Tacos are my favorite food, so when my friend Amanda convinced me to make a vegetarian tortilla soup, I had to dive right in! Between the spice blend, the slight kick from the peppers, and the freedom to top how I choose, I was hooked at first bite. Hope you enjoy this healthy tortilla soup recipe that will bring the whole family to the table.
Table of Contents
Ingredients in Healthy Tortilla Soup
This creamy soup is made with a rainbow of ingredients, my favorite kind of meal! Let’s highlight a few of these rawesome ingredients:
- Avocado oil: Healthy fats can easily be added to soups when using them to sauté veggies. Avocado or olive oil are great choices for this recipe.
- Tortilla chips: Since this tortilla soup is vegan, the tortilla chips have a unique purpose. They are actually softened in the soup, then blended all together to become a delightfully creamy meal. You can also use them as a crunchy topping when serving.
- Yellow onion: I love the pop of flavor in yellow onions and use them in most of my cooking.
- Poblano + Jalapeño peppers: I use one of each in this healthy tortilla soup recipe because poblanos bring just a bit of heat but an earthy, smoky flavor while jalapeños do pack a spicy punch. If you are sensitive to spice then omit the jalapeño altogether.
- Vegetable stock: Once I learned how to save my vegetable scraps and turn them into homemade stock, I no longer buy it from the store. If using store-bought, make sure it doesn’t have any additives and check the amount of sodium.
- Cilantro: Fresh herbs are naturally medicinal as well as provide excellent flavors. If cilantro isn’t your favorite herb then swap it with parsley.
- Bay leaves: These unique leaves add a lovely floral and thyme flavor to foods, yet you don’t eat them. Just toss in 1-2 leaves to a soup pot then remove before serving (or in this case, remove before blending).
Soup is so easy to customize! If onions aren’t your thing, then swap the onion out for 1 cup of leeks. If you don’t want any spicy peppers, swap the 2 peppers out for 1/2 red or orange bell pepper.
You can also cut back on the spices as you taste test, to find the perfect amount of spice for you. I roll with the spice train, so I often add a bit more than this vegetarian tortilla soup recipe recommends, yet you can add less too!
If you don’t want the corn tortilla chips or need to cut back on the sodium they bring, opt for a salt-free chip, or a good plantain chip. Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of plantain chips that I’ve been working through, and they’re all good!
Tips for the Best Soup
As I mentioned above, the tortilla chips help turn this vegetable soup into a creamy dish. Don’t forget to add them during the cooking stage so they can soften before blending.
The spices in this recipe come alive even more if you make it ahead of time and let sit in the fridge overnight. Your tastebuds will thank you!
I find this to be a filling recipe, yet it is a bit light on the protein. That is easily remedied by adding rinsed, cooked black beans or cashew cream when serving.
Sautéing the onion, garlic and peppers before adding in the spices and stock also produces a tastier result. Don’t skip this quick step!
One reason soup makes a great family meal is that it’s super easy to customize with toppings. If you’ve got a kid who needs cheese on everything, then use this soup as the base and let ’em go wild! This soup is perfect for the chip lover too, just grab your favorite chips and dip away. Here are some recommended toppings for my vegetarian tortilla soup recipe:
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Diced jalepeños or another spicy pepper
- Cashew cream
- Crumbled tortilla chips or plantain chips
- Hot sauce
- Diced avocados
- Sweet corn
- Cooked, drained black beans
Really, the possibilities are endless. If you like it on your tacos then you’ll probably like it in this healthy tortilla soup.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup FAQs
My recipe uses tortilla chips to cream up the recipe in a dairy-free way. I also top with cashew cream, a delightful substitute for sour cream.
I love a creamy soup, and this one is no different. After sautéing the vegetables and simmering on the stove with tortilla chips, I use an immersion blender to puree the contents of the soup pot. The tortilla chips help thicken the soup nicely, without having to add any dairy products.
Depending on whether you like your soup spicy or on the sweeter side, there are a variety of great toppings for this soup. I use fresh chopped jalapeños, sweet corn, cashew cream, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
Batch Cooking Soup
Because soup often takes a lot of ingredients and time to make, I almost always make extra. I then freeze the leftovers in single-serving containers (usually wide-mouth mason jars). This way, I can easily grab a nutritious, hot lunch in the days and weeks to come.
