Amazingly creamy Vegan Tortilla Soup with black beans, poblano peppers, and decadent cheezy flavor. Hearty, filling, and so satisfying!
This soup is NEXT. LEVEL.
We have officially elevated our game. Vegetable Soup lovers, where you at? There’s a new soup in town and she’s major.
I’m aware that it’s mid September and I’m perhaps prematurely busting out all the soup and pumpkin recipes like the autumn-adoring lass I am. The list of recipes I want to make is quite lengthy…all cozy and comforting and stick-to-ya bones delish. I just can’t help myself!
AKA I cannot stop baking muffins. My oven is basically a candle.
This vegan tortilla soup is insanely luscious and creamy thanks to the blending of cashews and corn tortillas with salsa and soup liquid, which makes it nice and thick. A little weird, but so right! Paired with flavorful poblano peppers, onion, and Mexican spices, we’ve got all the goods here for a soup masterpiece.
You must top it with handfuls of crushed tortillas chips, mmmmk? Crunch crunch crunch.
Recipe tips and substitutions
Corn tortillas: Use standard, 5.5 inch corn tortillas. I used these. Recipes often call for masa harina, but since a lot of people don’t keep that on hand, I thought tortillas would be an easier swap. I know it sounds weird to put them in the blender, but trust me. Do not use any tortillas other than corn or the flavor will not be the same.
Poblano peppers: These are mildly spicy green peppers that you should be able to find at your regular grocery store. Be sure to remove the seeds and membranes. The final result is not spicy, don’t worry!
Nutritional yeast: I always get questions about this ingredient. You can find it in a yellow plastic bottle at most mainstream grocery stores. It gives a lovely cheesy flavor and is packed with protein. You can omit it, but I’d add some cheddar cheese in its place!
Add veggies: I kept it simple with poblano, onion, and garlic, but you could definitely amp up the veg factor. Zucchini and bell peppers would be nice. Even potatoes and cauliflower would work! Trader Joe’s roasted corn would also be great.
Liquid: You can always swap broth for water or water + bouillon if you don’t have broth on hand, but definitely increase the salt and seasonings.
How to make soup in the Instant Pot
I’d say almost all soups are adaptable to the Instant Pot, which is fab. I haven’t made this one in there yet, but I have no doubt it would turn out.
First, press the sauté function and heat the oil. Follow recipe steps two and three and then cook soup on high pressure for 3 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Quick release any remaining pressure. While soup cooks, proceed with step four. When soup is done, proceed with step five.
Topping ideas galore!
The toppings are the best part, right?
Plenty of crushed tortilla chips…this is a requirement. You can even bake your own in a pinch with extra corn tortillas!
A sprinkle of cheddar cheese if you’re not vegan OR some nooch if you are.
Sliced jalapeños or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you like heat. The soup is not spicy as is.
Sliced green onions. Yum.
Cool and creamy diced avocado. Double yum!
How to store and freeze
To store: Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To freeze: Transfer soup to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months.
To reheat: Simply thaw soup in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Craving more soup goodness? Don’t miss these vegan soup fan favorites:
You need this tortilla soup in your face like last Thursday!!
1–2 tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1 small lime), to taste
1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper, more to to taste
Tortilla chips, for garnish
Place cashews in a small bowl. Cover with hot water and set aside to soak for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Warm oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Once hot, add onion and poblano peppers. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until softened, stirring often. Add garlic, coriander, chili powder, and cumin and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Add nutritional yeast, broth, tomatoes, and beans and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
While the soup heats up, drain and rinse cashews. Place in a blender (I used my Nutribullet) with salsa, tortillas, and 1 1/4 cups of the soup broth (be careful to allow mixture to cool before blending if needed). Blend until completely smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick, add more broth.
Once soup is done simmering, remove from heat and stir in cashew mixture, cilantro, and plenty of salt and pepper to taste. I used low sodium broth and a heaping 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt. Add a squeeze of lime juice and taste for brightness. The flavors should really pop! Ladle into bowls and top with more cilantro and plenty of crushed tortilla chips for crunch.
*Do not use flour tortillas or an alternative tortilla that isn’t corn or the flavor and texture will not be the same. Corn tortillas are essential for flavor.
If you’re not vegan, this soup is also excellent topped with shredded cheddar cheese. My husband added chicken and loved it!
TO STORE: Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
TO FREEZE: Transfer soup to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months.