This Vegan Tortilla Soup is a hearty, Mexican-inspired meal that the whole family will love. It's full of flavor and can be customized with an array of delicious toppings. It takes just 15 minutes to prep and 30 minutes on the stove!
If your family loves soup as we do, they are going to really enjoy this Vegan Tortilla Soup. It's bursting with deep, rich flavor from aromatics, warm spices, fire-roasted tomatoes, and jalapeños. It'll be a new family favorite!
Everyone will love the crispy tortilla topping and will love adding their own toppings too like this Vegan Sour Cream, shredded vegan cheese, avocado, and more! They'll never get bored!
It's perfect for weeknight meals because it's easy to make and so filling. Plus, it’s a great soup to make in advance and it'll taste even better the next day. It has a mild kick to it, but it's easy to adjust into a kid-friendly version.
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
* This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
- Avocado oil - you can use any cooking oil that you prefer.
- Onion - shallots will work too.
- Jalapeño - you can use poblano or serrano pepper instead. The serrano will yield more heat so you may want to remove most of the seeds. If you want to add heat without the peppers, you can use ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or ¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder.
- Garlic - fresh is best but jarred or paste will work.
- Tomato paste - if you don't have it, you can use 2-3 tablespoons of tomato purée
- Seasonings - I used Chili Powder, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, and Oregano. If you don't have smoked paprika, you can use regular and if you don't have cumin, you can add another teaspoon of chili powder.
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes - I love the smoky flavor from fire-roasted, but regular canned diced tomatoes will work too.
- Black beans - kidney beans or pintos beans will work too.
- Agave nectar - maple syrup is nice too, but any sweetener will work nicely.
- Corn kernels - fresh, canned, or frozen can be used.
- Lime - fresh lime really brightens up the dish and cools the heat. You can use a squeeze of lemon too.
- Corn Tortilla - if you don't have corn, you can use wheat. You can also use regular tortilla chips instead.
- Cilantro - is optional but highly recommended.
How to make Vegan Tortilla Soup
- Start by baking the tortilla strips. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and cut the tortillas into thin strips. Transfer them onto a baking pan, drizzle them with oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss coat. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they are crispy and golden. You can also brown them in a skillet. Here is a detailed guide on How to Make Crispy Tortilla Strips in a skillet.
- 1 - Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño until the pepper is tender and onion is translucent and slightly golden. About 4-6 minutes.
- 2 - Now add the garlic and tomato paste. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
- 3 - Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Cook for another 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
- 4 - Pour in only ½ cup of the vegetable broth to deglaze the pan. Give it a good stir to release anything on the bottom of the pot.
- 5 - Transfer the mixture into a blender along with the diced tomatoes. Blend until smooth.
- 6 - Return the pot over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Add the blended sauce and gently simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken. Stir often.
- 7 - Add the remaining broth, black beans, agave, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until it has slightly thickened.
- 8 - Stir in the corn and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Stir in the lime and remove from heat.
Topping and Serving Suggestions
- Vegan Sour Cream
- Fresh-Cut Cilantro
- Sliced Green Onion
- Vegan Cheese Shreds
- Sliced Jalapeños
- Diced Tomatoes
- Diced Red Onion
- Shredded Vegan Chicken
- Lime Wedges
- Radish Slices
- Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- If you want a thicker consistency, you can cook the soup down for 10 minutes longer. Alternatively, you can add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast or cornmeal to the soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes to thicken. It will also naturally thicken when it cools for a few minutes.
- For a thinner consistency, you can add 1-2 cups of broth to the recipe. Adjust seasonings if needed.
After the soup has completely cooled, store it in an airtight container (without the toppings). You can store it in the fridge for 3-5 days and the freezer for 2-3 months. To thaw from frozen, place it in the fridge overnight and reheat over medium heat. You may want to add a few splashes of broth to thin it out.
More Soup Recipes to Try
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Vegan Tortilla Soup
- 4-5 small corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or preferred oil + more for drizzling
- 1 medium yellow onion , diced
- 1 large jalapeño , diced (remove stems and some seeds to reduce heat)
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 14-ounce cans black beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or preferred sweetener
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels , thawed
- ¾ teaspoon salt , more to taste
- Fresh-cracked pepper , to taste
- Juice from half a lime
Optional Toppings: (see note)
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Cut the tortillas into thin strips (about ¼-inch wide). Transfer the tortilla strips onto a baking pan. Drizzle them with oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Toss them around at the midway mark. Set aside.
- Heat up oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. One hot and shimmering, add the onion and jalapeño. Sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until pepper is tender and onion is translucent and slightly golden.
- Add in the garlic and tomato paste. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
- Now add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Cook for another 30-60 seconds until fragrant, stirring frequently.
- Pour in only ½ cup of the vegetable broth to deglaze the pan. Give it a good stir to combine and release anything on the bottom of the pot. Carefully transfer the mixture into a blender along with the diced tomatoes. Blend until smooth.
- Return the pot to the stove over medium heat and add a small drizzle of oil. Once hot, add the blended sauce and gently simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken and combine flavors. Stir often to prevent sticking or burning.
- Now add the remaining broth, black beans, agave, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until it has thickened up slightly, giving it a stir occasionally.
- Stir in the corn and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Stir in the lime and remove from heat.
- Serve in bowls and top with tortilla strips and any optional toppings. Enjoy!