If you think Chicken Noodle is the only way to go when days turn chilly, it’s time to get acquainted with Posole. This Mexican-style soup is hearty and comforting, but not heavy or robust in the way a mole or chili would be. The original dish dates way back to Aztec times, before Columbus discovered America.

Think of posole as a light pork or chicken stew, made starchy with the addition of hominy (what “Posole” literally translates to). Hominy is a specially dried form of maize, a breed of corn with particularly large kernels. Those kernels are then ground for masa (used in tamales) or rehydrated and added to soups. It has a mild corn flavor and slightly chewy texture that becomes more and more tender as the soup simmers. Canned hominy is available in the international aisle of most supermarkets—make sure to drain before using.

Posole can be fast, like our favorite 20-minute Chicken Posole, or slow, like our Toasted Guajillo and Pork Posole, in which pork shoulder slowly braises. It can be red (rojo) with red chile sauce or green (verde) with tomatillos and jalapeños. Serve with cornbread, like our Chicken Posole with Cornbread Muffins, or warmed corn tortillas. Garnish as you would tortilla soup, with avocado, sliced radishes, and lime.

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