Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup
This Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup is easy to make and packed full of smoky, vibrant Mexican flavors. It’s naturally vegan and gluten-free, and ready on the stovetop in about 30 minutes.
I’ve been wanting to experiment with a vegetarian tortilla soup for awhile, and once I settled on this recipe, I knew it would be an instant classic in our rotation of meatless meals. This has all the qualities of my favorite recipes:
- Straightforward ingredients.
- Robust flavor.
- Tons of veggies.
- Easy to make–takes about 30 minutes.
Black Bean Tortilla Soup
This soup is very simple to make — just one pot required — yet delivers restaurant-quality flavor thanks to some simple add-ins and tricks.
What Makes It Special
- A mix of black beans and pinto beans. I love the flavor of black beans, but pairing them with pinto beans really takes the soup to the next level. I love pinto beans on nachos because they stay creamy when baked, so this soup is just another great way to use them!
- A smidge of adobo sauce. Using a bit of the adobo sauce that comes in a can of chipotle chili peppers is a fantastic way to add flavor in any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish. The peppers and the sauce keep a long time if transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge, and can be frozen for even longer storage. I think you’ll find it’s well worth keeping them on hand if you cook Mexican at home often. That said, if you’re making this soup ASAP and don’t have adobo sauce on hand, no worries! You can swap in a bit more standard chili powder.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes and/or corn. Using fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I love Muir Glen brand) or fire-roasted frozen corn (I buy it at Trader Joe’s) is totally optional but definitely amps up the flavor.
- Mexican oregano. Another optional but amazing touch. Mexican oregano is earthy, pungent, and well worth adding to your spice cabinet if you like Mexican food. I buy mine in little flat packs from The Spice House.
Another little trick is the order in which you’ll add the ingredients, specifically allowing a couple of minutes for the tomatoes to reduce and thicken before pouring in the broth. This is a little tip I picked up from the New York Times, and it really does help to concentrate the smoky flavors.
How To Make Baked Tortilla Strips
I used to be intimidated to make those pretty tortilla strips you always see as a garnish on tortilla soup, because I hate deep frying anything! But as it turns out, you can bake tortilla strips. It’s so easy!
Grab a few corn tortillas and brush each one lightly with olive or avocado oil on both sides. Using a chef’s knife or a pizza cutter, slice the tortillas in half, then into thin strips. Scatter the strips out on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be crispy and lightly browned. Sprinkle with kosher salt and set aside.
Baked tortilla strips are truly the perfect topping for this soup!
More Topping Ideas
This soup already has a lot of flavors and textures going on, but it also lends itself really well to a few fresh toppings. Use as much or as little as you like!
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Sliced avocado
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Cheese–try shredded cheddar or crumbled Cotija
Storage and Leftovers
This soup keeps very well for 3-4 days in the fridge, making it terrific for meal prep. It can get a bit thicker after the second day or so, almost like a hybrid soup-chili consistency.
More Vegetarian Soup Recipes
- Lemon White Bean Orzo Soup
- Creamy Carrot Red Pepper Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- White Bean Tortellini Soup
- Creamy Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
If you try this Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup
- 4-6 small corn tortillas
- olive or avocado oil
- kosher salt
- 1 large yellow or sweet onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce optional, see note
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons oregano Mexican oregano if you have it
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes fire-roasted if possible
- 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- avocado, sour cream, Cotija cheese, cilantro, etc. as desired, for serving
- Make tortilla strips (optional). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush each tortilla lightly with olive or avocado oil on both sides. Using a chef’s knife or a pizza cutter, slice tortillas in half, then into thin strips. Place the strips on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy and lightly browned. Sprinkle with kosher salt and set aside. (This can be done 1-2 days in advance; store in an airtight container at room temperature.)
- Make the soup. Warm 2 teaspoons oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Stir in tomato paste, adobo sauce (if using), chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, and cumin. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring well.
- Add diced tomatoes. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato juices reduce and thicken a bit.
- Stir in stock, beans, and corn. Bring soup to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook 12-15 minutes.
- Finish and serve. Add a squeeze of lime juice. Taste the soup and add a bit of extra salt if desired. Serve as desired with tortilla crisps, avocado, sour cream, Cotija, fresh cilantro, etc.
- No Adobo Sauce? If you omit the adobo sauce, consider adding an extra 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder for additional flavor.
- Storage. This soup keeps very well for 3-4 days in the fridge, making it terrific for meal prep. It can get a bit thicker after the second day or so, almost like a hybrid soup-chili consistency.