Vegan Tortilla Soup with rich, bold, tomatoey, smoky, limey, garlicky flavour and piles of crispy, crunchy baked tortilla strips. Then come the extra toppings which really seal the deal. It’s quick and easy to make and totally delicious! Want to really simplify it? Just make the soup and serve without the topping. It's still really great!
½ - 1 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper, add to taste
For the crispy tortilla strips
6small 5 to 6 inch corn tortillas****
Put a large soup pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the onions until just starting to turn golden, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the herbs and spices to the pan and allow to toast for a minute or two, stirring frequently, then add the cornstarch. Stir well. It will look lumpy and weird. That's fine.
Add the canned tomatoes and stir really well, then pour in the stock, beans, sweetcorn and sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer. Keep it simmering away for about 10 to 15 minutes until it's hot and thickened.
While the soup is simmering preheat oven to 375°F / 190 *C and line a very large baking tray (or use 2 medium ones) with parchment paper.
Keep the tortillas in a pile, and cut down through them to make long strips about ¼ inch wide. Put the strips in a large bowl and pour over the oil. Toss them around with your fingers until they are all coated then tip them out onto the baking tray. Spread them out into a single layer, ideally with a bit of space around each one. Sprinkle all over with a pinch or two of salt and bake for 12 minutes. Keep an eye on them in the last minute or two in case your oven runs hot and they get too dark. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray.
Once you are ready to serve, take the soup off the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and squeeze in the juice of a lime. Give it a quick stir and it's ready.
You can either add the tortilla strips to individual bowls and ladle the soup over them, or put the soup in the bowls and pile the tortilla strips on top. I like them on top because they stay crispy. Then either pile on the toppings or have the toppings in bowls for everyone to help themselves!
*Fire roasted crushed tomatoes give the very best flavour. I love the Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes. If you can only find cans of whole or diced fire roasted tomatoes just blend them up in a food processor or blender before using. Regular crushed tomatoes or passata will be ok if you can't find fire roasted tomatoes. **If your cans are slightly bigger or smaller that's fine. It doesn't have to be exact. You can also use home-cooked dried black beans and fresh or frozen sweetcorn. ***The addition of a bit of sugar is optional but recommended. It really boosts the tomato-ey flavours and makes a huge difference. ****Flour tortillas are fine too but corn ones have a better flavour and the colour is nicer. 6 is just a guide too. Feel free to make more! You can also skip making the crispy tortillas strips and just use a bag of salted tortilla chips instead!*****Olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil are all fine. TOPPING IDEAS
COOKING IN A SLOW COOKERAdd all of the ingredients to the pot (excluding the tortillas and oil), cover and slow cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 4-6 hour. Then you will just need to prepare the crispy tortilla strips as directed or buy a bag of tortilla chips to make life really easy.COOKING IN AN INSTANT POTYou can either sauté the onions, garlic until golden first, or just throw everything (except the tortillas and oil) in the pot and cook. If you do sauté be sure to thoroughly scrap the brown bits off the bottom. To do this add a bit of the stock and scrape hard all over with a wooden spoon. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. You can then do a very careful quick release (cover the spout with a cloth to protect yourself and surroundings). That just leaves the tortilla chips. Either follow my recipe instructions for baking your own or buy a bag of tortilla chips to make life really easy.