Recipe: Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

This is a tasty soup that is similar to chili but lighter. Perfect for summer? Absolutely.

I call it tortilla soup, though I don’t usually put tortillas in it, because I don’t like soggy tortilla bits in my soup. The recipe started out as a legit tortilla soup, so I still call it that. And hey: if you like soggy tortilla bits in your soup, then have at it. It’s made for it.

Also, it says vegetarian in the title, but the only thing making it not vegan is that I garnish it with cheese and sour cream. Omit those or use vegan substitutes, and you’ve got yourself a tasty vegan soup, too!

For the meatatarians you can throw in a cup of shredded chicken, if you so choose.

The recipe as written is not very spicy- you can adjust the amount of jalapeno or other hot pepper to your taste.

tortilla soup


  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 6 0z mushrooms, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 32 oz can Dei Fratelli seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I use BTB- mushroom or vegetable)
  • 1 dried guajillo pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 cups corn (I prefer fresh- 2 cobs should do, but canned works when it’s not in season)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • Optional Garnish: tortilla chips, cheese (I love Queso Chihuahua or mexican Quesadilla cheese- check the fancy cheese section of your supermarket), sour cream, diced avocado


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno (I recommend wearing gloves when handling the jalapeno), and mushrooms.  Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the sweet potato, black beans, tomatoes, and broth and stir to combine.
  4. Add the guajillo and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the veggies are tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Remove the guajillo and bay leaf. Add the corn, cilantro, and lime juice.
  6. Serve with cheese, sour cream, avocado, and tortilla chips. Oh, and cornbread. Gotta have cornbread.

Another Garden Update

It jumped to hot weather here so fast, my little winter sown containers are growing fast! Usually you’d start taking the tops off during the day and replacing them at night when it got fairly cool, but it’s been so warm that it’s barely even dipped into the 40s at night which means replacing the tops was unnecessary.

I think I lost a flat of Maltese Cross due to not removing the top (or not making the aeration holes bigger) soon enough… the seedlings were teeny tiny and look like they got cooked. Oops. Lesson learned!

And I have 3 small flats that I think I forgot to drill holes in because they have no germination and seem very waterlogged. And I sowed 2 or 3 flats of pink profusion zinnias that I got in a trade that just didn’t germinate for me. I don’t know if it was me or the seeds.  In either case, I’ve got dozens and dozens and DOZENS of flats that germinated perfectly, so 5 or 6 losses is pretty damn good! Plus, there’s still time to resow containers and try again!

Speaking of zinnias, here are some liliput zinnias that are doing just fine!


The lupines that were my first seeds to germinate are starting to get pretty tall. I think that’s foxglove sandwiched between the flats of lupine.


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