Smoky Vegan Quinoa Chili

Smoky Vegan Quinoa Chili

Make this smoky vegan quinoa chili as a comforting cold weather meal! It's perfect for tailgating or to make a big batch of for freezing. The quinoa adds great texture the the chili, and the chipotle chiles give it a delicious smokiness. As with all chiles, it tastes better the next day when the flavors get a chance to meld together. 

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Green Posole

Posole is a Mexican soup made with pork and hominy. This green posole is made with a flavorful broth of tomatillos, poblanos and jalapenos which lends it plenty of spice and a gorgeous vibrant green color. 

Soup is the solution to most, if not all of life's problems. It's warm, cozy and satisfying. Just try and feel sad while curled up with a big bowl of soup. It's kinda like a big hug in a bowl.

A couple months ago, I declared my tortilla soup the best tortilla soup ever. I still stand by that claim. Now I make the same dubious claim for this gorgeous green posole.

Posole is a traditional Mexican soup that can be traced back to a pre-Columbian origin. It was considered sacred by Aztecs and other Mesoamericans, often consumed ritualistically on special occasions. Disturbing factoid - and please don't let it destroy your appetite for this delicious soup - after sacrifices, human flesh was used to make posole. Because they thought humans were made from maize (interestingly, they were kinda right), the soup took on special meaning. Unless you're Hannibal Lector, lets pass on that ingredient.

The base of this soup is made from a puree of tomatillos, poblano chiles, jalapenos, and cilantro, giving it a vibrant green color. It is rich, flavorful and tangy and super fragrant! The soup itself is rather brothy, but the toppings give it some heft.

Green Posole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, preferably organic and pastured, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb tomatillos, husked and quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 3 poblano chilies, seeded and quartered
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and halved
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 1 whole bunch of cilantro, stems cut off about an inch or two from the leaves
  • 2 14 ounce cans hominy
  • Your choice of toppings: radish, cabbage, fried tortilla strips, hot sauce, avocado, organic plain yogurt, cilantro, diced chilies, green onions, pepitas, feta cheese, charred corn, lime wedges

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. While it's heating, season pork with salt and pepper. Add to the oil and brown on all sides. Pour in the broth, salt, cumin and coriander and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until pork is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a blender, blend the tomatillos, onion, poblano, jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro with 1 cup of water until pureed.
  3. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium. Add ⅔ of the puree and simmer 5 minutes until thickened slightly
  4. Meanwhile, blend a cup of hominy with the remaining green puree until smooth
  5. Pour cooked puree into the broth and pork. Stir in remaining hominy. Cook over medium heat to warm through.
  6. Right before serving, pour in the remaining hominy puree. Divide between bowls and top of your choice of toppings

Best Ever Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Charring vegetables under the broiler is the secret for creating a smoky, flavorful broth for this best ever vegetarian tortilla soup. Serve topped with all the delicious things! 

Quickie post for y’all today.  Scott and I are exploring the Yellowstone wilderness this week.  

I’m hesitant to refer to any of my creations as “the best ever.”  Considering I’m a home cook and not a trained chef, I doubt anything coming out of my kitchen deserves that designation, despite what my husband tells me in his feeble attempts to butter me up.

But this tortilla soup, man it is good! I admit, it's probably not the best tortilla soup ever, but it’s certainly the best one I’ve ever had. And I've eaten my fair share of tortilla soup. The trick is charring the vegetables, which adds a smoky flavor to the broth.

Back next week!  That is, if we don't get eaten by a bears.....

Sidebar: I wrote that last week half jokingly. Within our first hour of being here, we had a close encounter of the bear plus three cubs kind.  It was simultaneously the most adorable and most terrifying moment of my life.

Best Ever Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 fresh hatch chili or poblano
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs cilantro
  • 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 6 stone ground corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • For serving: chopped or thinly sliced radish, roasted chili, feta/queso blanco, avocado, lime,

Instructions

  1. Turn on the broiler. Spread garlic, onion, and chili on a baking sheet and broil until onion and garlic are charred and pepper is charred on all sides. You may have to take the garlic out early. Remove onion to blender, let garlic cool a bit before peeling and adding to the blender. Place chili in a bowl topped with plastic wrap and let sit to cool while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cilantro to the garlic and onion to the food processor and puree until smooth.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the tomato puree and cook for a couple minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until it thickens and reduces slightly, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups stock. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. While the soup is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the tortilla strips and fry until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Carefully peel the skins off the chili, Cut the stem off and remove the seeds. Carefully cut into thin slivers.
  6. Divide the soup between 4 bowls. Garnish as desired with

Easy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Easy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Cure a cold with this easy lemon chicken orzo soup, packed with arugula, basil, carrots and whole grain orzo. The bold yet gentle flavors in this recipe are the perfect combination to soothe a scratchy throat. The recipe takes less than 30 minutes to whip up a richly flavored soup on a weeknight!

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