Every year, without fail, I always get sick right before Christmas. Never mind my schedule and the million and one things to be done before Christmas. It always happens. This year, of course, was no exception.
Now, for me, the worse sickness in the world is the common cold. I say this all the time and those closest to me have heard me utter these words each and every time I come down with a cold. "I would rather deliver a baby than have a stuffy nose." Having had two children of my own, and knowing full well the immense pain one suffers from childbirth, I feel this is the strongest way for me to convey my complete contempt, and total disgust, for the common cold and the stuffy nose it brings. Ever since I can remember I have been this way. A stuffy nose always reduces me to a complete mess. In fact, the word "mess" is somewhat of an understatement. A stuffy nose has been known to make me somewhat unhinged. The whole "not being able to breathe" thing just wears me completely down.
My list of obligations loomed over me as I sat stewing over my nose. I didn't have time to be sick. I had to help the kids with all their end of the quarter homework and finals. There were book reports and presentations, Christmas concerts, and a million other Christmas related events on my schedule. So I did what I always do. The thing that always gives my stuffy nose some relief. I locked myself in the bathroom and turned the shower on as hot as it would go. I let the hot steam fill the air and provide some relief to my stuffed nose. I enjoyed breathing like a normal human being for a short time.
It was during this time that I thought of steam, and heat, and how thankful I was for it when an idea came to me. Longing to continue the steaming of my nose, I vowed to leave the bathroom and make myself a big pot of steaming hot soup. An easy pot of soup. That's when I remembered this easy and quick recipe for Heidi's Posole in Broth.
Now this is possibly the easiest and quickest soup I've ever made but it did the trick. In no time at all I had myself a big bowl of steaming hot posole filled with chewy little bites of hominy and just the right amount of heat from a serrano pepper. Heidi suggest an array of toppings, and while I'm sure they're all wonderful, I really wasn't concerned with them. I was all about the healing powers of the soup. I'm thankful this recipe made a huge batch. I am going to be spending a lot of time with my head hanging over this wonderful little soup longing for my nose to work again. 'Tis the season!
Posole in Broth
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 pound or 1 (28 oz) can dried posole/hominy
1 medium white or yellow onion
5 cups great tasting broth
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 cups cooked mung beans, optional*
1 bunch of scallions, trimmed and shredded
To Serve: Chopped olives, sliced avocado, sprouts or micro greens, toasted sliced almonds, and/or a drizzle of olive or lemon oil
To cook the posole kernels, rinse and pick over the kernels, cover with water and let soak for at least six hours, or overnight. Drain, place in a large pot with the onion, halved and peeled, and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about an hour, or until a good percentage of the kernels blossom. Drain, reserving the broth and onion, and set aside. If you're making this ahead of time, both the broth and onion and the cooked posole kernels (drained) freeze well. If you're using a can of hominy, drain and set aside.
When you're ready to make the posole, slice the reserved onion (or new onion if making from canned), and add it to a large pot along with the posole kernels, and roughly 5 cups of broth-enough to just cover the kernels. Add the chile and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Gently stir in the mung beans, if using, and scallions.
To serve, ladle into shallow bowls and add as many toppings as you can handle. Don't skimp because they're what make this version of posole really come together. Avocado, almonds, and chopped olives are important. The creamy fattiness from the avocado with the starchy posole, the punch of olive brininess, and crunch from the almonds really work nicely.
To cook mung beans: Rinse and pick over well. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender but not falling apart, roughly 25 to 30 minutes.