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This creamy, flavor-forward, Vegan Lentil Tortilla Soup is the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner! It takes just 20 minutes to throw together and uses just a handful of pantry staple ingredients. It's healthy but super hearty so the meat-eaters in your life won't even realize that it's totally vegetarian!
You Will Love This
- It's SO quick and easy! We are talking 20 minutes from start to finish. Which means you can walk in the door and have dinner on the table in a flash. The only prep required is chopping an onion and mincing a few cloves of garlic! If you love this soup, be sure to check out my Vegan White Chickpea Chili and Vegan Three Bean Chili!
- It's vegan, but you'd never know it! This vegan lentil tortilla soup is a delicious meatless meal, but it's also hearty and loaded with tons of familiar Mexican flavors, fiber-filled beans, and veggies! Top it with delish garnishes - tortilla strips, sour cream, and fresh cilantro - and the meat-eaters in your life are never even going to know that it's vegan!
- It's a great meal prep recipe for a busy week! I love having a big pot of soup in the fridge for easy lunches or dinners throughout the week. This lentil tortilla soup and my Vegan Curry Lentil Soup are two of my favorite 20-minute soups!
- This vegan lentil tortilla soup reheats beautifully which makes it one of our family's favorites. Spend 20 minutes prepping on Sunday and you've got healthy, hearty meals all week!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Olive Oil - This is our family's favorite olive oil. Look for one that is ideally cold-pressed and organic.
- Red Onion - You could also use yellow onion or white onion in place of the red onion in this recipe.
- Fresh Garlic - I really prefer fresh garlic for this recipe, but if you don't have any on hand you could use ½-1 teaspoon of garlic powder in place of fresh.
- Cumin - I love adding cumin to chili because it adds such an earthy, warm flavor. Feel free to omit it if you don't have any on hand.
- Chili Powder - The chili powder in this recipe is one of the key ingredients that gives it that classic chili flavor.
- Chipotles in Adobo - My favorite secret chili ingredient is chipotles in adobo. They add such a smoky depth of flavor to this chili.
- Black Beans - Feel free to add whatever beans you've got on hand. We've always got a can of black beans in the cupboard, but pinto beans or even kidney beans would work in their place.
- Corn - If you don't have canned corn on hand, frozen will work in it's place.
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes - Regular diced tomatoes or even crushed tomatoes would work just fine in place of the fire roasted diced tomatoes in this chili. The fire roasted flavor just adds more depth to the chili.
- Split Red Lentils - I like to use split red lentils for this recipe because they cook so quickly. You could use other lentils in place of the split red lentils, but keep in mind that you'll likely have to increase the cooking time significantly to allow the lentils to cook through.
- V8 Vegetable Juice - You can use any brand of tomato based vegetable juice in place of V8 in this recipe.
- Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk - This is our family's favorite brand of coconut milk. Be sure to grab the the canned coconut milk and not the stuff in the carton.
- Lime Juice - If you can use fresh squeezed limes that's definitely best, but here is our family's favorite lime juice that comes in a bottle.
Saute onion in olive for 3-4 minutes in a large heavy bottom pot.
Stir and cook for another minute.
Add V8 and coconut milk (this is my favorite brand!) along with a few large pinches of salt and pepper.
Stir to combine and simmer over medium heat.
Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. Add lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish and enjoy!
- Don't worry about the coconut milk giving this vegan lentil tortilla soup a coconutty flavor. The spices in this dish are going to flavor the coconut milk so much that you really won't taste coconut at all. Also, the sweetness of the coconut milk is going to help balance out the acidity from the tomatoes which is why I love it in this recipe!
- If you're not worried about this soup being vegan, you can substitute ¾ of a cup of heavy cream in place of the can of coconut milk. You may have to add just a teaspoon or so of granulated sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes if you're using heavy cream as you'll be losing that hint of sweetness from the coconut milk.
- This is a simple recipe, so make sure that you salt LIBERALLY. Salt throughout the recipe and also season to taste with salt and pepper at the end too. Don't be afraid of the salt in this recipe - it's really going to boost the flavors of all the ingredients!
- Feel free to use whatever lentils you have on hand if you don't have split red lentils. Split red lentils cooks in 5-7 minutes. But if you use another kind of lentil, you'll have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Check the cook time on your lentils and start with the lowest recommend time. Taste the lentils throughout the cooking process and take the soup off the heat as soon as the lentils are tender and cooked through!
Yes! You can throw uncooked lentils into soup without soaking or cooking them before. In this soup, we use split red lentils which cook in about 5-7 minutes which make them ideal for a quick an easy dinner! Other colors of lentils will take considerably longer to cook, so be sure to buy split red lentils for this tortilla soup!
This vegan lentil tortilla soup is thickened with the addition of a can of full fat coconut milk. This gives the soup a deliciously creamy texture while thickening it slightly. You could sub heavy cream (about ½ a cup) in please of the coconut milk if you're not worried about this soup being vegan.
This is not an Authentic Tortilla Soup Recipe
- This is in no way meant to be a classic tortilla soup recipe. This is my Midwestern vegan twist on tortilla soup using ingredients that my family commonly has in our kitchen.
- If you're looking for some background history on this delicious Mexican dish, here's a brief summary.
- While tortilla soup originally came from Mexico, the exact origin is actually still unknown, however, traditionally, tortilla soup is made with onion, garlic, chicken broth, roasted tomatoes, and fried tortilla strips.
- Homemade Fried Tortilla Strips
- Vegan Curry Ramen Noodles
- Vegan Curry Lentil Soup
- Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup
- Easy White Bean and Kale Soup
- Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup
- Vegan Curried Cauliflower Soup