Fire-Roasted Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe

Chicken tortilla soup is a classic, south-of-the-border appetizer or entree (depending on the size of the serving), that offers a tangy, hearty way to fill up on vegetables. There's just one problem: It's not typically vegan-friendly. But just as with most dishes, it's possible to make a few switches to enjoy this soup completely animal product-free. You may even be surprised that you don't miss the chicken, giving the other ingredients their moment to shine. "The fire-roasted tomatoes used in this recipe are my favorite part," says recipe developer Feta Topalu of Fetty's Food Blog. "They offer a sweet and subtly smoky flavor to this soup." 

Plus, it's an easy recipe to whip up on a weeknight. Even with making homemade tortilla strips to top the soup, the whole recipe takes less than 45 minutes to make and includes many pantry-staple ingredients you may already have on hand. So if you're ready to spice up Meatless Monday without sacrificing flavor, get ready to gather your ingredients for this hearty, healthy soup.

Gather the ingredients for fire-roasted vegan tortilla soup

For this recipe you'll be making your tortilla strips and your soup. For the tortilla strips you only need 3 ingredients: a package of corn tortillas, vegetable oil, and kosher salt. 

For the soup, check your pantry before heading to the store, as you likely have some of the items you'll need on hand. You'll need olive oil, a yellow onion, a jalapeno, garlic cloves, chili powder, paprika, cumin, diced fire-roasted tomatoes, vegetable broth, a can of green chiles, a can of black beans, a can of corn kernels, a lime, cilantro, and avocados. 

With the jalapeño and other spices, you might think the spice level will end up too hot, but Topalu assures that on a scale of one through 10, it only lands at about a three or four, and you can make adjustments (using less chili powder or jalapeño), if you prefer a milder soup. 

Prep and cut the tortilla strips

You'll start by making the tortilla strips, which is surprisingly easy to do. Simply preheat your oven to 350 F. Cut the corn tortillas into strips that are thin and about 2-3 inches long. Place parchment paper on a pan and scatter the tortillas on top, spreading them out into a single layer. Brush them with vegetable oil and season with salt. 

"Tortilla strips or tortilla chips can be bought from the store as opposed to making your own to cut down on time. But if you want to be in control of the ingredients (the type of oil used or the brand of tortilla), I recommend making your own," says Topalu. 

Bake the tortilla strips

Pop the pan of tortilla strips in the preheated oven and bake them for 14-18 minutes. They should end up lightly golden and crispy. 

Sauté the onion and jalapeño

While the tortilla strips are baking, you can start making the soup. Place a large pot on the burner and bring it to medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and jalapeño. Sauté the veggies for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. 

Add the seasonings

Add the aromatics and spices to the veggies — the garlic, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Continue cooking for another minute, until the spices are fragrant. 

Pour in the tomatoes and broth

Pour the fire-roasted tomatoes and the vegetable broth into the pot. Stir well and bring everything to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Let the ingredients cook on a medium-low setting for 10 minutes. 

Blend the soup until creamy

The goal here is to end up with a creamier soup base, so you need to blend it. Just keep in mind that blending a hot soup can be a little tricky. Remove the pot from the stove and use an immersion blender (if you have one) to blend it until it's smooth. "The best way to blend a hot soup that just came off the stove is with an immersion blender. It's best to have a strong, tight grip on the handle when blending and to make sure the head is fully submerged. This will prevent dangerously hot splatters," Topalu says.

She adds that it's possible to use a standing blender, but you have to be even more careful, blending the soup in 2-3 batches to prevent the steam from the hot soup from building and causing an explosion. If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can skip the blend, but Topalu says this is the step that makes this recipe particularly smooth and delicious. 

Bring the soup to a boil and add remaining ingredients

After blending the soup, place the pot back on the stove and turn up the heat, returning it to a boil. Add in the black beans, corn, green chiles, lime juice, and cilantro, stirring well. 

Garnish and serve

The soup is now ready to serve. Dish it into bowls and top with sliced avocado and the tortilla strips. "A vegan cheese, such as a plant-based Mexican-style cheese blend, is a wonderful option to add more creaminess and another level of flavor to this soup," Topalu says. She adds you may also want to pair it with Mexican rice, Mexican cornbread, or taco salad. And of course, the meal really comes together with the flavors of a Mexican-style lager, like Modelo or Tecate. 

If you have any leftovers, don't throw them out. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days, reheating them on the stove or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. Just be sure to store the tortilla strips separately. Topalu suggests keeping them in their own airtight container at room temperature and not in the fridge. 

Fire-Roasted Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe
4.9 from 27 ratings
If you're looking to add a little plant-based comfort to your dinner routine, then this fire-roasted vegan tortilla soup will do the trick.
Prep Time
Cook Time
fire-roasted vegan tortilla soup
Total time: 43 minutes
  • For the Tortilla Strips
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
Optional Ingredients
  • sliced avocado, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut the tortillas into 2- to 3-inch thin strips. Lay the strips out on a parchment lined sheet. Brush with vegetable oil and season with salt.
  3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes until lightly golden and crisp.
  4. In a large pot, add the olive oil, onion, and jalapeño. Sauté over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Sauté for an additional minute, until the garlic and spices are fragrant.
  5. Add the fire roasted tomatoes and the vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat source. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Standing blender can be used, carefully blend the hot soup in 2 to 3 batches and place back into the pot.
  7. Return the soup to a boil. Stir in the black beans, corn, green chiles, lime juice, and cilantro.
  8. Serve with avocado and tortilla strips.
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