When a snow storm shut me in last week, I warmed up with hot vegetarian pozole, a Mexican hominy stew. The timing couldn’t have been more on cue since January is National Soup Month, making it the perfect time to experiment with healthy soup recipes.
Sopa is not only a great way to warm up in the winter. Soups can be a smart staple of a healthy diet. Soup can help you eat less by keeping you feeling full. A study by Pennsylvania State University revealed that people who ate soup before a meal consumed 20% less calories than those who did not. Plus, soups containing vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
Pozole is one of my favorite Mexican dishes–the lime and chile give the broth a delicious sabor. Main ingredient hominy has been a staple food in Central America for hundreds of years and is made by soaking maize in a lime solution which causes the kernel to expand. I made the receta vegetarian by replacing the pork or beef traditionally found in this stew with potatoes, beans and squash. One bowl is all you need but it is so sabroso you will want a second!
Natalie’s Vegetarian Pozole Recipe
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-4 dried Poblano chilis
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 zucchini squash, cut in 1-inch rounds
- 1 medium potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans
- 2 15 oz cans hominy, drained and rinsed
- juice of 2 limes
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions, oregano, salt, and chiles and stir until onions and chiles are soft.
- Add vegetable stock followed by the lime juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about ten minutes.
- Add hominy, zucchini and potato and cook until potatoes are almost soft.
- Add beans and tomatoes and let simmer an additional ten minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Natalie’s Tips for Healthier Soups
- Make this nutritious dish even healthier by skipping the salt and making your own vegetable stock which is often lower in sodium and preservatives than store-bought varieties.
- Opt for broth-based soups with plenty of veggies and avoid cream or cheese-based soups. I recommend a healthy vegetarian version of Colombian favorite ajiaco soup in Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Colombian Ajiaco Soup Recipe. I can’t wait to try this Tuscan white bean soup recipe or this vegetarian minestroni soup recipe.
The first step to healthy eating is knowing which foods are good for you. Armed with this knowledge, step two is making daily healthy choices to lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. With a few more winter months ahead, stay warm and healthy with delicious and nutritious soups.
¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.What is your favorite healthy soup recipe?