In this recipe for tortilla soup, crunchy tortilla strips and smooth avocado complement a flavorful broth. A squeeze of fresh lime juice puts it over the top!
One of my favorite foods is chicken tortilla soup. Not only is it one of my favorite broths, as obvious as that is, but it also ranks among my top choices for cuisine in general. I adore how the aromatic soup contrasts with the toppings, which include crispy tortilla strips and smooth avocado. You can guarantee that I’ll be making this tortilla soup recipe very frequently now that the weather is beginning to cool down for the season.
It is believed that tortilla soup, also known as Sopa de tortilla or sopa Azteca, was first prepared in the central region of Mexico; nevertheless, regional variations of this dish are now common in both Mexico and the United States.
Although the majority of traditional tortilla soups are cooked with chicken broth and occasionally shredded chicken breast, I cannot say that this vegetarian recipe is completely authentic. Yet, this twist is delectable since it is hearty, comforting, and packed with flavorful boldness. I just can’t get enough of it at this time of year. I really hope that you enjoy it too!
Tortilla Soup Recipe Ingredients
To make this vegetarian tortilla soup recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
Tortillas, of course! Please only provide corn tortillas. To thicken and flavor the soup, you’ll incorporate one into the broth, and you’ll crisp up the remainder to serve as a topping.
Dried chiles – Dried chilies, with a pasilla chile being the most typical. On the other hand, I have a much greater chance of locating guajillo and ancho chiles at my local grocery shop, which is why I’m requesting them here. They contribute a beautiful color to the soup and SO much depth of flavor.
Fire-roasted diced tomatoes – Tomatoes that have been diced and cooked over an open flame are one of the ingredients that, in combination with dried chiles and tortillas that have been mixed, make up the flavorful base of the soup.
Avocado oil – You may use extra-virgin olive oil instead of avocado oil if that’s what you have on hand, but avocado oil is a better choice for this recipe because of its neutral flavor.
Onion and garlic – Onion and garlic provide a flavor that is both sweet and fragrant. To use as a topping, I prefer to set aside some raw onion.
Black beans and corn – Black beans and corn give the soup a substantial and filling quality. Both fresh corn and frozen corn can be used in this recipe; however, if fresh corn is available at the appropriate time of year, I highly recommend using it.
Ground cumin and dried oregano – Cumin seed powder and dried oregano both add an earthy dimension. Use store-bought vegetable broth or prepare your own at home. Water is also effective here.
And salt and pepper – Then some salt and pepper to really bring out the flavors!
Don’t forget to add the condiments! Radishes cut into thin slices, fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, and crumbled Cotija are also excellent additions.
How to Make Tortilla Soup
Toasting the tortilla and dried chiles is the first step in making this recipe for tortilla soup. Cut off the stems of the chilies with a pair of kitchen shears, and then cut a vertical slit in each chili from its trimmed top all the way down to its pointy tip. After removing the seeds, spread the chiles out on a flat surface and lay them out in a single layer.
To make the chiles aromatic and soft, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toasted tortillas will have a fuller appearance and a smoky flavor than tortillas that have not been toasted.
After that, combine the tasty soup base. Blend the tomatoes, roasted chiles, and tortilla in a blender. Once totally smooth, blend well. Stir the puree to evaluate its consistency before moving on to the next stage. Make sure there are no large pieces of chile skin left. If you notice any, keep blending.
Next, sauté the aromatics. Cook the onion in a large pot with the avocado oil until it is tender. A quick note: I like to save aside some raw onion to serve as a topping. If you enjoy raw onion as much as I do, hold back some of it before adding it to the pot at this stage.
After giving the spices a stir and allowing them to cook for 30 seconds, add the tomato puree and continue cooking for another two minutes.
After that, bring the soup to a simmer. After adding the garlic, water, and beans, keep everything on a low simmer for twenty minutes. After stirring in the corn kernels, boil the mixture for an additional ten minutes.
In the meantime, get the toppings ready. Cut the remaining tortillas into thin strips, and then season them with oil and salt. Toasted in the oven until they are crisp and curled. While they are cooking, you should get started on preparing any additional toppings that you intend to use.
Serve the soup in bowls with the toppings of your choice and a generous squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!
Tortilla Soup Serving Suggestions
To complement the flavorful broth, this recipe for tortilla soup is best served with a plethora of toppings. What I like to include in my is as follows:
Crispy tortilla strips. You’ll find step-by-step instructions for making this scrumptious topping in the recipe that follows; however, if you want to make things even easier on yourself, you may substitute crushed tortilla chips instead.
I also always serve this soup with lime wedges for squeezing.
Refrigerate any leftover tortilla soup for up to four days, separating it from any toppings it may have come with. It also freezes wonderfully. As I reheat it, I generally add a splash of water to loosen it out because it thickens as it sits. Strips of tortilla that are left over should be kept at room temperature.
- 2 dried Guajillo or ancho chiles
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 (14-ounce) cans of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large white onion, diced, reserve ⅓ cup for topping
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth, plus more as needed
- 3 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, from about 2 ears fresh
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Diced avocado
- Sliced radishes
- Fresh cilantro
- Crumbled Cotija cheese
- Lime wedges
- Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper and preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After removing the stems from the chilies with a pair of kitchen shears, make a vertical cut along one of the chilies’ edges to open them up. To lay flat, spread them out. To toast the chiles, place them in a dry skillet and place them over medium heat. Toast the chiles for one to two minutes per side, or until they are tender and fragrant. Put one of the tortillas in the pan and toast it on each side until it is aromatic and puffed up.
- Put the toasted chiles and tortilla in a blender, then add the tomatoes. Blend until smooth. Mix until combined.
- In a big pot or Dutch oven, heat the avocado oil to medium heat. Add the onion and the salt, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring periodically, or until the onion has softened. After adding the cumin and oregano, continue to heat for an additional 30 seconds, or until the spices release their aroma. After adding the tomato mixture, continue cooking for an additional two minutes while stirring. After adding the garlic, water, and beans, keep everything on a low simmer for twenty minutes. After adding the corn, simmer for an additional ten minutes.
- Place the leftover tortillas on the baking sheets that have been prepared by cutting them into thin strips. Toss to coat and drizzle with avocado oil. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the topping is crispy, after spreading it out evenly on the baking pans.
- If the soup is too thick for your liking, mix in a little bit more water until it reaches the consistency you want. Season to taste. Place some of the soup in each of the bowls, and then top each serving with some of the crispy tortilla strips, the reserved chopped onion, avocado, radishes, cilantro, and Cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.