Tortilla Soup with Black Quinoa


This chicken-less, dairy-free tortilla soup, a vegan take on the authentic Chicken Tortilla Soup, won my family over this week! Don’t be deterred by a lengthy ingredient list – I know it looks long but the recipe comes together really fast and if your pantry is anything like mine, you probably have most of these ingredients on hand anyway. I like to use black or red quinoa in this soup but the type of quinoa is a personal preference. The recipe will work well with any type. 

This is a great make-ahead recipe. The soup itself can be frozen and the tortilla chips can be made weeks ahead, stored in a tightly sealed container. 

For the Soup


  • ½ large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow or green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 14-oz. can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, red or green, minced, seeds removed (you can leave them in if you like extra heat!)
  • 1 cup cooked black quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped basil

6-8 fresh corn tortillas (see directions for baked tortilla chips below)


  • Vegan sour cream
  • Fresh avocado
  • Tortilla strips
  • Cilantro
  • Green onion


Heat a large pot over medium heat and add in finely diced yellow onion. Sauté until translucent (4-5 minutes), stirring frequently and adding a tablespoon of water or stock every so often to keep the onions from sticking to the pan.

Add in finely diced yellow pepper and continue sautéing another 2 minutes.

Season with salt to draw out more moisture from the onions and peppers and stir another minute. Add minced garlic and jalapeno, and the spices. Stir to blend, just until fragrant – about 1 minute.

Pour in the stock, crushed tomatoes, quinoa, black beans, corn and half of the cilantro. Bring everything to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Add freshly squeezed lime juice and adjust the seasonings.

When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with vegan sour cream, diced avocado, fresh cilantro and tuck a few tortilla strips into the soup.

Yield: 6 generous servings

For The Baked Tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Stack all 10-inch fresh tortillas on top of each other and slice the whole stack in half, quarters, then eights – as you would a pizza. You should end up with 16 wedges.

Place triangles in a single layer on a baking sheet, salt lightly, and bake for 10 minutes or until browned.


Baked tortillas can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for several days.


For the Vegan Sour cream

This is a modified version of a vegan sour cream recipe I found at  The original recipe calls for nutritional yeast but I prefer not to use nutritional yeast, and to be honest, the sour cream tastes great without it. The recipe below yields about a cup of sour cream but the amounts are easy to double. Make what you think you will eat in a week because that is about the shelf-life for this sour cream. 


  • 1/2  cup cashews, soaked a couple of hours to soften
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Place all ingredients into your blender (I used my Vitamix).
  2. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer to a lidded glass jar or any airtight container and refrigerate. 



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