Easy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

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The time for an easy vegetarian tortilla soup is now.
The weather we’ve been having has not been different from any other year, but that doesn’t mean it’s not irritating. It makes it hard to plan meals when one day it’s 90 and humid and the next is 45 and rainy.
easy vegetarian tortilla soup
Luckily, my pantry is almost always stocked with enough things to whip up a savory, delicious, hot soup. Like this easy vegetarian tortilla soup, which is perfect for transition weather.
This one is a bit different than most. Instead of canned, diced tomatoes, I used whole San Marzano tomatoes. I usually reserve these for tomato-based sauces, sometimes tomato soup. But I’ve never used them in place of diced tomatoes in tortilla soup, and you know what? I think I’m a convert. Canned tomatoes are almost always better than fresh, but the diced ones are kind of weird. They don’t break down like the whole ones do, which probably means they’re coated with something I don’t want in my soup.
easy vegetarian tortilla soup
The rest of this is kind of standard. Lots of spices, corn, lime juice, cilantro. And my favorite part — freshly fried tortilla strips.
If you’ve never made your own tortilla strips, I urge you to do it soon. For this soup in particular, because, well it’s in the name. I mean, sure. You can use crunched tortilla chips or even those bags of tortilla strips you see in the salad aisle of your grocery store. Those will suffice, and your soup will still be good. But making your own isn’t that hard. It’s pretty quick. And it’s delicious.
Seriously all it takes is corn tortillas and some neutral frying oil. Maybe a little salt. Cut into strips, into the hot oil they go, and drain on paper towels. Easy.
This soup is a perfect start to soup season. It’s not a heavy, dead of winter soup. It’s the kind that you can eat with a beer or margarita. Maybe on the back porch if it’s nice enough. And you never know, tomorrow it just might be.
easy vegetarian tortilla soup

Easy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Chock full of flavor, this easy vegetarian tortilla soup comes together with simple pantry ingredients. Finished with freshly fried tortilla strips, this is a hit!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 184 kcal


  • Dutch oven
  • Frying pan


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 chilis in adobo diced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 28- ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped

Tortilla Strips:

  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Neutral frying oil such as grapeseed or canola

To serve:

  • Diced avocado
  • Shredded cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream


  • Heat the oil over medium in a Dutch oven or large saucepan.
  • Add the onion and cook until softened, 6-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the garlic, chilis, and spices.
  • Cook for a minute, stirring.
  • Add the tomatoes and broth.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the corn.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the lime and cilantro.
  • Make the tortilla strips while the soup is simmering.
  • Cut the tortillas into 1/4 inch wide strips. Put about an inch of oil in a heavy skillet and heat over medium high.
  • Let sit for a few minutes and add one strip. If it sizzles, add the rest.
  • Cook the strips in batches until they are golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels and season with a bit of sea salt if desired.
  • Serve the soup topped with a generous portion of strips and any other toppings you like.


Storing leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Pairs well with: Rose Water Margarita, Salted Chili Lime Tortilla Chips, Secret Ingredient Buttermilk Cornbread


Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 655mgPotassium: 530mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1174IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 3mg
Nutrition information is only an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. View full nutrition disclousre.
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