Vegan Taco Soup

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This flavor-packed vegan taco soup is made with a mix of Tex-Mex spices, red lentils, sweet corn, and black beans. It all gets topped off with luscious avocado crema and crispy tortilla strips!

Fair warning: this isn’t one of those vegan recipes where you can trick your non-vegan relatives into thinking they’re eating meat. This soup is made with a base of red lentils, which taste nothing like meat.

In fact, back when I came up with the idea for a vegan taco soup recipe, I had no idea that regular taco soup was a thing. Now I know that it is, and it’s made with taco meat.

While red lentils aren’t fooling anyone, they do make a delicious soup. I’ve used them again and again in making Mediterranean red lentil soup, dal soup, Ethiopian stew, red lentil chili, and I even wrote this guide on how to cook red lentils.

I love my red lentils, and they’re perfect in this vegan taco soup, along with a handful of other delicious ingredients like corn, black beans, crispy tortilla strips and a to-die-for avocado crema.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Mexican-Inspired Soups
  • Vegan Taco Soup

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. Just about any high-heat oil can be substituted, such as corn oil, canola oil, or coconut oil.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Jalapeño pepper. This is totally optional. Just use it if you’d like your soup to have some heat.
  • Spices. We’re using ground cumin and ancho chile powder.
  • Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon in seasoned vegetable flavor.
  • Split red lentils.
  • Canned diced tomatoes.
  • Canned black beans. You can substitute another type of bean if you’d like. Kidney beans or pinto beans would work well.
  • Frozen corn.
  • Lime juice. Use freshly squeezed lime juice to give your soup and crema the best flavor.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Corn tortillas.
  • Avocado. Make sure it’s ripe.
  • Non-dairy milk. Any variety that’s unflavored and unsweetened will work. Try soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk.
  • Fresh cilantro. Try green onions instead if you’re a cilantro-hater.

How It’s Made

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

  • To make the soup, start by sweating diced onion in some olive oil. Cook the onion for a few minutes, until it starts to soften up and become translucent.
  • Stir in minced garlic and your spices. You can also add the jalapeño at this point if you’re using it. Cook everything briefly. Be careful here: the spices can burn easily. Make sure to stir the mixture continuously to prevent this.
  • Stir in your broth and red lentils, raise the heat, and bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and let your soup simmer until the lentils are soft, about 15 minutes. You can add some water to the pot if the liquid reduces too much while the soup cooks.
  • Stir in your diced tomatoes, black beans, and thawed frozen corn. Let the soup continue simmering for a few minutes more, just to get everything heated up.
  • Prepare your tortilla strips while the soup cooks. Slice corn tortillas into thin strips, arrange them on a baking sheet (or two), then brush or spritz them with some oil and sprinkle them with salt.
  • Pop the baking sheet in the oven and let the strips bake until they become crispy.

Tip: Free free to substitute crushed tortilla chips if you’re in a hurry.

  • To make the avocado crema, simply place an avocado into a blender, along with non-dairy milk, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Blend until smooth.
  • You can give the mixture a taste-test at this point and make any adjustments you’d like, such as more lime juice or salt.
  • Once the soup has finished simmering, take the pot off of the burner and stir in some lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Tip: Add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper if you’d like your soup to be extra spicy!

  • Ladle the vegan taco soup into bowls and top each with a dollop of crema, some tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and any other toppings you’d like.
  • Enjoy!

Leftovers & Storage

Store each of the components of this recipe separately. The soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.

The crema can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. Depending on how fresh your avocado was, it may begin to turn brown (it will still be edible if this happens).

The tortilla strips will keep in an airtight container or zippy bag at room temperature for about 4 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this soup gluten-free?

It is!

What additional toppings go well with vegan taco soup?

Just about anything you might put on a taco would be good! Try shredded vegan cheese, cashew queso, pico de gallo, hot peppers, or chopped onion.

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