Vegan Chef Terry Hope Romero's Quick Red Posole with Beans

Serves 4, or 2 to 3 really hungry hombres
Time: About 30 minutes
• Gluten Free, Soy Free

Posole is a Mexican long-simmered stew chock full of history, endless variations of ingredients and the common thread of hominy. And sometimes you need hot posole stew and you need it . . . almost now! Posole loves to be topped with lots of salad-like ingredients-crunchy cabbage, radishes, avocado-that coolly contrast with the soothing, warm tomato stew below. I'm a fan of canned hominy for fast and easy posole making. The canned stuff just requires a brief rinse to use, is cheap, and is ready for whenever you need this quick cooking posole.

Tip: If you have a little more time, try roasting any dried red chile (or two or three) for really flavorful Quick Red Posole with BeansQuick Red Posole with Beansposole.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large poblano chile or green Cubanelle pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon red chile powder, such as ancho or guajíllo
1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice, or 2 pounds very juicy fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups cooked
1 (15-ounce) can white cooked hominy, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups cooked
1 cup Mexican light-colored beer or vegetable broth
1⁄4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice
Freshly ground pepper

Optional Garnishes
Large tortilla chips or fried tortilla strips
Chopped fresh cilantro
Thinly sliced white radishes
Chopped fresh tomato
Finely diced fresh onion
Finely shredded white cabbage or a crunchy lettuce such as romaine
Slices of ripe avocado
Lime wedge

1. In a large pot, combine the oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the onion and poblano chile. Stir and cook until the vegetables are softened and the onion is translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, and chile powder and fry for another minute. Now add the diced tomatoes with juice, beans, hominy, beer, and salt. If using fresh tomatoes, you may want to add more beer, water, or vegetable broth if the tomatoes alone don't provide enough liquid to create a stew. Stir, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice, and season with freshly ground pepper. Let the posole sit for about 10 minutes prior to serving, to cool slightly and allow the flavors to meld.

2. Ladle into large individual serving bowls and either decorate with separate mounds of cilantro, lettuce, and so on or place each garnish in its own serving bowl and have guests pass the bowls around. Serve with hot corn tortillas.

Courtesy Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.
Visit her at VeganLatina.com