(Spicy Hominy and Black Bean Tortilla Soup)
If there’s one marketing tactic skateboarding has perfected, it’s the “anti-marketing” advertisement. Perhaps no other artists or athletes enjoy self-deprecating humor more than the folks who willingly throw themselves down stairs and rails for the sheer joy of it. While many companies have poked fun at themselves (early Enjoi ads in the wake of A-Team’s demise come to mind), one company seems to have mastered this well in advance of all others: Toy Machine.
That’s right, the self-proclaimed “Blood-Sucking Skateboard Company” has been enhancing its already sick ads with tongue-in-cheek hand-written copy since as far back as I can remember. In addition to giving young skaters a reason to twist their magazines sideways and upside down, these post-hoc editorials reminded us all that no matter how sick an ad was, skateboarding was all in good fun.
In going through old Toy Machine ads, I revisited the gnarly stylings of Josh Harmony. If you started skating recently and aren’t up to date with RVCA’s more artistic endeavors, then this name may be lost on you, but if you—like me—were in awe of every second of Toy Machine’s 2004 masterpiece, Good and Evil, then you probably remember watching Josh slay steep, intimidating handrails to the good vibes of Sebadoh’s Flame. What was better than watching the unspoken #teamhandsome member destroy all terrains to a catchy bass riff and a folksy chorus singing “I don’t want to be the one who rides flame?” While Josh may now be spending more time on his harmonies than on wheels, it’s undebatable that his parts in Good and Evil, Suffer the Joy and Ride the Sky still push the limits of what can be done on a board.
While I’ve never skated with Harmony, I do occasionally enjoy cooking with hominy (I will not apologize for that pun), especially when it’s added to delicious, spicy soups. With that segue, I present Josh Hominy Tortilla Soup (spicy hominy and black bean tortilla soup). This recipe—shared with me by Austin local ripper and fellow health enthusiast, Ryan Curtis—is the perfect hearty tortilla soup for a cold night (or with a cold beer).
Just as some newcomers may have been unaware of Harmony’s relentless destruction of handrails, some of you may also be asking, “what the hell is hominy?” Essentially dried corn soaked in lime and minerals, hominy is an esoteric—yet extremely common—ingredient. Even if you’ve never heard of hominy, chances are you’ve eaten it, as it’s used to create the dough for many Mexican foods like tortillas, tamales and arepas. While it doesn’t have the crunch of corn kernels, it makes for a hearty addition to stews and soups that make them just a tad more filling; in essence, the addition of hominy promotes soups from side dish to main course. Toss this in with black beans, bell peppers, jalapeños and chili powder, then top it off with some crushed tortilla chips and cilantro, and you’ve got a delicious soup that’ll keep you warm after your night session.
Contrary to Sebadoh’s lyrics, this soup will make you want to ride flames.
INGREDIENTS (yields 6 servings):
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 jalapeño (diced)
- 1 serrano pepper (diced)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 can (4 oz) green chiles
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans
- 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz) hominy
- 32 oz vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- squeeze of 1 lime
- cilantro (for garnish)
- tortilla chips of your choice for topping (and dipping)
- Dice up the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, serrano pepper and garlic. In a soup pot, warm up the olive oil on medium heat and toss in the veggies. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions begin to brown.
- Once the veggies are nice and warm, toss in the cumin, chili powder and can of green chiles and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the spices are warm and fragrant, add the black beans, crushed tomatoes, hominy and broth and mix it all up. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it all cook on the stove for 40 minutes.
- Once it has cooked, add the squeeze of lime, salt and pepper, and stir once more before serving. Throw on a little cilantro and some crushed tortilla chips and dig in!