This tortilla soup is all about the corn flavor. Corn tortillas are cut into strips, fried, simmered in the soup’s broth, and then, completely pulverized by a blender. The result is an intense corn flavor that announces, “This is tortilla soup!”
Because tortilla soup often involves chicken, replacing it with soy curls was a no brainer. If you aren’t into soy curls or don’t like using meat substitutes, you can still make this recipe. Simply use a 15 ounce can of pinto beans or black beans (drained and rinsed), instead of soy curls. Soy curls basically taste like nothing. Their value add is more about texture. Whether they are included or not in the recipe, it will have little impact on the overall flavor of the soup. I like a thick soup, but if you like it thinner, add more broth.
Vegan Tortilla Soup
5-6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp onion powder
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (if sensitive to heat, ½ pepper or less)
2 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)
2 cups soy curls, reconstituted, drained and squeezed of excess liquid OR 1 15 ounce can of pinto beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
Splash of lime juice (more or less, to taste)
1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dried epazote – optional
1. Line a plate with 2 paper towels, and set aside. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add olive oil and tortilla strips over medium heat. Once the oil starts sizzling, move the tortilla strips around constantly for ~1 minute. Scoop out the fried tortillas and put them on the plate lined with paper towels.
2. In the same pot that you fried the tortilla strips, add the onion and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 7 minutes or until the onions are somewhat golden. Add the smoked paprika, coriander, cumin and onion powder. Sauté another minute, and then, add the fried tortilla strips, tomatoes, chipotle, and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the contents of the pot to a blender, and blend until smooth. Once it is completely smooth, add it back into the pot.
4. Stir in soy curls (or pinto beans or black beans), corn, cilantro, nutritional yeast, splash of lime juice, apple cider vinegar and epazote (if using). If it’s too thick for you, add some water until it reaches the consistency that you prefer. Bring to a boil, and then, cover for 5-10 minutes over low heat. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (more salt? more apple cider vinegar?). Serve.