Tortilla Soup

    Tortilla Soup

    An inviting, hearty and easy-to-make veggie-based tortilla soup with all the fixings! This vegan tortilla soup is also easy to customize and a great way to use up leftovers!

    We recently had a very relaxing trip to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit relatives. The saguaro cactuses of the Sonoran desert are so incredible! I love the landscape of the Southwest so much, and I really feel at home in this part of the country. A huge majority of my cooking is inspired by the Southwest, including this tortilla soup.

    My recipe for vegan tortilla soup has a base hearty vegetables like potato, zucchini, carrots, onions, tomato and hatch chiles. The flavor base is a rough puree of garlic cloves and toasted dried chiles. If you’re interested in using dried chiles for this soup, I highly encourage it for the added flavor, but a store-bought chili powder can be used instead, which is a little quicker. I do suggest that you get a good quality chili powder, in the heat level that you can tolerate.

    I made my own chili powder by quickly dry toasting 2 chile de arbol (the tiny HOT ones), 1 pasilla, 1 ancho, and 4 morita (my current favorite chile). Then I removed the stems and seeds and ground the chiles up in the food processor with the fresh garlic to form a paste. The same can be done with any combination of chiles, or as mentioned before, with a store-bought chili powder.

    If you follow my recipe exactly, the result will be satisfyingly spicy! Make sure you adjust your spicy ingredients accordingly if you don’t like heat.

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    Tortilla Soup Yum
    1. In a dry skillet over high heat, toast the chiles for about a minute on each side, then cool and remove the stems and seeds. Add the chiles and garlic cloves to a food processor and process until a paste is formed. Use a little water or broth to loosen the mixture if needed. Alternatively, use 3 tablespoons of store-bought chili powder and mince the garlic by hand. See note in blog.
    2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, cook and stir until nearly translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, jalapeño, chili/garlic mixture, and other spices. Mix to coat the vegetables in the spices. Cook, stirring constantly for five minutes, then add the vegetable stock, tomato sauce and hatch chiles. Bring to a boil.
    3. Once the soup is boiling, reduce to a simmer over medium low. Add the chopped tomatoes and black beans. Add the masa harina and stir well. Allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes, or longer.
    4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Garnish fried tortilla strips or tortilla chips right before serving.
    Recipe Notes

    Use 3 tablespoons of store-bought chili powder in place of the dry chiles if you prefer. To make cashew cream: soak ½ cup raw cashews in water for at least 30 mins. In a blender, add soaked cashews, and cover with fresh water. Add juice of one lemon or lime and 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth.


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