Vegan Tortilla Soup, a healthy, plant based, version of the classic Chicken Tortilla Soup. In our Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe we’ve substituted chicken broth and chicken with vegetable broth and pinto beans. You won’t notice the difference because all the flavors are still there! Rich tomato flavors with garlic, onions, and Mexican spices make this a Mexican Tortilla Soup you won’t have trouble eating!
This is one of those recipes that we had to make Vegan simply because it’s consumed so often in our home that it’s almost a staple at this point. I grew up eating this soup, mostly prepared by El Torito Grill, one of my family’s favorite Mexican restaurants. The secret to this recipe being successful are the spices, namely the adobo powder (or sauce) which lends a distinct smoky flavor. I was surprised at how well this recipe translates from the original; when all the spices are added, the broth has a wonderfully rich and subtly spicy flavor. Let’s talk briefly about where this recipe comes from.
Where Did Tortilla Soup Originate From?
While time has not left the history of tortilla soup fully intact, it’s firmly believed to have originated in Mexico City and stands uncontested as one of Mexico’s most traditional and favorite soups. Tortilla soup is commonly made with chicken and chicken broth.
That concludes our brief history lesson. Now let’s make some soup!
Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe
- Vegetable broth
- Pinto beans
- Chopped tomatoes, with juice
- Yellow squash
- Yellow onion
- Green onion
- Smoked paprika
- Chili powder
- Adobo powder
- Dried oregano
- Lime juice
- Olive oil
How to Make Vegan Tortilla Soup
- Sauté onions and garlic. Pour oil into a large pot, heat over medium heat; add onions and garlic, sauté 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add spices. Include all spices and cook additional 2 to 3 minutes longer until onions begin to soften.
- Tomatoes and vegetable broth. Pour in vegetable broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil, then turn down heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini and squash. Include zucchini, squash and beans, simmer an additional 3 minutes until zucchini becomes fork tender.
- Cilantro. Remove pot from heat, add cilantro, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Serve. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with avocado, jalapeno slices, and tortilla strips.
As you can see, this Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe comes together so quickly when you don’t have to boil chicken! You sauté your onions and garlic, add your seasonings in and cook a while longer. Then you’ll add in your tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Finally, just add in your beans, zucchini, cilantro, and lime juice! This is another recipe you can just memorize and whip up for your family in a flash. Most of the ingredients are likely in your pantry right now!
How to Make Fresh Tortilla Chips
For this Mexican Tortilla Soup recipe you can use either corn or flour tortillas. I would recommend corn though because I believe they hold together more firmly in broth than do flour tortillas. Additionally, you’ll likely want to cut the tortillas into strips which makes them easier to add to your soup than would whole chips.
- Add 3/4 cup of oil to a frying pan or skillet and heat over medium high heat for roughly 3 to 5 minutes.
- Test your oil by adding a single tortilla strip to it; if the tortilla strip begins to sizzle then you’ve likely achieved the right temperature and are ready to cook your tortilla chips.
- Place a handful of tortilla strips into the oil in a single layer and use a metal slotted spoon to move the chips around in the oil to ensure they are cooked evenly.
- When the chips begin to lightly brown, remove them from the oil and place them on a plate covered with a paper towel to dry and cool.
Best Toppings for Mexican Tortilla Soup
- Vegan cheese
- Vegan sour cream
- Tortilla chips
- Chopped tomatoes
- Red onion
Tips and Variations
- Don’t overcook the squash. Both zucchini and yellow squash cook quickly so make sure you don’t add them until the end of the cooking process and only cook them for 3 minutes.
- Cilantro. Add cilantro at the end of the cooking process otherwise it becomes overcooked, brown, and murky looking.
- Beans. Experiment with different beans. Both black beans and white beans (such as cannellini beans) would work well here. Even garbanzo beans or kidney beans might be a great substitute.
- Corn. Add some corn (or hominy) for extra flavor and color.
- Carrots and celery. Throw in some carrots and celery when you sauté the onions and garlic.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Instead of using adobo powder you can use a couple teaspoons of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Add according to taste as they can be a little spicy.
- Fire roasted tomatoes. Use fire roasted tomatoes for a smoky flavor.
Is Vegan Tortilla Soup Healthy?
And if tasting amazing and taking only minutes to cook weren’t enough, it’s also a healthy soup! Let’s take a look at just a couple of the ingredients and some of the health attributes associated.
- Zucchini is high in fiber which some studies suggest may reduce risk of heart disease. (1)
- Zucchini is high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene, both of which support eye health. (2)
- Cilantro contains certain compounds that may fight bad bacteria such as salmonella. (3)
Thank you for joining us on another great Vegan Plate recipe! We would love to hear from you, leave us a comment and let us know how your recipes are turning out! Here are some more recipes you’ll enjoy!
Vegan Mexican Recipes
- Lentil Tacos
- How to Make Spanish Rice
- Serrano Salsa
- Vegan Chimichangas
- Salsa Taquera
- Fire Roasted Salsa
- Chipotle Sofritas
Vegan Soup Recipes
- Cuban Black Bean Soup
- Vegan Chili
- Potato Leek Soup
- Vegan Red Lentil Soup
- Ribollita Soup
- Moroccan Harira Soup
- White Bean Tomato Soup
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 (15 oz. cans) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz. can) chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered
- 1 medium yellow squash, quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 to 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons adobo powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/4 cups cilantro, finely chopped
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in adobo powder, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and oregano; cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to soften, roughly 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in tomatoes and vegetable broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in zucchini, yellow squash, and beans; simmer an additional 3 minutes until fork tender.
- Remove from heat, add in cilantro, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado and jalapeno slices.
- Don't overcook the squash. Both zucchini and yellow squash cook quickly so don't cook for longer than 3 minutes in the broth. This is why we add them at the end of the cooking process.
- Cilantro also cooks quickly so make sure you also add this at the end of the cooking process per the recipe instructions.
- You can use different types of beans for this recipe; try black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, or garbanzo beans.
- Add corn, hominy, carrots, or celery for extra flavor and color.
- Instead of using adobo powder you can use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; add according to taste. Be careful because they are spicy.
- Use fire roasted tomatoes for an extra smoky flavor.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1221mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g
The Vegan Plate attempts to provide accurate information. However, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.