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This spicy vegan tortilla soup is packed with flavor and comfort! Made with beans, fire roasted tomatoes, and Mexican spices, then served with crispy tortilla strips, it’s hearty enough for a meal and easy enough for a weeknight.

For the longest time I was intrigued by the idea of tortilla soup. I started seeing it pop up on restaurant menus in the 90’s and it sounded so good…with the beans and veggies and spices and of course, those crispy little tortilla strips. Everything except the chicken, which seemed to be a required ingredient.

Well now I know better. Chicken is never a required ingredient! If I can make vegan chicken noodle soup, vegan chicken salad, and vegan chicken nuggets, I can certainly make vegan tortilla soup.

Jump to:
  • What You’ll Need
  • How to Make Vegan Tortilla Soup
  • Vegan Tortilla Soup Tips & FAQ
  • More Vegan Soups
  • Spicy Vegan Tortilla Soup

What You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can use another high-heat oil if you prefer.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Jalapeño pepper. Or leave this out for a milder version.
  • Spices. We’re using cumin, oregano, and sweet paprika.
  • Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon’s roasted vegetable flavor.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes. Plain old diced tomatoes will work too, but using fire roasted will add smoky flavor to the soup, so I highly recommend it.
  • Beans. The recipe calls for a can of pinto beans and a can of black beans, but you can really use whatever you’ve got on hand — kidney, cannellini, navy beans or lentils would all work well.
  • Corn tortillas.
  • Lime juice. Use fresh — it’s so much better than the bottled stuff!
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Additional toppings. I like fresh cilantro and diced avocado on my vegan tortilla soup. Cashew sour cream, shredded vegan cheese, and scallions would all be nice as well.

How to Make Vegan Tortilla Soup

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Make the Soup

  • Heat up some olive oil in a large pot. Give it a minute to get hot, then add diced onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring it often, until it begins to soften up.
  • Now add minced garlic, jalapeño pepper, and your spices. Cook everything with the onion for about a minute more, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.
  • Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and beans.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, until the broth reduces a bit and the beans are very tender.
  • Take the soup off of the burner when it’s done simmering, and stir in some lime juice, along with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the Tortilla Strips

  • While the soup simmers, heat up the oven and line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.
  • Slice your corn tortillas into narrow strips (about ¼ to ½ inch wide), brush or spritz both sides with oil, and sprinkle them with salt.
  • Pop the baking sheet into the oven and let the strips bake until the become crispy.
  • Ladle your soup into bowls and pile on the strips, along with any other topping you like. Dig in!

Vegan Tortilla Soup Tips & FAQ

  • Is this soup gluten-free? It is!
  • Shelf life & storage: Store leftover soup in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store leftover tortilla strips in a sealed bag or container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • For a quick and easy substitution for the tortilla strips, simply buy tortilla chips and break them into small pieces.
  • Want to add some protein to your tortilla soup? Add some pan-fried seitan, soy curls, or vegan sausage (I think Field Roast’s chipotle flavor would work well).
  • Feel free to add extra veggies to your soup! Fresh veggies like cauliflower or asparagus could be added when you’ve got about 15 minutes of simmer time remaining. Thawed frozen corn or peas could be added at the end of cooking.
  • For a milder version of this soup, leave out the jalapeño pepper. For more heat, add your favorite hot sauce to taste.

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