Lobby Soup Showdown

Lobby Soup Showdown: Souper Bowl 2024


Chicken Posole Rojo,
Chef Russell Johnson, The Food Depot 

2 cans (15 oz each) Hominy
1 Whole Chicken
1 White Onion, roughly chopped
1 Large Garlic Bulb, minced
3 Bay Leaves
16 cups Chicken Broth
5 Chile Pods (Guajillo)
5 Chile Pods (Ancho)
2 tablespoons Red Chile Powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
1 tablespoon Coriander
1 tablespoon Paprika
2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare the Chicken:
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out. Place the chicken in a large pot or Dutch oven.
Toast Spices:
Place a dry saute pan over a medium heat. Sprinkle red chile powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano in an even layer across the bottom of the pan.  Gently shake the pan to ensure even cooking of the spices and to avoid burning. Once the spices start to release an aroma this indicates they are toasted. Set aside and let cool.
Prepare the Chile Sauce:
Remove the stems and seeds from the guajillo and ancho chile pods. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and then remove it from heat. Add the chile pods to the hot water and let them steep for 15 minutes. Drain the chile pods and transfer them to a blender. Add the minced garlic, red chile powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, and some of the water in which they were soaking to the blender. Blend the ingredients until you have a smooth sauce.
Cook the Chicken:
Add the white onion and bay leaves to the pot with the whole chicken. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, ensuring that the chicken is submerged. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the chicken simmer for about 30 minutes before skimming away any foam that accumulates. Let chicken cook for a total of 1 hour or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
Shred the Chicken:
Once the chicken is cooked, carefully remove it from the pot and place it on a cutting board. Strain and reserve broth. Use two forks or your hands to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Discard the skin and bones, if desired.
Prepare the Posole:
Return the shredded chicken to the pot with the broth. Add the chile sauce from the blender to the pot and stir well. Drain and rinse the hominy, then add it to the pot. Stir everything together and let the posole simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Season and Serve:
Taste the posole and season with salt and pepper according to your preference. Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Ladle the chicken posole into bowls and garnish with your choice of toppings, such as sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, diced avocado, and shredded cabbage. Serve hot and enjoy!



Tomato Lentil Soup,
Len Rand, The Food Depot Board of Directors 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon dried thyme
28 ounces diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup black lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Pinch of red chili powder
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Warm the olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often,
until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring
constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes,
stirring often.
4. Pour in the lentils and broth. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a chili powder. Season generously
with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then
partially cover the pot, and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 1 hour
30, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
5. Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to blend a portion of the soup.
6. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in lemon juice.