Nov 01, 2013

Tortilla Pinto Bean Soup

I was feeling rather deprived because I’d never had tortilla soup! So I searched around the web for authentic tortilla soup recipes to see what they were made of and all of the soups that I saw looked kind of watery, with a tomato base. There weren’t that many ingredients in them and they looked very easy to make. So I finally made this scrumptious soup and I added beans—not authentic, I know. But you know how I love my beans! And they added a wonderful richness to a (probably) otherwise watery soup base.

I decided to use Guajillo (pronounced gwah-HEE-yoh) chile peppers in this, but you can use any dried chile peppers you like. Guajillos add a bit of heat and have a deep, rich flavor but are not overwhelmingly hot. The Guajillo pepper rates between 2,500 and 4,000 Scoville units on the heat index, slightly below the Jalapeño.

This simple and tasty soup was very filling and I will definitely make it again!


  • 5 dried chile peppers, soaked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 26 oz. carton crushed tomatoes (I use Pomi brand)
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 3 TBS vegan chicken soup base (or any low sodium veggie base)
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, chopped (I used green but red or orange would be great)
  • 2 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TBS smoked paprika
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 avocados, sliced


  1. Soak the chiles for about 30 minutes to one hour, until they are tender. Set aside.
  2. Sauté the onion in a bit of water until tender.
  3. Drain off the soak water for the chiles and rinse them well.
  4. Add the chiles and remaining ingredients, except the dates, paprika and tortillas, to the pot, cover and simmer until the veggies are soft (about 20 minutes).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  6. Place the dates and a small amount of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Add the rest of the soup and blend again until smooth.
  8. Return the soup to the pot but don’t heat it anymore.
  9. Cut the tortillas into strips and bake them on a cookie sheet until they are crunchy (about 10 minutes).
  10. Add the smoked paprika to the soup and stir to combine. You want to add the paprika last because cooking it will decrease its wonderful smoky flavor.
  11. Garnish each bowl of soup with tortilla strips and some sliced avocado.

Serves 4-5. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

2 responses to “Tortilla Pinto Bean Soup”

  1. Sarah C. says:

    Just finished making this. Very smoky and delish! I have been following the nutritarian lifestyle for 6 weeks now and have lost 22 pounds. Your recipes are a big part of my success so thank you!

  2. Helyn says:

    You're so welcome, Sarah. It's my pleasure!

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