This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This easy vegetarian tortilla soup recipe is filled with a hearty blend of beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and Mexican-inspired seasoning. Topped off with crunchy oven-baked tortilla strips and avocado for a flavorful, meatless meal in just over 30 minutes.
Ingredients in vegetarian tortilla soup
- Tortillas: The best part about this vegetarian tortilla soup recipe just may be those crunchy homemade tortilla strips served on top. For the best flavor and crunch, go for high-quality corn or flour tortillas without any additives or preservatives. If you're in a rush, skip the homemade tortilla strips and use store-bought chips instead.
- Yellow Onion, Garlic, & Bell Pepper: A simple blend of aromatics to add flavor and texture to the soup.
- Jalapeño: To make sure no one gets too much spice in one bite, chop up the jalapeño very finely using a sharp knife. You can also remove the seeds for a less spicy broth, or leave them in if you like a little heat.
- Smoked Paprika, Cumin, & Oregano: This blend of spices is often used in Mexican cooking and makes the broth taste delicious.
- Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: Swap crushed tomatoes for fire-roasted tomatoes for a smoky flavor.
- Beans: For some protein and body, this vegetarian tortilla soup recipe calls for both canned pinto beans and black beans. Make sure to drain and rinse your beans thoroughly before adding them to the pot.
- Vegetable Stock: Use homemade or store-bought. Low sodium is best for this recipe because it gives you more control over the salt content.
- Dark Chocolate: This one is optional, but a few squares of dark chocolate help thicken the broth and add richness. A slightly bitter taste does come through, so if you're cooking for anyone with sensitive taste buds you may want to omit it.
How to make vegetarian tortilla soup
The ingredient list might seem a little long, but this vegetarian tortilla soup recipe is actually super easy to make!
- Start by getting the tortilla strips in the oven so you can make the soup while they bake. Slice the tortillas into strips and toss them with a little olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Spread them out on to a sheet pan, leaving enough space in between each one so they'll get crispy. Bake the strips for about 15 minutes, tossing halfway to ensure a golden brown color on all sides. They will continue to crisp up as they cool, so let them sit for a while before serving.
- While the tortilla strips are in the oven, get started on the soup! First, sauté some chopped onion, garlic, jalapeño, and bell pepper until everything has just begun to soften and release its flavor. Pour in the tomatoes, stock and beans then bring everything up to a simmer to cook for about 10 more minutes. At this point, you can also stir in the dark chocolate, if you choose to use it.
- Last, but very important step: add salt! Depending on the saltiness of your vegetable stock, you may need a different amount of salt than the recipe calls for. Taste as you go and season accordingly. If the soup seems bland in any way, it needs another pinch to bring out the other flavors.
And that's it! Serve the soup hot with all your desired toppings and enjoy.
What to serve with vegetarian tortilla soup
Tortilla soup is all about the toppings so don't be afraid to really load it up! Here are some of our favorite topping ideas:
- Ripe avocado
- Fresh lime juice
- Chopped cilantro
- Cooked brown or white rice
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese or cotija
- Pickled Jalapeños
More Recipes to Try
- 4 small corn tortillas – cut into strips (can sub flour tortillas)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 small yellow onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 jalapeño (minced)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 14-ounce cans pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
- 14 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- ½ ounce dark chocolate (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- Avocado, fresh lime juice and cilantro (for serving)
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon of oil and a generous pinch of salt. Spread evenly on the baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd. Bake for 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden brown. Let cool completely before serving.4 small corn tortillas – cut into strips, 3 tablespoons olive oil
- While the tortilla strips bake, make the soup. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat. When shimmering, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, and spices. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.1 small yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1 medium red or green bell pepper, 1 jalapeño, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano
- Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes, beans, and vegetable stock. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in the dark chocolate if using and season generously with salt, adding more to taste if needed.28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 14-ounce cans pinto beans, 14 ounce can black beans, 3 cups vegetable stock, ½ ounce dark chocolate, 1 teaspoon sea salt
- To serve, divide the soup among bowls and top with tortilla strips, avocado, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.Avocado, fresh lime juice and cilantro
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.