Light and Creamy Tortilla Soup

This past week I’ve been trying to take a step back from the, what I used to call, “weird vegan ingredients” that I was scared to use before I became comfortable with vegan cooking. So this dish has no faux meats, textured vegetable protein, soy, or nutritional yeast. Just whole plant foods! Nothing scary, and great for the veg-curious crowd, or people trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet. This is a great one-pot dish and is comforting and warm without being too heavy. Make a big batch for leftovers or use it as an appetizer course for a taco night! I also found this great farm market today and got a bunch of produce that I was really excited to put to use… which also accounts for the long ingredient list, sorry! I promise it’s worth it 🙂

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Keep in mind, this is by no means a traditional recipe. In fact, I’m not even sure what is a traditional tortilla soup. I feel like every single restaurant that I’ve eaten tortilla soup in has had a different take on this dish. Clear broth, creamy, completely pureed, or even everything sauteed in a pan served with broth to pour over it. The only truly consistent thing has been tortilla chips or strips and a distinct southwestern flavour. Chili, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, and bay give this bowl a warm heat that will brighten up your day but not break you into a sweat (adjust the amount of heat by using more or less cayenne). If you’re feeling a bit lazy also feel free to sub some of the ingredients, like the spices and tomatoes, for a small jar of salsa! It’s what I used to do in university all the time. I just prefer using the whole ingredients now so I know exactly what’s in my bowl.

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I topped my tortilla soup off with fresh cilantro and crumbled tortilla chips. Oh and avocado slices. Because everything is better with avocado, am I right? Maybe not everything, but.. just about. Other great toppings could be toffutti sour cream or vegan shredded cheese!

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And I put it in a big mug to cozy up on the couch while I watched HGTV for waaaay longer than I’d like to admit. I’m convinced that I should be a house flipper after all this. Who wants to go in on a fixer-upper with me? You do the demo while I pick out the tile and yell at people.

Tortilla Soup

Serves 4-8. 40 minutes.

  • 2 ears worth of fresh corn, or 1 can drained
  • 2 tomatoes skinned and pureed, or 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 L low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup brown or wild rice
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 2 t cayenne
  • 2 t bay leaves
  • 2 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • avocado slices (garnish)
  • fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • tortilla chips, crushed (for garnish)
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, sautee zucchini, corn, bell pepper, and 2 cloves of garlic in vegetable until it begins to brown. Reserve on the side.
  2. Fill the pot with vegetable stock, onions, carrots, celery, remaining garlic and rice. Bring to a boil and cook until rice is nearly tender.
  3. Add in your spices, tomato sauce/paste, light coconut milk, and the reserved veggies. Heat through until rice is cooked.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blitz through your pot several times until it’s partly creamy but still has some nice texture to it. Or, blend half the soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.
  5. Add in the beans and let it sit on simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve in bowls with avocado, cilantro, and chips.
  7. Enjoy!

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