I love tortilla soup, but I haven’t found a recipe I liked, until now. I was trying to find a good soup to serve to some girlfriends last Friday, and since it was during Lent, I needed a vegetarian soup. I must have found five or six different recipes for vegetarian tortilla soup, but I couldn’t find one that completely appealed to me. So, I took the elements I liked of each recipe, and combined them into the soup below.
I did a test run of the soup, and fed it to my kids first. (This is not something I usually do, but since I wasn’t sure how spicy the soup would be, I felt I should test it first.) My daughter liked the soup, but said it was burning her throat. My son ate it, but only because dessert was hanging in the balance. I thought the soup might be just a little too spicy, but when I took it to work for lunch the next day, the spiciness had mellowed just a bit.
If you would like less spicy soup, you can reduce the number of chipotle peppers, but don’t eliminate them entirely since the peppers impart a nice smoky flavor to the soup. I really like this soup, if I do say so myself. It tasted fresh and smokey, and did live up to my expectations. My girlfriends said they liked it too, and they all had seconds, so I assume they weren’t just being polite.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano – I used Mexican oregano
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (use fewer chipotle peppers for a less spicy soup)
2 14oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
1 can full of water
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 quarts of vegetable stock
12 ounces frozen corn
1 14oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
Shredded cheddar cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic and cook until softened but not browned. Next, add the paprika, cumin, chili powder and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Once the mixture is fragrant, add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, water, chipotle peppers, corn, black beans and salt. Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes. After the soup has simmered, add the lime juice and cilantro and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. This soup tastes even better the next day.
To serve, crush some tortilla chips and place in the bottom of a soup bowl. Top the chips with avocado slices, cheese and cilantro, and ladle the soup on top of the chips and toppings. This soup serves six with leftovers.