Hey, what are you doing for the next four or five hours? Nothing, you say? Dude, you should totally try this soup.
Posole definitely falls into the category of "project" soups. None of the steps are particularly difficult; many, though (especially the first part) are quite time-consuming. So: bonus! You can putter around in the kitchen all day, marinating in the delicious smell as it cooks; you can refuse all invitations 'cause you're COOKING (enjoy the day off!); you can have fun experimenting with many underfamiliar ingredients, some of which you will realize should be members of your regular culinary arsenal; and, at the end, you can eat some damn fine soup.
"Verde" means, here, as it's been meaning on this blog of late, "containing tomatillos." How did it take me so long to discover the magic sourlicious power of these wee husky fruitlets?
A note of caution: Hominy, being a natural product, tends to vary widely in the time required for it to fully cook. The hominy we got (from WinCo, the second happiest place on earth) was apparently limed and dried sometime during the Eisenhower Administration. I put it on to cook for the appointed two hours, and after those two hours... nothing. Still hard as little rocks. No "blooming into a pretty flower." I cooked it for another hour, and still almost nothing. But we had to soldier onward and make it to Camp Fire more or less on time. So the hominy in our soup was perhaps a bit more chewy, or shall we say "boldly textured," than it ought to have been. Be forewarned. Know your hominy.
That said, the soup was still pretty darn delicious. We ate it for lunch and again for dinner, and damned if it doesn't look like we might be having some for breakfast (or possibly elevenses) tomorrow.
Also: this soup, according to my calculations, represents my having reached the 20% mark in the completion of the Soup365 project. I know. I kinda can't believe it myself.
Serves eight, at a minimum
1 2-1/2 pound, more or less, pork shoulder roast, trimmed of obvious fat, cut into 3/4" to 1" cubes
2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2-1/2 cups dried hominy
6 cups chicken broth
About 2 pounds tomatillos, husked and quartered (or eighth-ed)
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (more, if your jalapenos are not particularly spicy)
1-1/2 cups pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), divided
Salt and pepper
Juice of a good-sized lime (or 2, if you really like lime or your limes are not too juicy)
For garnish: lime wedges, sliced scallions, 1 or 2 diced avocados, sour cream...
In a large soup pot, combine pork, onion, garlic, hominy and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until pork is tender and hominy kernels have burst, opening up like wee flowers. This should theoretically take 2 hours. It could take 3. It could take more. Be prepared.
Strain mixture into a large bowl; reserve solids. Return broth to pot. Over medium heat, add tomatillos; cover and simmer until tomatillos are meltingly soft, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepitas; cook, stirring frequently, until pepitas are fairly evenly toasted. They will pop spectacularly during this process; continue cooking and stirring, undaunted. Once they're sufficiently toasted, immediately dump them out of the skillet onto a plate so they don't continue to cook and end up burning.
In a clean coffee grinder (or spice grinder, should you be fancy-pants enough to own such a thing), grind 3/4 cup of toasted pepitas to a fine powder. Combine with minced jalapenos. When the tomatillos are tender, add jalapeno mixture to pot and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
Remove tomatillo soupy goodness from heat. Working in batches, puree in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Return puree to pot. Thin it out with a little water or broth if needed.
Over medium-low heat, stir in pork and hominy mixture. Heat through, bringing to a gentle simmer. Add lime juice; taste and add salt and pepper as warranted.
Arrange toppings attractively in small bowls, including reserved pepitas in the mix. Serve in shallow soup plates and invite diners to top their soups with whichever garnishes they feel are speaking to them.