Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

25 Feb

I don’t think I’ve ever actually had tortilla soup. As a child I was a very “willful” eater (in other wards, if it wasn’t peanut butter, grapes, or bologna on white bread I wouldn’t eat it). Even when I got older and started to outgrow those tendencies I didn’t like things too spicy. And now of course (if you haven’t caught on yet), I don’t eat meat and you never see tortilla soup in restaurants without chicken. So I managed to get to my late (…sigh…) twenties having never tried tortilla soup.

Starting out I was skeptical. Little things went wrong one after another so I was gearing up for disappointment. First, my grapeseed oil to saute in was rancid (they should really put ON THE BOTTLE that you need to refrigerate it). Then I was out of garlic. And my avocado was bad. But the soup turned out pretty good! A little more stew-like than I think tortilla soup  usually is, but satisfying.

First, you’ve got a lot of spices to throw together: cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, oregano, coriander (which I didn’t have), salt, & pepper.


You start cooking by sautéing the onion and bell peppers until soft. The recipe calls for a green pepper but that’s a willful tendency I’ve held on to – I hate green bell pepper.


But there was a stow-away green pepper in my yellow one! How does that thing get there?


Anyway, next you mix up your spices with the onion and peppers.


Then you start adding cans of things.

Green chili peppers and diced tomatoes.




Vegetable broth.


I recently started using “Better Than Bouillon” anytime I need veggie broth. It’s quick, I can make only what I need for a given recipe, and its more flavorful than those containers of vegetable broth. Finally you add black beans and some lime juice (which I also didn’t have….hmm…maybe this is why the soup wasn’t quite what I expected).


I made the soup Sunday night and paired it with Flying Dog Brewery’s Old Scratch Amber Lager. It was good but a day later nothing stands out to me about the beer. It was an amber. And the label kind of creeped me out.


IMG_7829For dinner Monday I had the soup again (the soup that I was going to have for lunch but left in the fridge) and this time paired it with Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale from Deschutes. Now this beer was good – super piney without a lot of bitterness. The first sip made me pause and consider. I wouldn’t, though, pair it again with the Tortilla soup. The big citrusy-pineness just didn’t go with the spices for me.


I also took out a few frozen Black Bean Empanadas which I had made two weeks ago while my mom was visiting and they reheated awesomely! I had followed my earlier recipe but this time made them bigger and I was super pleased.


Do you have a favorite beer you pair with Mexican-inspired foods? A favorite (vegetarian) tortilla soup recipe I should try next?

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

The original recipe was found at The Cooking Photographer.

Everything you’ll need:

  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Oil to saute
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4-0unce can diced mild green chilies, drained
  • 2, 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1, 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 64-ounces vegetable broth
  • 2, 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime


  1. In a small bowl, mix together your spices: cumin (2 T), paprika (2 t), chili powder (2 t), garlic powder (1/2 t), onion powder (1/2 t), oregano (1/2 t), coriander (1 t), salt (1-1/2 t), and pepper (1/2 t). Put aside.
  2. In a large pot heat the oil over medium-high, then add the onions and bell peppers and saute until soft.
  3. Add the spices to the onion and peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the green chile peppers, corn, and vegetable broth; cook until warmed through.
  5. Add the black beans and cook 2 more minutes before serving. Squeeze in the lime juice and serve with desired garnishes.

4 Responses to “Vegetarian Tortilla Soup”

  1. Bonnie February 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Your bell pepper stow-away cracked me up :) Thinking about beers to pair with Mexican-inspired foods… That Dubbel from Allagash was crisp and delish, and could go nicely…? Let’s keep the question in mind at the Beerfest!

    • mmckenzie06 February 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      That’s an intriguing pairing! Thanks for the suggestion!


  1. April Beer Dinner – Ambers & Reds | Flour & Hops - April 17, 2013

    […] was delicious if I do say so myself. To start we had a Vegetarian Tortilla Soup that I paired with Sweetgrass American Pale Ale by Grand Teton Brewing Co. That was followed up […]

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    […] Tortilla Soup […]

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