I love posole! I also love kabocha squash. The taste of kabocha and the white hominy used in posole are the perfect match. This Pumpkin Posole soup is really simple, but not a good... choice if you are in a hurry. You need time for the hominy to cook. It can take a couple of hours or more of simmering for the grains of hominy to burst into ‘flowers’, but after that, it goes very fast!
Drain and rinse the hominy. Put it into a large pan and cover with water by 1-inch. Add the bay leaf and garlic and bring to a boil over a high heat. Cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until the hominy has burst into ‘flowers”. Check the pot from time to time and add more water if it looks dry.
While the hominy is cooking, with a peeler, take off little patches of skin all over the pumpkin halves until they look polka dotted! This is purely decorative and can be left out if you don''t have a lot of time. (FYI - butternut squash has harder skin and must be completely peeled) Cut the halves into ½ " dice. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over a medium-high flame. When it ripples, add the onion and sauté stirring until it starts to soften and turn transparent. Add the pumpkin cubes sprinkle with a little sea salt, mix well and cover. Turn the heat down to medium low and sweat the vegetables for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin has started to soften, and the onion is really soft. The onion should not brown so stir the pot occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. Add 6 cups of water or stock, and the cooked hominy along with any liquid left in the pot. Bring to a boil, cover then turn the heat to medium low and simmer until the pumpkin is tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, prepare the garnish. Mix the cilantro, shallot and jalapeno together in a little bowl. Put the other garnishes into separate bowls. Eat the soup with a squeeze of lime juice, and a little of the other garnishes to taste.
If you are in a rush or want to cut down the cooking time, use canned 2 (28-ounce) cans of Hominy. Drain and rinse them, and add an extra 2 cups of water or stock.
If you are having oral problems such as cankers or post radiation dryness, this delicious soup can be made pureed by whizzing a couple of cupfuls in a blender. Let the soup cool somewhat before eating.