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Tortilla Soup – Vegan & Gluten-free

February 4, 2012

Tortilla Soup

My friend M and I often have clashing schedules, so I was really excited to finally meet her fiancee, S. We were going to go around the corner to Taqueria, but “why pay for this food when you can make it at home for free?” Just kidding (little comedy reference there). It was more the cold that bothered me – despite growing up in ice-cold Chicago, I still try to stay toasty warm inside as much as I can when the weather drops.

S is an absolute delight, and despite being French was more than happy to eat cheeseless, fairly spicy food (though I kept the heat on the low-ish side in case!) So here’s my winter warmer Tortilla Soup.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded & diced
  • 1 red sweet pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes, or 500 g tomato passata + 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • optional: 3 dried ancho chillies (I left this out but it gives a nice smoky flavour and more heat)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • small handful chopped coriander/cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, frying until golden brown. Add the garlic, jalapenos, red pepper and celery and cook, stirring, for ~5 minutes. Add the water/stock, tomatoes (in whatever form) and spices (including ancho chillies if desired) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and heat for another 15 min. Use an immersion blender (or pour into a blender/food processor) to blend until smooth. Add the corn and coriander/cilantro leaves and cook another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile spread 1 tsp of oil evenly over a skillet and heat. Place the tortilla onto the skillet, heat, and flip. heat until crispy. Cut in half then into thin strips.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips and coriander/cilantro.

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