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

  • 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

Keywords: Chipotle, Tortilla Soup, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Vegan Soup, Vegetarian Soup, Black Bean Soup, Black Beans, Mexican Soup, Mexican, Meatless

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. I made this soup for the #PrettySimpleDinnerParty and all my friends LOVED it! They couldn’t believe I had thrown it together in less than 30 minutes. I’ll definitely be making this a staple meal in the winter.

    1. Ooo we’re so glad to hear this was a hit at the Pretty Simple Dinner Party! This one always surprises me that the flavor is so developed after just 30 minutes — it’s that magic adobo sauce :) Thanks for making it, Claire!

  2. Great video (you have an easy to listen to, soothing voice) and the soup looks yummy! Is there an accompanying recipe? Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much! Haha about a soothing voice — I’m so glad :) The recipe is actually in our new cookbook — Pretty Simple Cooking! It’s available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold!

  3. Delicious! The whole family loved it. The local supermarket didn’t have fire roasted corn but I remember seeing some at Trader Joe’s. I’ll grab some next time I am there because I think it would really take it up another notch.

  4. So I’ve been trying to coerce the ol lady into going meatless but it’s an uphill battle with many nights of me sleeping in the garage:). Anyway, I did convince her to let me cook for a week and I made this tonight. It very flavorful, and even my finicky seven year old liked it! The wife had never had radishes before and she loved the “texture” it adds and whenever I can get her to say “texture”, I’ve won! Kudos to you!


    1. It’s really going to depend on your brand of beans and broth. The 1 teaspoon of kosher salt has about 1,800 milligrams.

  5. We were so sick of pasta during the quarantine that I sought out a soup recipe. Glad I stumbled on this one! My family loved it! I’m the only vegetarian in the house so I usually get slack for what I make and there was only rave reviews. My one sister is going to make a variation of chilaquiles with it for breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe

  6. tip: do not put the tortilla shells in the oven for that long! i almost caught my house on fire. make sure you watch them

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