Smoky, spicy, and tangy. That is how I would describe this soup. I was pondering what to do with our leftover Carnitas when inspiration struck me while walking through the produce section at the grocery store. It appeared a fresh load of tomatillos had arrived at the store, as the bin was overflowing with them. I decided right then and there I was going to make some carnitas soup with tomatillos. I grabbed about 8 of them, which turned out to be 3/4 pounds.
This soup was a tad too much on the spicy side for my husband but he still ate his full bowl. I had added the other half of the jalapeño I hadn’t used in the carnitas, but I also added 1/2 of a canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. (Please note that is 1/2 of a pepper, not 1/2 of the can!!) Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce have a beautiful smoky taste, but beware, those peppers are not only smoky flavored, but SPICY! So, so reduce the amount down, if needed.
Tomatillos are a very tangy fruit, so that is where you get the tangy. But we all enjoyed the flavors and textures of the soup, and my daughter even went back for seconds even though it made her sweat, lol! You can freeze the leftover chipotle chiles for a future use. I love to add a small amount of them to white beans and garlic as a side dish, oooh yum. Last, the store I went to only had mongo pound-plus cans of hominy, so I just use a cup and a half of them, but if your store has a 14-ounce can or so you could use that instead. Once again, I froze the rest of them for future use.
Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
1 pound leftover Carnitas, recipe here, or cooked pork
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
3/4 pounds tomatillos, husks remove, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, diced small
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced small (or less)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 to 6 cups homemade chicken, turkey, or beef broth (or combination of any)
1 1/2 cups white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 jar of homemade tomatoes, diced, or can of diced tomatoes with liquid
Handful of chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
Hopefully you have leftover Carnitas at this point. If not, cook up some pork with spices and set aside. Then chop up your onion, tomatillos, and jalapeño. Heat up a dutch oven or soup pot over medium, then add the olive oil. I’m so bad about amounts on this part, I just eyeball it. But use enough to saute all your veggies. Once the onions start to soften, add the diced chipotle pepper and garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add the broth (I used a combo of turkey and beef broth) and then turn up to high until boiling. Add the hominy, Carnitas or pork, tomatoes, and cilantro. Bring back up to a boil again, then turn down to low to simmer. Simmer for at least one hour to let the flavors meld. Serve with additional cilantro and/or lime, to taste. Yummy!