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New Mexican food abounds with delightful soups and stews.


Posole, or pozole, is a spicy corn stew traditionally made with pork. New Mexicans have been enjoying posole for centuries. Posole is a ceremonial dish for celebrating life's blessings. Traditional posole is made with large-kernel white corn that has been soaked in a solution of lime and then dehydrated. Hominy is often used as a substitution for true posole.

  • 1 pound of posole corn or hominy
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 pound pork loin, bite-sized
  • 2 cups red or green chile
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For more inspiration, check out the posole recipe from the head chef at the Indian Pueblo Kitchen.


Rinse posole corn until water runs clear, and then drain. Place posole corn, pork and 10 cups water in a large stewing pot. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Add remaining ingredients and additional water if needed. Continue to simmer for another 2 hours, or until posole corn kernels open and are soft but not falling apart.

Makes 8-12 cups

Recipe courtesy of Marie Coleman, Casa de Ruiz - Church Street Cafe,

Green Chile Chicken Stew

  • 1 pound chicken tender or chicken breast meat, cut into ¼ pieces
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 3 cups medium-size red potatoes, cut into ½ cubes
  • 1 16-ounce jar green chile sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups whole kernel corn
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Pre-cook potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes, then cool. Heat oil in 1-gallon pot or larger. Add chicken and stir until completely cooked. Add flour and stir well. Add chicken broth and stir well. Bring to a boil. Add garlic, corn, green chile sauce and potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 8 servings

Recipe courtesy of El Pinto Restaurant & Cantina,

Chile-Sparked Sweet Potato Soup

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dices
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (1 tablespoon sliced tops reserved for garnish)
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground pure hot red chile, or to taste
  • Few grates of fresh nutmeg
  • Baked tortilla shoestrings for garnish 

Place the potatoes, scallions and 1 cup water in a 2-quart glass or microwavable plastic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on full power for 10 minutes. Transfer the potato mixture to a food processor. Add the milk and 2 teaspoons of the chile, and process until pureed. Stir in the nutmeg. Return to the 2-quart container and microwave for about 2 minutes, or until hot. Serve each bowl garnished with the reserved chile, scallion and corn tortilla.

Note: To cook conventionally, place the sweet potatoes, 1 cup water and scallions in a heavy, medium saucepan. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Puree as above and heat to serving temperature.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe courtesy of Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen,

Green Chile Chickie Veggie Chili

This chili has a wonderful flavor, bordering on a gumbo without the okra or file. If you want to double up on some of the vegetables, omitting some and adding others, it will still be very good!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large, whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in ¾-inch dices
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced ¼-inch wide
  • 2 cups green chile, cut in ½-inch width-wise pieces (8 to 10 green chiles, parched and peeled) or canned or frozen
  • 6 ripe large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 apple chicken (or similar) sausages, sliced
  • 2 cups whole-kernel corn (2 to 3 ears fresh, canned or frozen)
  • 1 stalk broccoli, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can or 2 cups black beans
  • 2 cups sliced and chopped cabbage, about ½ small head
  • 2 large carrots, sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick
  • 2 cups chicken stock 

Heat the oil in a large pot, at least 5 quarts. Add the chicken pieces and lightly brown, then add the onion and garlic and cook until clear. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on a medium low heat, covered for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are done. If the chili is thicker than desired, add water to desired consistency and cook for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with hard crusted bread with olive oil or butter.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe courtesy of Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen,

Chili vs. Chile

“Chili” generally refers to a thick stew or soup prepared with beans and meat, while “chile” refers to the peppers that have been grown in this region and eaten for thousands of years by the native people. New Mexican cuisine is known for its dedication to the chile—most notably the Hatch chile, named for the town of Hatch, New Mexico, where they are grown.