Delicious homemade tortilla soup recipe – can be made with chicken or vegetarian. Authentic flavor, real food ingredients & can be made in the slow cooker! Serve with delicious jalapeno cheddar biscuits or artisan bread.
I made tortilla soup for my family during a season that I affectionately call the “you are going to learn to like beans if it’s the last thing I do” phase.
Mentioning “new soup” with “beans” in the same sentence raised eyebrows and red flags. The troops were on to me. My plan of attack had to be spot on!
This tortilla soup recipe is a combination of several recipes found during the reconnaissance mission. Lots of vegetables came from one, lots of beans (and no meat) from another and lots of spice from another. This recipe is fantastic all by itself, can easily be tailored to what you have on hand and can turn into a meal worthy to serve to company with just a few extras.
The Very Best Tortilla Soup
This tortilla soup has become a favorite for my family. I also love to serve this when we have company over on cold winter days. Here’s why I love this soup:
- Easy to make.
- Uses real food ingredients.
- Good source of protein.
- It is super healthy!
Ingredients for Tortilla Soup Recipe
This tortilla soup is made with nutritious real food ingredients. Here’s what you need:
- Finely chopped onions, garlic, carrots & celery.
- Olive oil and butter.
- Beans.* I use black beans and garbanzo beans.
- Diced tomatoes.
- Salsa verde.
- Bone broth (homemade if possible). You can also use chicken broth.
- Seasonings: taco seasoning, cumin, and chili powder.
- Optional toppings.
*A note about beans: Dry beans are much cheaper than canned so I keep my pantry stocked. Beans are a family favorite and I’ve mastered making them on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, and Instant Pot! Feel free to use homemade beans for this recipe.
How to Make Tortilla Soup from Scratch
Making tortilla soup is simple:
- Sauté garlic, onion, carrots, and celery with olive oil and butter until onions become translucent.
- Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Note that a longer simmer will create a more flavorful soup.
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Can you make chicken tortilla soup in a slow cooker?
Yes! This tortilla soup adapts well to a slow cooker (this is the one I have). Simply combine all the ingredients, turn the heat to medium-low and let it cook all day.
How do you thicken tortilla soup or make it creamy?
To thicken this tortilla soup, you can add sour cream or heavy cream. I have not personally done this, because I like the soup as is.
To make this tortilla soup creamy you can add milk. Again, I have not tried this because I think this recipe is great as is, but if you do, please let me know in the comments.
Can you make this recipe into a chicken tortilla soup recipe?
Yes, you can certainly make this soup a chicken tortilla soup recipe.
If you would like to add chicken, I recommend sauteeing chicken with the vegetables at the beginning of the recipe. Once the chicken is cooked, continue to allow the soup to simmer. You can use diced boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
You can also use Instant Pot whole chicken or slow cooker shredded chicken. I keep some in my freezer for recipes like these. I recommend adding cooked chicken once the initial ingredients are sauteed, with the rest of the ingredients.
How to Make Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
This recipe is already vegetarian in nature, so simply follow the recipe as is and you’ll be good!
What are good sides for this tortilla soup?
This tortilla soup can be served with a variety of sides or toppings. I like to serve this with:
- Plain or crushed tortilla chips (or you can add tortilla strips).
- Shredded cheese (cheddar and Monterey jack are good!).
- Sour cream.
- Homemade guacamole.
- Fresh cilantro.
A few other great sides would be:
Tortilla Soup: Easy & Simple Homemade Recipe
Delicious homemade tortilla soup recipe – can be made with chicken or vegetarian. Authentic flavor, real food ingredients & can be made in the slow cooker!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 5–6 quarts 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2–3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2– 2 cups cooked dry beans)
- 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked dry beans)
- 1 15oz can corn (or 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh kernels or frozen)
- 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes, with liquid (any variety)
- 1 cup chili verde salsa (we like La Victoria)
- 2 quarts bone broth (homemade if possible)
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning *
- 1 tsp cumin *
- 1/2 tsp chili *
- optional toppings (see below)
- In a large pot, sauté garlic, onion, carrots and celery with olive oil and butter until onions become translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes. A longer simmer will create a more flavorful soup.
* seasoning measurements are minimums; add more if desired.
This tortilla soup adapts well to a slow cooker. Simply combine all the ingredients and turn the heat to medium-low and let it cook all day.
Make it company worthy by serving crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole and freshly chopped cilantro on the side. Allow guests to top their own soup. If time permits, freshly baked bread is always nice (jalapeno focaccia perhaps?).