Tortilla Soup (vegan, gf)

The weekend seemed to have a Mexican theme around every turn…

It started with The Very Best Guacamole.
Then dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
Then a Salsa Showdown and Jalapeño Eating Contest.

And it even continued at church. A visiting pastor from a Hispanic church delivered the message in Spanish (which was translated to English for a dual language service). His church’s worship team also led worship in both Spanish and English. They did a great job!

So, I kept the theme rolling by testing out a recipe for Tortilla Soup from a cookbook called The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester. This is the second recipe I’ve tried from Kathy’s cookbook (the first was Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal – recipe to come). Both were delicious! While all of the recipes in this cookbook are meant to be made with a slow cooker, I made this soup on the stove top. I imagine it would be even more flavorful if the ingredients had 6 to 8 hours to meld. Either way, I think you’ll like it!

Bonus – this soup is also soy-free and gluten-free!

SERVES 4 to 6



1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium-size onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or crushed with garlic press)
1 – 28 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 cups water
Juice of ½ lime
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (I used about 2 Tbsp.)
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ cup tequila (optional)
1 tsp. agave nectar or maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste

For a heartier soup, add 1 to 2 cups cubed chicken-flavored seitan (I did not use this ingredient).
For a spicy soup, add ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper and 1 tsp. hot sauce (I did this and Hubs loved it).

½ avocado, chopped and tossed with some lime juice and chili powder
tortilla chips (used gluten-free if desired), slightly crushed

(If using a slow cooker, do this step the night before and store in an airtight container in the fridge.) Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer.

(If using a slow cooker, do STEP 2 the following morning.) Combine the remaining soup ingredients in a large pot (or in the slow cooker).

If preparing on stove top: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

If using a slow cooker: Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender. Or, skip this step and leave the soup chunky. (I used a blender and I don’t recommend skipping this step – it gives the soup a great texture.)

Add optional seitan and continue cooking soup (on high if using a slow cooker) until soup is warmed thoroughly.

Top bowls of hot soup with the avocado and crushed tortilla chips.

Serve this soup with The Very Best Guacamole and tortilla chips for a festive, healthy meal.

Thanks again to Kathy Hester for this tasty recipe!


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  1. Richa@VeganRicha says

    love that color! gorgeous clicks. i have to start making some of her recipes. that book is treasure.

  2. Rebekah Smith says

    I made this yesterday in my crock pot. Followed all the directions but I just did not like it. It was way too tomato-y. And way too thick for my liking. I was so sad :(

    • says

      Sorry to hear that, Rebekah :( We really liked it and it wasn’t overly thick at all, but maybe that’s because I made mine on the stove top instead of in the crock pot. It probably thickens up a lot in the crock pot. You could try putting it back in the blender (or use an immersion blender), and add some non-dairy milk to thin it out a bit.

  3. says

    I found this on pinterest and made it tonight. We LOVED it! I did add the optional cayenne, and also the optional seiten. I sprinkled the tiniest bit of Daiya cheddar over the crushed tortillas. It was like a wonderful, rich Mexican dish, in a bowl–just wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing!!

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