Tortilla soup is probably the most basic Mexican soup you can have. It's basically a chicken and tomato-based soup garnished with various toppings. In this recipe, I use a faux chicken bouillon base that you would never know is vegan. Depending on the garnishes, this soup can be as healthy as it is delicious.
For toppings, I use fresh chopped herbs and veggies and skip the more traditional shredded or crumbled cheese that can add quite a bit of fat and cholesterol to this otherwise healthy dish. You can serve this soup as a starter or as a main dish, depending on how many tortilla strips and toppings you use. Either way, there's a good chance you'll be asked for seconds.
Here is the recipe:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 ripe medium-small tomatoes, roasted or boiled, cored and peeled OR 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 quarts faux chicken broth (made by mixing 1 1/2 quarts boiling water with 2 tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Base)
Salt to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
Fresh thinly-sliced green cabbage, for garnish
Fresh finely chopped radishes, for garnish
Fresh chopped avocado, for garnish
Red chili flakes
In a medium size skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and whole garlic cloves and fry until both are a deep golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Scoop into a blender jar or food processor, add the tomato and process until smooth.
Heat the other tablespoon of canola oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tomato mixture and stir constantly until thick and considerably darker, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a large saucepan.
Stir the broth into the tomato mixture, partially cover and simmer for 1/2 hour over medium-low heat. Season with salt to taste.
Place a handful of tortilla strips into a soup bowl and ladle the hot soup over them. (If you want to make your soup even healthier, use baked tortilla chips with no added oil.) Add as much or as little garnish and red pepper flakes as you like. Do squeeze some lime juice into your soup, as the lime brings out the flavors of the soup. I like to pile the veggies into my soup and eat it as my main dish!
You can easily double or triple this recipe and freeze the leftovers ... it's a great soup for a rainy day or when you're feeling under the weather, as it is a basic vegetarian broth soup. Just remember not to freeze the chips or garnishes in the soup ... add these to the hot soup right before you serve it.
I hope that you enjoy my veganized version of traditional Mexican tortilla soup!
The Vegan Voice