It’s been a while since I’ve made something vegan! It’s very out of the ordinary for me, as I typically cook something vegan on a consistent, weekly basis. But with the Easter holidays that has passed and the weather getting nicer outside, I’ve just been consuming a lot more meat than I’m used to! I’m not sure if it’s because of this slight change in my diet that I’ve been bloating hard lately and not having an appetite or if it’s because I haven’t been exercising much lately. Either or, my body has been screaming “I need vegetables!” for far too long. And with Cinco de Mayo, I found the perfect opportunity to do just that. In addition to a feast of tacos and tequila, I made a deliciously-filling and spicy tortilla soup for the occasion. And boy, was it hot!
Every year at my office we host an annual Cinco de Mayo party (translation: a build-your-own-taco party with Coronas). There’s always a ton of food at the party but with that, comes with a ton of leftovers. And the biggest culprit is leftover tortillas. Am I the only one that is okay to eat like five tacos and be okay with it? Whatever the case is, I seem to constantly find myself bringing home the extra tortilla shells – yay, free groceries?
Tortilla soup was the obvious answer for me. It takes just a few minutes to make homemade tortilla chips and it also served as an excuse to pack in some much-needed vegetables in my diet as well as use up some of the vegetable stock taking up space in my freezer. A spicy tomato-based soup full of hearty ingredients and topped with chips and avocado?! Yes, please.
My version was pretty spicy. I always tend to forget that nobody ever shares my spice tolerance. What I thought just a nice, fine tickle of heat was setting mouths on fire for my two guests. Oops. This is when some sour cream could come in handy. So beware of the spice level on this – you can always add or adjust later on but knowing me, I always like to up it to atleast a medium-high.
A non-vegan version of this soup typically contains chicken. Since I veganized this recipe, I substituted young green jackfruit for the chicken and I would say it definitely worked out! Much better success than the vegan “pulled pork” I had made with jackfruit – just not the same! But in soups/stews I may be convinced…plus more veggies, yay! Be sure to buy young green jackfruit and not the ripened or sweet yellow version, otherwise, you’re in for a big surprise…
All in all, this soup is a total breeze and can be made in under 30 minutes. Great on its own or with a dollop of sour cream or even on top of nachos. Not to mention it freezes well too!
TORTILLA SOUP – makes 4 – 6 servings
3 tbsp vegetable oil
20 corn tortillas, chopped bite-sized chips
salt + pepper
4 tbsp vegetable oil
½ red onion, diced
1 (20oz) can young green jackfruit in brine, drained, cores removed and chopped, and fleshy parts separated
3 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps chili powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
½ (7oz) can chipotles in adobo sauce
1 (14oz) can black beans
1 (7oz) can corn niblets, drained
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro, stems only, chopped finely, leaves reserved for garnish
cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped
Begin by preheating your oven to 400F and lining a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
Toss your tortillas in vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden and nicely browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large pot, heat your vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and add in the onions. Saute until translucent, about two minutes.
Add in the jackfruit, spices, black beans and corn niblets and saute. Add in tomatoes and stock and bring up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat and simmer. Just before serving, add in the cilantro stems and turn off the heat. Season with freshly black pepper and additional salt if needed.
To serve, fill a bowl with the soup, top with a generous amount of homemade tortilla chips, and finish with cilantro, diced avocado and a squeeze of lime.