There was a local restaurant chain in Columbus that I frequented growing up, that was known for their chicken tortilla soup. I’d tried it before, back when I ate meat, and I liked how spicy it was but I wasn’t crazy about it. It lost a bit of its appeal when we found out that this “delicious” soup, came from a giant frozen bag that was shipped to the store. What a shame. I’d hate to see the ingredients list on there.

vegan chickpea tortilla soup

But ever since then, I’ve liked the idea of tortilla soup. Any soup that lets me sprinkle some tortilla chips on top is delicious in my book. When I saw an almost empty bag of tortilla chips sitting on the countertop, I knew their destiny should be soup. I scanned Pinterest for some tortilla soup recipes, but sadly, most of them contained chicken. What’s a vegetarian to do? Experiment.

So Alex and I ran to the grocery store, and I picked out some staple ingredients (avocados, peppers, and tomatoes always seem to make their way into my basket) and after church, I did some testing in the kitchen. It came together perfectly!

tortilla soup

You can even make your own tortilla strips for the toppings!

Easy Homemade Tortillas Strips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Just slice two corn tortillas into strips with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
  3. Spread the tortilla pieces in a single layer on baking sheet and spray or drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake for 2-3 minutes at 350 degrees until they begin to brown!

We made a batch the last time we made this soup and they were delicious.

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Vegan Chickpea Tortilla Soup

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 bowls 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This vegan chickpea tortilla soup is packed with flavor and deliciously spicy!



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded* and diced (Optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 28oz can of tomatoes
  • 1 12oz can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 ears of corn (or 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado
  • A handful of tortilla chips or make your own tortilla strips


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet for 30 seconds
  2. Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, and cumin.
  5. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. While that’s cooking, “grill” the corn, which for me, was heating up a little oil in a skillet and letting the corn roll around for about 7 minutes over medium heat, or until parts of the ear were brown.
  7. Let cool, and then use a sharp knife to cut the corn off the cob. Set aside.
  8. Wash and roughly chop the cilantro.
  9. Grab the avocado half and slice into thin strips.
  10. When you’re ready to serve, top with fresh cilantro, corn, avocado, and crushed tortilla chips.


Note: If you do use a jalapeno (or habanero pepper) wear gloves while you’re cutting it up! Wash your hands immediately after and be careful not to touch your eyes. The first time I cut a jalapeno, I seeded it with my bare hands and my fingers were burning the rest of the night!

Keywords: Vegan Tortilla Soup

The first time I made this, I added an extra habanero pepper to ours, and it was super spicy! If you’re not a huge fan of spice, leave it out. I think we were both sweating by the end of this dinner. Still, it was good, and an easy dinner to make with only one pot to clean!

chickpea tortilla soup in bowls next to avocado

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

This post was originally published in July 2013, updated October 2017.