Yield: 8 servings

Posole:

1 pound dried, white corn posole (prepared hominy)

1 small white onion, diced

3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Chicken Broth:

3 Rib-in chicken breasts

2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch length with leaves

¼ medium celery root

1 ear of corn

2 carrots, cut into large pieces

2 medium onions, unpeeled, roots trimmed and halved (leeks)

1 zucchini

Bunch of cilantro, tied with kitchen twine

Generous pinch red pepper flakes

8 black peppercorns, crushed

4 quarts cold water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Red Sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 finely diced yellow onion

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons ground red chile, such as ancho

1 28-oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

To garnish:

4 corn tortillas

1 small avocado, diced

1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

2 limes, cut into wedges

Start by making the chicken broth: Bring all ingredients to a boil in an 8 to 10 quart heavy pot. Skim froth. Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, skimming froth occasionally, for 3 hours.

Remove chicken to cool; remove meat from bones, discard skin and set aside.

Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard solids. If using stock right away, skim fat and reserve for another use. If not, cool stock completely, uncovered, before skimming fat, then chill, covered. Broth can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

If you don’t have time to make the stock yourself, I recommend substituting Imagine brand No–Chicken Broth and a good quality rotisserie chicken.

Soak the dried posole overnight in a large bowl of water. The next day drain the posole and place it in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot or dutch oven along with 3 1/2 quarts of water, the onion, garlic, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the posole is tender and many of the kernels have flowered into popcorn shapes. This can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours. Season with a couple teaspoons of salt roughly halfway through the cooking process. Season again once the posole is fully cooked.

Now that you have the stock and the posole on its way, make the red sauce: Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Let the onion cook until it is deeply browned, 15 - 20 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally; add the cumin and cook for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, ground chile and two cups of broth; bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. After 20 minutes, taste the sauce and adjust seasonings. Set aside until the posole has finished cooking.

To finish the soup, add the cooked posole and chicken to the red sauce until you reach desired ratio. It should be soup-like and not thick like a chili. Add a bit more broth if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to come together.

While soup is simmering, prepare the tortilla strips: Heat oven to 300. Slice 4 corn tortillas into strips and place on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp then set aside.

Place some of the crispy tortilla strips in the bottom of each serving bowl. Ladle the finished posole on top of tortilla strips. Serve hot, garnished with avocado, radishes, cilantro and lime wedges.