Before I became a vegetarian, one of my favorite soups was always chicken tortilla soup. Per the request of a reader, and my desire for a vegetarian version, I have developed the following recipe for Vegetarian Tortilla Soup. If you are a fan of a hearty, fairly spicy soup, then you are sure to enjoy this one. Plus, if you are capable of dicing an onion, using a can opener (sometimes easier said than done…my can opener and I have a love-hate relationship!), and measuring spices, then you are the perfect candidate to make this soup!
(On a side note, it has become evident that my soup picture-taking skills are not quite up to par! )
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Servings: approximately 6 large servings
4 TB of water, more as needed
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 14.5 oz can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can of reduced-salt pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can of no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
2 4.5 oz cans of chopped green chilis, drained slightly
5 cups of water*
5 tsp of Better Than Bouillon vegetable base*
3 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of oregano
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
hot sauce, to taste (I used about 10 dashes)
black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
5 tsp of corn starch + 5-6 tsp of cold water
shredded cheese, optional
tortilla strips, optional
saltine crackers, optional
*5 cups of vegetable broth can be used in place of the water and Better Than Bouillon vegetable base.
1. Heat about 4 TB of water over medium-high heat in a large soup pot until hot. Add in onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften. Add more water, as necessary, if the pot begins to get dry.
2. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, corn, beans, chilis, water, and vegetable base to the soup pot. Stir to combine.
3. Add in cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine.
4. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
5. Combine corn starch and cold water and stir until well-mixed. Add the corn starch mixture to the soup pot and stir. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. This will help to thicken the soup a bit. More corn starch and water can be added, if desired.
I prepared my soup earlier in the day and let it cool. Then I placed it in the fridge and reheated it for dinner. This helped the soup to thicken even more and helped give it that “leftover taste.” This is also a great strategy to follow if you want to prepare a meal the night before and then have something quick to reheat for dinner.
Top your Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with shredded cheese and/or tortilla strips, if desired. Or, you can go the classic route and stick with good-ole saltine crackers..nothing wrong with that!