Depending on your family size, double or triple this tortilla soup recipe. Your future self will thank you for the pre-prepped meal!
More Soup Recipes
I love soup, and chilly nights have me whipping up loads of different recipes. Soup doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t need meat to be flavorful! Here are my top soup recipes:
- Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Thai Coconut Soup
- Vegetable Barley Soup
- Bell Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup
- Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
- Red Lentil Soup
Seriously, it’s hard for me to find a soup I don’t love. What is your favorite soup recipe? I’d love for you to leave a comment to let me know. Don’t forget to rate this fun vegetarian tortilla soup recipe after you’ve tried it!
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
- immersion blender
- 2 cups tortilla chips
- 2 tbsps avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 poblano pepper diced
- ½ jalapeño pepper
- 4 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsps cumin ground
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes canned
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsps cilantro
- 2 ½ tsps sea salt
- In a large stock pot, heat two tablespoons of oil to medium/low. Add the onion, garlic, poblano pepper and jalapeño pepper and cook for five minutes. After five minutes, add spices and cook for another five.
- Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves, and 1/4 of the tortilla strips. Bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes then remove bay leaves.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender. If you want your soup to be thicker, you can always add more tortilla strips. And then you're ready to serve! I usually serve the soup with lime, corn, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, avocado and the remaining tortilla.
- You can also use a regular blender, and carefully puree in batches.
- Serve with the toppings of your choice.
- To tone down the spice, omit the jalapeño.
- Make a day ahead for an even better flavor.
- Cool completely then freeze in mason jars to enjoy in the weeks to come.
After the 4 alarm Thai soup, I expected this one to be really hot and spicy too. I was pleasantly surprised. The peppers even cooked into a nice flavor. I enjoyed it without pureeing. I will try it that way tomorrow. This was the first soup I made using my first ever homemade vegetable stock. It turned out pretty good.
I look forward to trying chicken or tofu in some of my left over soups.
Not too bad, but felt like something was missing. Left chunky instead of blended. Next time will use less paprika, more cumin and some oregano and let simmer longer than 30 min.
I really love that this soup has a little spice and a lot of flavor. The chips add a great texture and this soup is really delicious.
This one’s a keeper thoroughly enjoyed this soup! Thank you @simple green smoothie
Fantastic! I’ve never had a blended version of tortilla soup but I’ll do it again. Added chips, corn and more cilantro when serving, great mix of flavors.
I have never made tortilla soup, I gave it a try and actually it was good, a little bit spicy; but good. I will make this one again. I am enjoying cooking all these new soup recipes.
This Vegetarian Tortilla Soup is amazing, lots of flavor, the right amount of heat from the spices, it is easy to make, and has a unique fresh flavor from the mixture of vegetables!
Try it!! It’s a keeper!!
Holy Moly I loved this soup! It seemed light but was actually quite filling. I thought the paprika was going to be a bit much but nope – just perfect.
Yet another great soup. Though I might not blend this soup next time. Also might try adding some black beans for more fiber and protein the next time. I did roast the corn before using as a topping. The left over cashew cream was a pleasant addition as well.
This tortilla soup recipe was delicious! One of my favorite recipes during a Vitamix demo years ago was tortilla soup. This recipe is obviously more involved than that introductory flavor bomb. It’s amazing. I’m so happy to experience this ten day soup challenge. I’m feeling the healthy outcome!
I added black beans and corn also….we like it a bit chunky. So good….the spices were just right for my husband. Another keeper. Thanks!
After yesterday’s spicy soup. This made the soup seem smooth. This is very spicy I had to swap the cilantro for parsley and we are not fan’s of tortilla chips. I wound up making ditalini and scraping the chips. This was a little too much work and swapping on the fly. My husband whined about his mouth burning half the night. Hey, he didn’t have to eat it. No this will not stay in my repertoire. Although my may like it, it didn’t fit our tastes.
I love the flavor of this soup! I added black beans and corn to the soup and only blended half of it so it would be chunky. I would definitely make it again.
Love the idea of adding corn to this soup! That would also cut some of the heat the others have mentioned,
I’m glad so many are loving this soup. It wasn’t one of my favorites as I have the most whimpy mouth I know of on the spice scale. Our caregiver, however, thot it was great!
So delicious. Pretty spicy with what I added 🙂 Nice dark color. Thanks for the tip on adding the cashew cream. Helped tone it down. So so good!