It's Tuesday night, and the only night we're both home for dinner this week, so I wanted to make it special. I made this soup once before when we first got the cookbook from Margaritte Malfy of the most awesome Mexican restaurant, La Palapa in Manhattan, but I think it came out better this time. It's a speck time consuming, and it requires some special implements and ingredients, but it's worth it. I made a few slight alterations to the ingredients, but I remained true to the recipe.
Chicken and Hominy Soup
From antojitos: festive and flavorful mexican small plates
3 dried ancho chiles, seeded with membranes removed
2 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves crushed garlic
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1 15 oz can of hominy, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped radishes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped avocado
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
In a small saucepan, combine chiles and water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. While that is simmering, sautee the onion in a cast iron pan and set aside when the onion is carmelized. Drain the chiles, and reserve the water. Transfer the chiles to a blender or food processor. Add the tomatoes and sauteed onions to the food processor and proces until smooth. You can add some water to make it smoother, but I didn't.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, or until the garlic begins to soften. Add teh tomato-chile paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Cook the chicken either by roasting it or by searing it until it turns golden brown in a cast iron pan. In a small stockpot, combine the broth, the tomato-chile paste, and chicken and bring to a boil. Add the hominy, return to a boil, and cook until heated through. Add the cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick for you, thin with a little bit of water.
Ladle the soup into bowls and allow your guests or loved ones to add whatever garnishes they want. Best served with a margarita. : )