This hearty vegetarian tortilla soup pulls its flavor from plenty of seasonings and bright and tender sweet potatoes. To make this soup vegan, substitute vegan sour cream and cheese.
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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 bell peppers, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
One 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
Vegetable oil, for frying
Six 4-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 lime wedges, plus 4-6 more for serving
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears)
How to Make It
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, over moderately high heat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the jalapeño and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, oregano, paprika, cayenne, red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of black pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over moderate heat until shimmering. Fry the tortilla strips in batches for 3 minutes, until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel and immediately sprinkle with salt and squeeze with lime.
When the soup is finished simmering, gently stir in the corn. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
Ladle into bowls and serve with tortilla strips, lime wedges, diced avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro and shredded Monterey jack or crumbled queso fresco.
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