Tortilla soup is a wildly underrated specialty for vegetarians -- for it is a sad fact that this soup is commonly prepared with chicken broth and chunks of chicken. Nevertheless, it can be just as richly satisfying with vegetables alone. Try it for yourself with this tangy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup recipe.
While this soup certainly hails from Mexico, the specific origin of such comfort food remains unknown. Traditionally, tortilla soup is made with tomatoes, garlic, chiles, chicken stock, fried tortillas, and cheese. This hearty vegetarian alternative is thickened with corn and cannellini beans; this recipe also substitutes chiles with the zing of minced jalapeno pepper. And though this version omits the chicken, the tortilla strips soften as they sit, providing further texture.
As opposed to many soup recipes, this Vegetarian Tortilla Soup is marvelously quick to prepare, with a majority of ready-made ingredients. Although you can be truly authentic by using grilled corn, roasted tomatoes and homemade tortilla strips, it is infinitely easier to purchase these items instead. You will spend far less time prepping the soup and far more time enjoying it.
Serve this Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with a bevy of toppings. Beyond the recommended ones accompanying this recipe (including cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, limes, and obviously tortilla strips), feel free to experiment with Mexican cotija cheese, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, etc. This soup recipe is a starting point -- enjoy!
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 (14-oz can) crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15-oz can) corn
- 1 (15-oz can) cannellini beans
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chile powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 2 cups tortilla strips
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 3 limes, sliced
- 2 avocados, diced
In a large pot, saute the onion and jalapeno until the onion turns translucent. Add the garlic; cook for another minute until garlic becomes fragrant.
Add the crushed tomatoes, corn, cannellini beans and vegetable broth. Season with chile powder, cumin and salt. Cook for at least another ten minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Serve topped with Monterey Jack cheese, diced avocado, cilantro and tortilla chips.