with the hominy.