I had a transportation service through my dental service.  I was met at the airport and delivered to the office and my hotel.  They also brought me to my mural destination.  So, I had a lot of time to talk to the drivers in English and Spanish.  As always, I asked about food.  What should I eat while in Mexico?  And, the first thing I was recommended was pazole.  My Spanish wasn’t good enough to learn any more about it.  But, it has a lot of the same letters as calzone.  In my mind, I expected some kind of pastry stuffed with meat and vegetables.  Well, I was not in Italy and that is not what I received.

My host, Lucas, took me to a restaurant where we could both have pazole for the first time.  And, that’s when I learned, it was a staple Mexican soup.  It was as common as tacos and enchiladas, both of which I would have recognized instantly.

Cancún, Mexico
  1 small onion   ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  2 - 6 cloves garlic   1 tsp oregano
  2 Tbs oil   salt and pepper to taste
  2 Tbs of flour   3 - 5 cups of chicken broth
  2 Tbs chili powder   2 pounds meat of choice
  2 cups water   1 can of white hominy
  3 oz. tomato paste   1 can or jar of diced green chilies
  1 tsp. cumin    
Sliced radishes
  Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
  Diced onion
  Chopped lettuce   homemade (or store bought)
  .....tortilla chips

Dice up the onion and garlic before tossing them in your soup pot to sauté in oil. (It's your call on the amount of garlic. You can never have enough, but will you want to impress or depress anyone with your breath?)

Need more guidance than that?  Sauté over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender and transparent. Add the flour and chili powder to the mix and continue for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

Pour in the water with tomato paste, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir it up well until the tomato paste dissolves into the mix.  Let everything simmer until it begins to thicken up.

To all of this add the chicken broth, shredded meat (pork, beef or chicken), one can of drained white hominy and diced chiles.  Just a warning on the diced chilies.  One time while cooking, I grabbed a jar of diced jalapeño peppers.  That is not what you want.  It made everything way too hot.  Look for a jar of mild green peppers.

Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until ready to serve.

While the soup is finishing up, you need to slice and dice up the vegetables and herbs that will accompany the soup on the side.  You later select what you want to sprinkle on top of your pazole.

Lucas with a bowl of pazole
Copyright 2018 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.
Copyright 2016 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.