Karen Hoofnagle

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One of the things I really enjoyed in Mexico was a vegetarian pepper-free pozole.  Being someone who is capsicum-free, it left me with the sensation of mexican food but without the rosacea flare.

Herewith my experiment in creating something like it but with chicken.


  • 6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 large can of tomatillos or 1-2lbs fresh ones
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • black pepper and salt to taste
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cans of hominy (if you need to avoid corn, roasting a bunch of small chunks of potato could be substituted for a hominy-adjacent effect)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts or if you're vegetarian, either canned or freshly cooked dried blackbeans.
  • limes
  • cabbage (I used a bag of pre-shredded "cole slaw mix" because I am lazy AF)
  • avocados
  • radishes


If using chicken breasts -- poach them in your stock. Remove from stock, let cool to shred.

If using fresh tomatillos, oven roast them until they're mushy and bubbling with a bit of browning, if not, just open a can

In a pan, toast up your garlic, add your spices, drop these in a blender with the tomatillos, some of the stock and half the bunch of cilantro. Puree. This should turn a very bright green.

Drop the puree into the rest of the stock, add the thinly sliced onions, shredded chicken (if you're doing that) and hominy or potatoes. Simmer until the onion is translucent and the broth is a less bright green.

To serve,

  1. Put a pile of cabbage in a bowl
  2. Add beans if you choose them (you could add beans directly to the broth, I just wanted mine more flexibly available for other things so I kept them out)
  3. Ladle soup over greens and beans
  4. Garnish with avocado, more fresh cilantro, some thinly sliced radish and a bit of black pepper
  5. Squeeze lime over the lot.

Obviously anyone who can eat capsicum and wants peppers can roast them with the tomatillos and puree some or all of them controlling for heat. This may not be "pozole" from the pt of view of a purist who insists on peppers and heck if you take hominy out, pozole is officially the hominy part -- but it's yummy and I'm currently eating the heck out of it.

My wife made green pozole recently with shrimp and ground pumpkin seeds. Very good. She also made a vegan green pozole a few months ago with pinto beans.
I don't think I've ever tried working with ground pumpkin seeds -- only whole ones. I'll have to give that a whirl!