Spicy Mexican Vegetable Soup with Cilantro Pesto

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This spicy soup uses hominy, or posole, as the Mexicans call it, to balance the heat. Canned hominy is readily available, but cooking your own dry hominy is worth doing if you have time—both the corn flavor and the texture are much more intense.You can buy dried posole in Mexican markets or by mail order from Indian Harvest (800-346-7032). You can also add your favorite meats, sausages, or fishes to make this a meal in a bowl.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sliced white onions
  • 1 to 2 stemmed and seeded chopped dried chipotle chiles or 2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon finely slivered garlic
  • 2 cups husked and quartered fresh tomatillos or 2 16-ounce cans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (Mexican preferably)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups diced and seeded tomatoes, drained if canned
  • 7 cups homemade chicken, corn, or vegetable stock or your favorite canned broth
  • 2 cups cooked white hominy (posole), drained and rinsed if canned
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cilantro Pesto


Heat the Olive Oil in a deep soup pot over moderate heat. Add the onions, chipotles, and garlic. Sauté until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatillos, fennel, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the hominy and simmer to heat through. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warm soup bowls, swirl in a tablespoon or so of pesto, and serve.