I think I have been expressive about my aversion to strictly following recipes. It is simply too much trouble.
You first have to read the recipe thoroughly. Then make a list for the grocery store.
Then check the list before you check out to ensure you didn’t miss anything that might send you back to the store. Then there is the issue of finding the ingredients.
When you are committed to following a recipe exactly, you must find each ingredient, and that can present a problem if you need to find something exotic. There is nothing more annoying than having to go to several grocery stores to find something, just to get turned away since they too don’t stock exotic peppers.
These reasons, along with my mild attention deficit disorder, are why I very rarely set out to tackle a recipe exactly as it reads. What I tend to do is read a few recipes, then make a loose, somewhat flexible, grocery list and go from there.
All that said, I did recently try to tackle a recipe, true to form. I was really excited to try this Mexican soup, but the recipe called for some chilies that I was afraid might be difficult to find.
And what happened? You guessed it. The grocery store didn’t have what I needed. So, I had to adjust on the spot. I decided to buy red jalapenos and hope for the best.
I was a little worried that my changes would affect the flavor, but the posole soup I was making turned out great. So great, in fact, that I have to wonder if it is not even better than the one I was trying to mimic.
So with this recipe, and any others, be flexible when shopping for ingredients. Substitute as you wish (within reason, of course). Find something similar if they are missing what you need. Who knows, it could make it even better.
The flavor in this soup is great. The broth is fairly thick and only gets better when you add the toppings. I like to pile on the cabbage, cilantro, chips and cheese and add hot sauce when I want to ramp up the spice. In Mexico, I’ve had posole served with limes and radishes, too, so add those to the top if you like.
If you wanted a version of this with meat, use chicken stock instead of the veggie broth, and add 2 cups of shredded chicken to the finished product. I don’t think you will miss the meat, even if you are a carnivore, but a chicken version would be nice if you want a really filling meal.