vegan tortilla soup

Probably my absolute, all-time favorite thing about our trip to the dreamland of Mexico was the food.

Every morning we woke up, threw on some clothes, and went downstairs to a gourmet restaurant, where they served us cinnamon coffee, green juice, and French toast stuffed with goat cheese, walnuts and caramel. Every afternoon, we swam up to the poolside snack bar and had piña coladas with fish tacos and guacamole. (Gosh, I could never eat too much guacamole.) And in the evenings we had...whatever we wanted.

I didn't have to think about making the food. I didn't have to think about what we had on hand. I didn't have to think about cost.

Pure bliss.

One of my very favorite dishes there was the tortilla soup. I had never had it before, and ohmygoodness was I ever missing out.

This vegan version took me back to our days of sunshine, sand, and utter relaxation.

It begins with a vegetable base, made hearty and thick with grits, and topped with a few goodies. Yes, it has jalapeños. No, it's not spicy. It is 100% delicious. After I finish writing this, I'm going to have some more.

Vegan Tortilla Soup

1 tbsp oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small onions, chopped
4 cups of water
1 extra large vegetable bouillon cube
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 jalapeños, deseeded and chopped
2 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup instant grits
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For topping: lime juice, corn tortillas, vegan 'cheese' (I used pepperjack), avocado, cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice tortillas into thin strips and spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until beginning to brown. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat, and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the water, bouillon, tomatoes, and three spices and bring to a boil. When boiling, add the jalapeños, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and very carefully blend the vegetable base with an immersion blender. Add the beans, corn, grits, and nutritional yeast. Turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Keep soup at a light boil for 5 more minutes, stirring.
4. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro.
5. Ladle the soup into bowls and squirt a little lime juice over them. Top with vegan 'cheese', crispy tortilla strips, fresh avocado, and fresh cilantro.



  1. This sounds simple and delicious! A must try.

  2. OOOH, this looks so easy and so tasty. How did you guys do Mexico with the dairy and sugar etc?

    1. We didn't...we splurged. =) It was definitely indulgent, and that's good sometimes.

      But...there were definitely healthy options too, so we sometimes had salads for lunch...stuff like that.

  3. I am at school and after reading this and looking at the pictures I am starving!! Looks so yummy!

  4. Wow, look at your beautiful pictures!! AMAZING! This sounds fantastic.
    I read your comment on my blog, and it might be helpful to view the USDA dietary guidelines, appendix 11, which lists EPA/DHA and the mercury content of several types of fish. I do not worry about mercury in my fish, as I never eat tile fish, shark, mackeral, etc. and I'm not pregnant! I think the benefits FAR OUTWEIGH the risk :)

    1. Thanks for the info, Gina. I think you're probably right about the benefits outweighing the risk.

  5. Oh wow, I want some now! I never would have guessed there are grits in tortilla soup.

    1. Yeah...I'm not sure it's in every recipe, but I really liked the way they thickened it up.

  6. liked your comment on my blog...the rosewater was a good idea!

    this recipe looks delish. best part? the avocados!!

  7. Okay this looks like bliss. (And your description of Mexico had me salivating as well!) I'm always looking for tasty vegetarian (and vegan!) recipes to try so this looks perfect. (And in response to your question, I AM in fact a proud vegetarian. Are you?)

    1. Very cool! I am a minimal animal products person. I am vegan more often than not, but I do occasionally have small amounts of egg, fish or lean meat. Totally support vegetarianism and veganism though, and have definitely gone months at a time without meat.

  8. Looks so good, Clair. I'm no where near vegan, but I love a lot of vegan things. And I have a feeling this soup would very well be one of them.

    See you tomorrow!! I'm really looking forward to it!

  9. This is so cool! And it's something that my husband would not complain about ;D


Thanks for making me smile. =)