Easy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup is one of those soups that I don’t make often enough! I don’t know why, even. This vegetarian tortilla soup is kind of like a lighter version of chili with copious amounts of fresh, homemade tortilla strips adding the perfect crunch alongside the beany, brothy, cheesy goodness. It’s so comforting but doesn’t leave me feeling like my pants don’t fit. Ha.
I must say, the key is the homemade tortilla strips. They take only minutes to make and truly could not be easier. They make all the difference in this vegetarian tortilla soup so don’t skip them!
You will want a good nonstick pan. Elsie told me to buy this Our Place Always Pan (which comes in a bunch of colors, including this pink one) and I LOVE it so much. Best nonstick pan I’ve ever used.
Here’s what is in the soup before you add all the stock: lots of veggies and beans. Yum!
Garnish game should be strong for this recipe. I already gave you my mini speech about not skipping the homemade tortilla strips. I also highly recommend shredded cheese, avocado (if you can find good ones, not so much this time of year in Missouri for me, I guess), sour cream, and a big squeeze of lime juice over everything. Think of it like garnishing a taco or fajita and do your worst. Happy soup making! xo. Emma

Easy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Course Main Course, Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Emma Chapman


  • 5 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 can red beans, drained 15 ounces
  • 1 small can corn 11 ounces
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • cheese, sour cream, and avocado to garnish


  • Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the corn tortillas into thin strips. In a nonstick pan with a couple tablespoons of oil, over medium/high heat, pan fry the tortilla strips until crispy. Set aside.
  • In the same nonstick pan, if large, or a large pot, add a couple tablespoons oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and bell pepper for a couple minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, chili powder, cayenne, and a little salt and pepper and cook another couple of minutes.
  • Drain the beans and corn from the can and add to the pot. Add the chopped chipotle pepper and don't be afraid to add a little of the adobo sauce as well.
  • Add the stock and cook another 6-8 minutes until everything is very hot. Then stir in the cilantro. Taste, and add more salt and pepper or spice to the soup.
  • When you are ready to serve, add the tortilla strips to the soup and garnish as you please.


If you want more heat, you can add another chipotle pepper and/or more adobo sauce, or more cayenne. But like salt, I prefer to start lighter and add as I go since it's difficult to go back once you've made something too spicy (or too salty).

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