Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

I get an email from my mom earlier this week relaying my grandpa has the flu, my grandma is about to undergo surgery, and that I should probably find a new spot to purchase avocados. It’s good to hear my grandma’s surgery is not considered high risk, though it’s possible my avocado buying is. Also good to know my very first blog reader is still tuning in, one that’s looking out for me, too.

You see, after my mom got around to reading my last post containing avocadoes, she wanted to let me know $2.00 was a crazy price to pay when she was at home getting the green gold for 88 cents a pop. Unfortunately, her go-to grocery store doesn’t exist in Philadelphia, and I’m stuck paying the price of a whole happy meal nearly every time I need to indulge in an avocado. Yes, my mom’s right. One avocado for $2 does seem a bit ridiculous. But the thought of putting that money towards a McDonald’s burger doesn’t even cross my mind. At least I can be fully satisfied with my double dollar purchase every time it goes towards quality food.

I guess there weren’t enough guac-makers this Super Bowl season because right after the occasion, every store I walked into held a doorway display of avocadoes. Of course I couldn’t walk by without grabbing few, which ultimately triggered this recipe. Avocadoes are a perfect and necessary tortilla soup topper.

Tortilla soup is light and brothy. It’s the kind of meal that will be there for you when you need a little detox. However, it’s certainly not a meal deprived of flavor. Lime, cilantro and jalapeno team up to create one invigorating bowl of soup. The avocado and cheddar cheese toppings add just a touch of richness, and with the crunchy tortilla strips, pack each bowl with satisfaction.

If you can dedicate the avocado, this should rank high among your other soup recipes this season.

Tortilla Soup Ingredients

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Yield: Serves 4


  • -2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • -1 medium onion, diced
  • -2 Tbsp. jalapeño, minced
  • -3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • -2 tsp. chili powder
  • -2 tsp. cumin
  • -1/2 tsp. salt (though this could vary on the sodium content of your veggie broth)
  • -1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • -1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • -2 cups vegetable broth
  • -3/4 cup frozen corn
  • -1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • -1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • -1 avocado, diced and sprinkled with salt
  • -4 (6-inch) corn tortillas (you could also use corn chips)
  • -1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • -Greek yogurt or sour cream, optional


  1. In large pot, heat oil over medium high. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Stir in jalapeño and garlic, and continue to cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Add tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, heat cast iron/frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking oil, and then add corn tortillas, one at a time. Let crisp up in the pan, flipping halfway, and then lightly sprinkle with salt. Break into pieces, and set aside.
  4. Add frozen corn to soup. Cook another 3-5 minutes, or until corn is tender. Remove soup from heat.
  5. Divide soup among bowls. Top with cilantro, avocado sprinkled with salt, tortilla pieces, cheddar cheese and a dollop of yogurt, if desired. Squeeze one lime wedge per bowl over top. Enjoy.

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  • Reply
    The candid RD
    February 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Well I hope your grandma is ok. The flu is no fun, especially when you’re about to have surgery.
    Where I work avocados were on sale during the super bowl, for $1 and they went FAST! The soup sounds delicious, Grace.

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      February 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Thanks Gina. She is recovering extremely well given her age. I bet you see all the deals first at the store! Working there might be dangerous for my paycheck…ha!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    You had me at cumin and minced jalapeños! Fortunately, avocados are only about 50 cents here in Mexico, and corn tortillas are fresh made while you wait. I can hardly wait to try out your recipe. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      February 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

      50 cents! Jealous. And nothing beats a fresh made corn tortilla. You’ll be taking this soup to the next level.

  • Reply
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    February 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

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  • Reply
    March 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    This is super good!! I made it along with your black bean soup as I load up the fridge for the week. Takes about two seconds to make, too:)

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      March 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Two soups in one week sounds like a good week to me! And yes, I love how simple these two are.

  • Reply
    December 29, 2020 at 5:24 am

    I will try this soup…

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