We love Mexican Food! Beans, peppers, cilantro…you name it, we love it. Plant-Based Tortilla Soup is one of those favorites that deserves a plant-based make over!
Make your own Tortilla Strips
I make my own tortilla strips using soft corn tortillas. They aren’t as crunchy as the store bought version that has oil but I don’t mind.
Don’t forget to preheat your oven because the tortilla strips will bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. I don’t put them in the oven until the soup is simmering but it’s important to have your oven ready.
When the soup is simmering on the stove I’ll cut up my corn tortillas. I like to sprinkle them with fresh lime juice and dust them with onion and garlic powder, sometimes I’ll add paprika. These bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Plant-Based Tortilla Soup
I start this one off by doing a water saute of my onions, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. I normally reserve cilantro for a garnish in most recipes but in this one, it’s one of the first ingredients.
Once this is cooking for a few minutes I normally start hearing from family members, they come from every room in the house and want to know what I’m cooking. The fragrance fills the house.
Next I add all my spices. I’m sharing the mild version today but you can spice it up by adding 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle pepper. You can also add extra jalapeno. If you really like chipotle flavor then add a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. It will have a kick!
Dump in your black beans, corn and diced tomatoes. I’ve used fire roasted tomatoes and plain. Both are good!
Add in your lentils. I’ve used brown lentils and red lentils. Both work. The red lentils break down a bit more, creating a creamier soup. The brown lentils stay whole, creating a chunkier soup. I don’t have a preference.
Lastly, the tomato paste is optional. We’ve made this soup with and without the tomato paste. I think it depends on the flavor of your broth. I used my Dry Veggie Broth Mix! It had a nice flavor but we are a fans of tomato-based soups.
The soup needs to simmer for about 20 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, the brown lentils weren’t quite ready. If you have a tendency to forget you are cooking, set a timer. This soup doesn’t have a lot of excess liquid and you’ll simmer it out if you don’t check on it. If that happens just add more broth.
You can add some tortillas to your soup as it simmers. If you do this, use small pieces to make it easier to eat.
This soup has a lot of textures but I add even more by topping it with the tortilla strips, fresh Pico de Gallo, cilantro, avocado, and anything else I have. Oh, and don’t forget the lime! Squeeze fresh lime juice over each bowl!
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 sliced jalapeno (remove seeds for less spicy version)
- 1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups veggie broth (see note in recipe)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can of organic corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry lentils
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees for the tortilla strips.
- Add onion, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro to a large pot on medium heat. Stir occasionally and as the veggies stick, add a few tablespoons of water and stir again.
- Cook these veggies until the onions become translucent.
- Add the broth, spices, black beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste and red lentils. All the ingredients should be submerged in broth, if they aren't add little more liquid.
- Bring the soup to a simmer and cover with a lid. You don't need a boil, that will cause too much water to evaporate.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Cut your corn tortillas into strips, you may add seasoning if you want but it's not required. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Then test lentils to make sure they are done.
- Allow soup to cool some before eating. Top with tortilla strips. I like to top with fresh pico de gallo and cilantro too.
Want your soup to be spicier? Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or more jalapenos to the soup.
Are you a Tortilla Soup fan?