Vegan :: Tortilla Soup

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Soups are a favored dinner option in my house. They are widely versatile, quick, easy, and healthy. When I find a collection of unused vegetables in my fridge at the end of the week, I usually toss them all into a pot, add some white beans or lentils for substance, and inadvertently create some of my best, rustic meals.

Tortilla soup is one of these recurring dishes. My usual tortilla soup is visually incomparable to what is pictured above, containing chicken, black beans, left unpureed, and garnished with sour cream, queso fresco, and the soup's namesake, fried tortilla chips. I wanted to create not only a vegan alternative, but something more light and refreshing for summer. The smokey flavor and familiar garnishes of this version stand true to the original.

This soup would also be great served cold, similar to a gazpacho.  

 

 Recipe 

(Serves 2) 

1 large onion 

1 red bell pepper 

1 clove garlic 

1 tsp cumin 

1 tsp chili powder 

1/2 tsp cayenne 

1 tsp salt 

1 can diced tomatoes 

1 tbs tomato paste 

2 cups water 

2 ears corn 

avocado 

radish, cilantro, and lime (optional, though I recommend using)

 

Thinly slice the onion and bell pepper. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add the vegetables to sweat. While cooking, slice the garlic and add. Sweat (meaning no color on the vegetables) until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all spices to the onion and bell peppers and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste has been well incorporated, about 1 minute. Pour in the water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the corn off of the cob. Once the 10 minutes have passed, add the corn kernels to the soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until cooked through. Working in batches, add the soup to a blender and puree until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve if there seem to be small bits of corn that won't break up in the blender. Taste for salt and season if necessary.  

Garnish with a generous amount of avocado, sliced radish, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.