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This vegetarian tortilla soup is so flavorful and easy to make! It’s full of zesty flavor, featuring black beans and adobo sauce.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Looking for an easy healthy soup recipe? This one tastes so flavorful you’d think it’s been simmering all day: meet this Vegetarian Tortilla Soup! It’s ready in just over 30 minutes and bursting with flavor: corn, black beans and tomatoes float in a zingy broth flavored with smoky adobo sauce. Top it off with crunchy tortilla strips and it’s a crowd pleaser the entire family will love! It’s a great healthy and easy weeknight dinner and one of our very favorite Mexican-style dinner ideas.

Key ingredients in vegetarian tortilla soup

This vegetarian tortilla soup tastes like it’s been simmering all day: but it takes just about 30 minutes! Here are a few of the ingredients that make the flavor taste developed in such a quick cooking time:

  • Adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers: Using only a tablespoon of the adobo sauce gives this tortilla soup big flavor without making it overly spicy! It’s got a smoky undertone that’s ideal for flavoring Mexican recipes: you can find it canned near the Mexican ingredients in your local grocery. All you need from the can is a bit of the sauce (not the hot peppers!). Typically, we freeze the remainder of the can for later use.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes: Canned fire roasted tomatoes are key to a developed flavor in tomato-based sauces and soups. Taste them out of the can and their flavor is sweet, not bitter like most tomatoes! These tomatoes are roasted over an open flame before canning. You can find them near the canned tomatoes and they’re available from several different brands.
Tortilla strips

Garnishes for tortilla soup

What sends this vegetarian tortilla soup over the top is the garnishes! It’s key to have some crunchy, fresh elements to contrast the soup. Here’s what we recommend:

Keep it mild or customize heat to taste

Is this vegetarian tortilla soup spicy? No! We’ve tested this one on friends and family with children, and everyone agrees: with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, this soup is mild. But want to add heat?

You can add additional adobo sauce to taste to make a spicy tortilla soup. Try 2 to 3 tablespoons adobo sauce for a very spicy soup. You can also stir it into your bowl to taste, or simply garnish the soup with Mexican hot sauce (we like Cholula).

More vegetarian soup recipes

Love vegetarian soups? Here are a few more healthy soup recipes to add to your repertoire:

This vegetarian tortilla soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup | 13 Best Healthy & Easy Soup Recipes | Best soup recipes | Easy soup recipes

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

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4.8 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x


This vegetarian tortilla soup is so flavorful and easy to make! It’s full of zesty flavor, featuring black beans and adobo sauce.



For the tortilla strips

For the vegetarian tortilla soup

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted, if possible)
  • 1½ cups frozen corn or 15-ounce can corn 
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 radishes, for garnish
  • 1 lime, for garnish
  • 1 handful cilantro, for garnish


  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Make the tortilla strips: Brush the tortillas lightly with olive oil on each side. Using a pizza cutter, slice them in half, then into thin strips. Place the strips on a baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy and lightly browned.
  3. Prep the veggies: Peel and dice the onion. Dice the green pepper. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the beans.
  4. Make the soup: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the green pepper and the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the oregano and the cumin for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, adobo sauce, broth, and kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add additional adobo sauce or kosher salt if desired.
  5. Prep the garnishes: Slice the radishes. Slice the lime into wedges.
  6. Serve: To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and allow to cool to warm. Garnish with the tortilla strips, radishes, torn cilantro leaves, hot sauce, and plenty of lime juice.


Excerpted from A Couple Cooks | Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love with Real Food by Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser. Copyright © 2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Rebecca Fredericks says:

    How did you sneak into my recipe box and pull this out? One of my monthly rotation soups, so flavorful. Yes, the adobo sauce, or chili, is what takes it over the top. Two minor differences: you use more garlic and as we love garlic I am revising my recipe. The other difference is I add 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed along with the cumin. Your recipes and meal plans are outstanding! Thanks so much.

  2. Liz Ofstad says:

    Oh my gosh. Soooo good. I am not a big veggie eater (and we did cut some out), but super yum. Thank you so much for giving us a vegetarian meal option!

  3. Kamielle Peters says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was easy to put together and very flavourful. Perhaps my vegetable broth is saltier than yours, as I found that the soup was a little too salty altogether. Next time I won’t add the extra salt…but there will definitely be a next time!

  4. Jacqueline says:

    This is the first recipe I’ve tried that says it takes 30 minutes to make and actually took 30 minutes! Thank you for the simple, organized directions; other sites often over complicate/explain simple steps. Turned out great!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Haha! We try hard to actually be accurate. Glad you enjoyed!

  5. Teresa says:

    This is a fantastic recipe! We have been vegetarians for about five years and have used recipes from many different websites. I recently discovered A Couple Cooks and have been so happy with the recipes that I have tried. I upped the adobo sauce to 2 tablespoons because we like spicy. I used all of the recommended garnishes and the result was outstanding! Thank you so much for such a delicious recipe!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for making it :)

  6. Kellie says:

    This soup was amazing!!!! My whole family loved it – making it again for sure! I have been trying to get my family to eat less meat and your site has made it very easy, they do not even notice that there is no meat in their meals! They have enjoyed everything I have cooked from your site! Thank you for making it much easier to cut meat out with all your delicious recipes!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear that! Thanks for cooking from the site!

  7. Danie says:

    Unfortunately I found this extremely bland as written. But, once I doctored it up (heavily) it was edible. Won’t be making this again though.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe.

  8. Donna C says:

    I made this recipe over the weekend as the weather has gotten colder…and it’s soup weather. I followed the recipe with one exception. I added 2 1/2 tablespoons of adobo sauce to the soup instead of just 1 tablespoon. The soup is really spicy, and it is so good! I froze half of the soup, so I can pull it on cold nights. I will definitely be making this again…soon! Thank you for this great recipe!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome! We like it with some extra heat too; it’ll definitely warm you up :)

  9. Cass says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I made it last night and it was delicious. I froze 1/2 because I’m the only vegetarian in my house. It will be great to pull out when I don’t want to cook a separate dinner for myself.

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