Vegetarian Mexican Tortilla Soup

I love soups, especially in the winter season. Now who doesn’t?! They are warm, comforting and pretty filling, and make a wholesome meal as well. I have always wanted to try tortilla soup, but restaurants add chicken broth to the soup and being vegetarian, I have not been able to find tortilla soups that are vegetarian.

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On our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, I took a cooking class to make a Mexican meal. The chef owned a catering business, but then he decided to quit his business to start a cooking class from home. He and his wife were so hospitable, and made the most fantastic home cooked mexican meal that I had ever eaten! We made Hibiscus Tea, Pablono Chile Tamales, fresh homemade tortillas, 4 different kinds of salsa, Guacamole, Vegetarian Tortilla Soup, all  from scratch! I was full and completely satisfied by the end of the meal and wished I could have taken the leftovers to my husband! I really enjoyed the cooking class, and it opened my eyes to more than just tacos, and quesdillas!

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I am sharing the Vegetarian Mexican Tortilla Soup recipe that I learnt to make at the cooking class. 2 types of dried chiles are used : Pasilla and Guajillo,  which impart a lot of flavor to this soup. The soup from start to finish takes not more than half hour to make. While the tomatoes are boiling, I fried the chiles, garlic and tortilla chips, kept it aside. I chopped up the guacamole, whipped up the sour cream or creme fraiche, and chopped up some cilantro as well.

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This soup is so flavorful, my husband could not get enough of it! He added rotisserie chicken to the soup and loved it! My 7 year old loved the soup and asked for seconds! This soup can be made vegan by not adding the cheese and the sour cream and it would taste equally delicious! I have made it quite a few times since I learnt to make the soup!

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If you do try this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment below on the blog post.


Happy Soup making! Cheers!





Vegetarian Mexican Tortilla Soup


  • 7-8 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups vegetarian broth
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 pasilla chiles
  • 1 guajillo chile
  • 1 tablespoon of epazote or basil leaves
  • 1 large avocado cut into square chunks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 5 large flour tortillas cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup mexican cheese - panela or queso fresco crumbled
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, boil the tomatoes covered in water for 15 minutes, turning them occasionally to make it soft. Switch off the gas. The water should have reduced to half. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. Peel the skin off the tomatoes.
  2. While the tomatoes are boiling away, in a medium shallow saucepan, add in the 2 tablespoons of the oil, on medium heat. Add in the chillies and garlic cloves and let it crisp up and brown about 3 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set it aside.
  3. Next put in the remaining oil. Add in the tortilla strips, half batch at a time, and fry them until golden brown and crisp. Remove them and set them aside on a plate with a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.
  4. In a blender, add in the tomatoes, garlic, 1 pasilla chile, 1 guajillo chile, and blend until you get a sauce.
  5. Boil the sauce with the remainder of the water from boiling the tomatoes, the vegetable broth and epazote leaves. Season with salt and pepper while boiling.
  6. In the center of a soup bowl, plate some tortilla chips, a spoonful of the sour cream or creme fraiche, tablespoon of cheese and 3-4 cubes of avocado.
  7. Add the soup around the sides of the bowl. Break the fried pasilla chile with your hands and sprinkle over the soup and serve! Garnish with cilantro leaves.
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