Butternut Squash Posole

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I’ve been eager to start cooking with squash since they started appearing at the farmers’ market last month. I found a great recipe for an easy butternut squash posole, which is a Mexican soup or stew that usually includes meat, hominy and chilli peppers. This version is vegetarian, but still quite hearty with the squash, hominy and diced avocado on top. The best part is that it’s a great weeknight option—very easy and only requires about 20 minutes of cooking time.

Butternut Squash Posole (Food Network Magazine, September 2013; makes 4 servings)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt
1 15-ounce can no-salt-added tomato puree
2 15-ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
Fresh salsa, for topping (optional)
Tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the chili powder. Add the squash, poblano, oregano, cumin, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the poblano softens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups water, the tomato puree and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes, adding the hominy during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Season the posole with salt and divide among bowls. Top with the avocado and salsa and sprinkle with oregano. Serve with chips.

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