Lots of Vegetarian Tortilla Soup here lately -- it's such a simple dish to make but I get tons of mileage from it.
Feel free to customize the final garnishes to your liking, but no skimping on the crispy tortilla strips!
The combo of the tortilla strips and the delicious broth is the key to this bottomless bowl of comfort 🙂
How To Make Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
I usually start by putting the tomatoes in the oven for a bit (400F).
There's an extended simmer coming up, so roasting the tomatoes isn't as important here as in other recipes, but I usually do it anyway 🙂
Meanwhile, get the onion and garlic cooking in a glug of oil.
The combo of the cooked onion-garlic mixture and the roasted tomatoes is the base for what I usually refer to as Souper Broth 🙂
Once the onion is starting to brown, add this mixture to a blender along with the roasted tomatoes and a single chipotle in adobo.
Give it a whirl, combining well.
I use a single chipotle to give this soup just a whisper of heat, but feel free to omit it if you want a milder version. You could also substitute a half jalapeno for an equally good result.
Add this blended mixture back to the same pan that cooked the onion. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly.
Then we'll add the stock. And yup, you guessed it....try to use some stock that you trust!
I used this homemade veggie stock. The key to that veggie stock is adding in a bit of nutritional yeast to compensate for the no bones. But feel free to use what you have available.
So once I had cooked the tomato mixture for a few minutes I added:
6 cups stock
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
We'll let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, or whenever we are done with the crispy tortilla strips 🙂
Okay, now the fun part...
Usually any type of food frying will stress me out a bit, but it's different when you're doing tortilla strips. Why? It doesn't take that much oil to fry them up , and since they taste so good in the broth you'll know you've got a massive reward coming 🙂
Start by chopping up 6-8 corn tortillas, depending on how big they are.
Add a few tablespoons of oil to a frying pan and bring it up to temp over medium-high heat. I typically use canola oil but you can get away with just about any oil here.
You can either take the temp of the oil and wait 'til it reaches 350-360F, or you can test it by dropping a single strip into the oil -- if it sizzles heavily then the oil is probably ready.
Cook for 30-60 seconds or until they are starting to turn golden brown, giving an occasional stir. I think tongs work best for these sizzling delights.
Once cooked you can set them on a paper towel lined plate. Feel free to cook them in batches if you're using a smaller frying pan like the one I used in the above pic.
Usually by the time I am done with the tortilla strips the soup has been simmering long enough 🙂
Take a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch of salt, but keep in mind that the exact salt level will depend on which stock you use.
And now the garnishes!
As mentioned, the tortilla strips are the key, so everything else is just a bonus. I topped with:
plenty of crispy tortilla strips
thinly sliced cabbage (tossed in lime juice and salt)
freshly chopped cilantro
a few slices of serrano
a final squeeze of lime
And it was gone in a matter of minutes!
The combo of the broth and the crispy corn flavor is a real treat and I hope you try it out at some point 🙂
Okay, let me know if you have any questions about this Vegetarian Tortilla Soup!
It's an easy way to bring some real deal comfort food into your kitchen.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
- 4-5 plum tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 6 cups stock
- 1 chipotle in adobo (or jalapeno)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 6-8 corn tortillas
For the garnish (optional):
- thinly sliced cabbage (tossed in lime juice and salt)
- jalapeno or serrano slices
- final squeeze of lime
- freshly chopped cilantro
- avocado slices
- more crispy tortilla strips 🙂
- Start by giving the tomatoes a good rinse. I usually de-stem them as well. Roast the tomatoes in the oven (400F) for 20 minutes or until you need them.
- Roughly chop the onion and peel 4 garlic cloves. Cook the onion and garlic in a glug of oil over medium heat, stirring regularly. I usually leave the garlic cloves whole knowing that all of this will be blended eventually.
- When the onion is starting to brown add the onion-garlic mixture to a blender along with the roasted tomatoes and a single chipotle in adobo. Combine well. Note: a single chipotle will give the soup a whisper of heat, but feel free to adjust to your palate. I usually scrape out the seeds of chipotles but this is optional.
- Add the blender mixture back to the pan that you used to cook the onion (I used a 2 quart saucepan for this recipe). Simmer this mixture over medium heat for few minutes, stirring regularly. Add the remaining ingredients: 6 cups of stock, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Combine well. Bring this mixture to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- As the soup simmers you can make the crispy tortilla strips! Chop up 6-8 corn tortillas into slices. Add a few tablespoons of oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is up to temp (360F or when a single strip sizzles heavily) you can add the tortilla strips. Cook for 30-60 seconds or until they are starting to turn darker in color, stirring regularly. Add the cooked tortilla strips to a paper towel lined plate to let them cool. Tongs work well for this step.
- Take a final taste of the soup for seasoning. I added another generous pinch of salt, but keep in mind that the exact salt level will depend on which stock you're using.
- Add 1-2 cups of the Tortilla Soup to a bowl and load it up with the crispy tortilla strips! I also topped with thinly sliced cabbage (tossed in lime juice and salt), serrano slices, freshly chopped cilantro, and a final squeeze of lime. Yum 🙂
- Store soup leftovers in the fridge where it will keep for a few days. And if you have extra tortilla strips store them separately in a baggie in the fridge.
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