Healthy Tortilla Soup

Growing up in Texas, I have been surrounded by Tex-Mex influences from a young age, and developed a great fondness for Mexican cuisine. Sopa de Tortilla (Tortilla Soup) is a Mexican dish typically made using chicken broth and chicken breast.  To re-create this soup after adopting a vegetarian diet, I omitted the chicken in place of hearty potatoes and sweet zucchini. All the flavor lies in developing a spicy tomato base that won’t make you notice the meat is missing!


Serves 8

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, and thinly slices
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cup water
1 can (15 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 ancho chili
1 teaspoon chili molido
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
2 quarts “No Chicken” broth or low sodium vegetable broth
1 large zucchini, small dice
3/4 pound red creamer potatoes, small dice

1. Heat enough water, about 1 1/2 cup, to soak ancho chili until rehydrated and soft, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium to high heat. Sauté onions, red bell pepper, and garlic for a minute. Cover pan and let steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until onions start to brown. Add ½ cup water and cook until all water is absorbed.

3. Remove onion mixture from heat and let cool. In a blender, puree onion mixture, tomatoes, and rehydrated ancho chili, until silky smooth.

4. Add onion-tomato mixture to soup pot and heat until mixture begins to bubble and boil. Stir in spices and add broth. Bring to a boil.

5. Add potatoes to boiling soup, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until fork tender. Add zucchini and cook another 2 – 5 minutes, or until al dente.

6. Garnish with baked corn tortilla chip strips, sliced avocado and  Lime Cilantro Creme (recipe to follow)

Lime Cilantro Crème
Makes about 1 cup

6 ounces soft silken tofu
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon agave
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 dashes cayenne

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients until smooth.

This recipe is: Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Stephanie Hoban, MS, RD, LD

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One thought on “Healthy Tortilla Soup

  1. I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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