Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe

When it comes to soup recipes, there are plenty of options available. And honestly, nothing hits the spot quite like a nice bowl of soup on a cold winter day. If you're craving soup with a Mexican flair and are eager for a vegan alternative, then we have the perfect recipe for you. Not only is this vegan tortilla soup healthy but it's also plenty filling and flavorful.

Recipe developer Miriam Hahn is the brains behind this dish, which will surely be a staple in your rotation. "My favorite thing about this recipe is how simple and delicious it is. It is a great weeknight dinner or fun for entertaining also. Even though it is vegan, meat-eaters will [also] love this soup, and you can get creative with the toppings," she shares. "I like to set up a topping station with avocado, lime, cilantro, tomatoes, regular cheese, dairy-free cheese, dairy-free and regular sour cream, red onion, tortilla chips, red pepper flakes, etc. It is a meal in itself on its own, but [it] is also great with a Mexican green salad." Is your mouth watering yet? Keep scrolling to find out how to make this fantastic soup!

Gather the ingredients for this vegan tortilla soup

Ready to get this cooking party started? Be sure to first check for ingredients at home to save time and use up what you already have. Then, head to the store for the remaining items. Start your grocery trip with a stop in the produce section and grab a yellow onion, a green pepper, and fresh jalapeños. Once you hit up the canned goods aisle, pick up a can of tomato sauce, tomato paste, black beans, pinto beans, unsweetened coconut milk, and a jar of salsa verde. Hahn indicates that "if you are trying to avoid saturated fat for heart or health reasons, you can omit the coconut milk." You will also need a cup of corn — you can use frozen or canned. Hahn remarks, "I also like to use organic corn since corn is a common GMO vegetable."

Next, you will need some corn tortillas and dried red lentils. "I wouldn't sub green or brown lentils in this. The red break down and add thickness to the soup," Hahn shares. Of course, this dish calls for quite a few spices so be sure to have salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder or granules, and cayenne on hand. Finally, grab any extra toppings you want to add such as red onion, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeños.

Heat the broth and veggies in a large pot

Now that you've got all the ingredients, it's time to move on to the cooking. Don't worry, this recipe is easy for a beginner, and you can put it together in no time. Grab a large soup pot and place it on your burner. Pour in about ¼ cup of broth and then crank up the heat to medium-high. "You can sub out water if you don't have veggie broth on hand, or you can add a veggie bouillon cube in addition to water. I love to have those on hand in case I am out of broth," Hahn says. 

Next, throw in the onion, green pepper, and jalapeño. "If you don't like things spicy you can swap the jalapeño for a can of green chilis which are much milder," Hahn says. Sauté the veggies with the broth on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, veggies, and spices

Once you cook the broth, onion, green pepper, and jalapeño, you can start adding other items to the mix. Begin with your cans of tomato sauce and paste, followed by the black beans, pinto beans, and salsa verde. As a reminder, you should have drained the beans ahead of time. Then, you can toss in the corn — if you are using frozen corn, you don't need to thaw it ahead of time. Next, add in the red lentils and spices (salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne).

Stir everything and bring the soup to a boil. Once you see bubbles reach the surface, cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the contents for another 30 minutes. "I haven't made this in the slow cooker but [I] do love making it in the Instant Pot," Hahn shares. "You just add everything except the tortillas and coconut milk and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Easy!" 

Cut the tortillas and add them to the soup

We're making great progress, and the good news is that there are only a few more steps before you get to enjoy this soup! Grab your tortillas and cut them into 1-inch wide strips. "You can slice the tortillas in thick or thin strips. I like them about 1-[inch] but some people like them thinner. You can definitely use flour tortillas as well," Hahn shares, noting that "you can add more if you like." Once you finish cutting the tortilla strips, add them to the soup pot with the coconut milk and cook everything together for another 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy your soup

After adding the tortillas and the coconut milk, remove the pot from the heat and serve. Feel free to ladle it into a bowl or cup, whichever your heart desires. For extra flavor and texture, top the soup with red onion, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeños. This dish is filling as a main course but could also be paired with bread or something else on the side. 

We don't think you'll have anything left, but if you do, no worries! "Leftovers last all week in a sealed container. Yes, you can freeze for up to 2 months. This is a great meal prep soup to make on a Sunday and enjoy all week. I love making a big pot of soup on the weekend to have for lunches," Hahn shares. 

Vegan Tortilla Soup Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
This flavorful vegan tortilla soup is brimming with colorful nutrient-rich ingredients. Serve it as an easy weeknight dinner with Mexican flair.
Prep Time
Cook Time
soup in owl
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ fresh jalapeños, deseeded and diced (or less if you want it less spicy)
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 can (15-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • 1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained
  • 1 can (15-ounce) pinto beans, drained
  • 1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
  • ¾ cup red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 8 small (4 ½ - 5-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
Optional Ingredients
  • red onion, for topping
  • avocado, for topping
  • cilantro, for topping
  • jalapeños, for topping
  1. Pour ¼ cup of broth into a large soup pot and turn the heat to high.
  2. Add the onion, green pepper, and jalapeño and sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Now add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa verde, drained beans, corn, red lentils, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne to the pot.
  4. Stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Then, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the tortillas into 1-inch wide strips.
  7. Add the tortilla strips and coconut milk to the pot and cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. The soup is ready to serve. Top with red onion, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeños if desired.
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