Vegan Tortilla Soup (Gluten-free)

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 stovetop. 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!

Vegan Tortilla Soup Gluten-free

Serves 4 to 6


Vegan Tortilla Soup (Gluten-free)

Soup Ingredients:

  • 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

Vegan Tortilla Soup (Gluten-free)


(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.

Vegan Tortilla Soup (Gluten-free)

(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 stovetop: 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.)

Vegan Tortilla Soup (Gluten-free)

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 avocado and crushed tortilla chips.

Vegan Tortilla Soup (Gluten-free)

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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5 thoughts on “Vegan Tortilla Soup (Gluten-free)”

  1. 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 :(

    • 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.

  2. 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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