Chickenless Tortilla Soup

On a recent trip to California to visit my sister and her family, she and I had the chance to cook together, which is always fun. But, with an energetic two-year-old and a newborn in the house, we did not have the time to linger over a pot for hours. As is true in many households, it is as difficult as it is important to get a healthy, fresh dinner on the table every night.

So, when my sister ran across this recipe for tortilla soup in the December issue of Sunset magazine, its simple ingredients and straightforward, quick preparation and cook time, along with its ease in accommodating different eating styles:

– chicken + more veggies = vegetarian version – cheese = vegan version

These easy alterations made the dish perfect for a family dinner.

The soup turned out delicious and filling and the short prep/cooking time left plenty of time for baths and bedtime stories.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

Tortilla Soup


  • 1 qt. reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed (can add more beans)
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin disks
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (only add if you want a lot of heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed corn tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • optional meat-eaters version (1 lb cooked skinless chicken, shredded)


1. Bring broth and canned tomatoes to a boil in a covered medium to large covered stockpot.

2. While broth is heating, prepare remaining ingredients.

I cut the zucchini in half lengthwise leaving the end attached and used my mandoline

to quickly create even, thin disks.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

. . . . .

I also used the mandoline to slice my whole mushrooms.


. . . . .

Because this soup comes together so quickly, have all the veggies and spices prepped, measured

and ready to go as soon as the broth and tomatoes come to a boil.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

. . . . .

3. When broth comes to a boil, add remaining ingredients and spices to the pot reserving the chips, cilantro and lime.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

. . . . .

4. Stir well. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for at least 10 minutes to blend flavors.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

. . . . .

5. Prepare toppings. Soup is best served with a few crushed up tortilla chips, a sprinkle of cheese, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

. . . . .

6. Ladle into bowls, add toppings and serve immediately.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

. . . . .


2 Comments to “Chickenless Tortilla Soup”

  1. I just finished eating about 6 of your banana-choc chip cookies and am already looking forward to trying this next recipe. The cookies were great btw! Your cousin Cara turned me on to your blog and I’ve been loving it so much, thank you for all the great, veggie, healthy posts.

    • Mara,
      Thank you so much for the sweet compliment/review of my blog. I’m so glad to hear not only that Cara is sharing my blog (she is an awesome cousin with pretty amazing taste in pottery to boot), but I’m even more excited to hear that you enjoy it. I’m glad you are loving the cookies–I hope your next cooking adventure from my blog is just as much of a success! Take care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: