I'm not sure if I've ever tried chicken tortilla soup, but I've seen it served at restaurants plenty of times. The contrasting textures of the dish have always intrigued me: creamy avocado; crunchy tortillas; and a hearty soup base. I imagine it would go perfect with a cold beer, if that's your thing. This is my take on chicken tortilla soup, and, besides being flavorful and filling, I think it's the perfect antidote to this cold weather so many of us are experiencing right now. In place of chicken, I've used jackfruit in this recipe because it has a similar shredded texture and mouthfeel. I recommend seeking out a pre-seasoned jackfruit (Uptons Naturals and The Jackfruit Company both sell jackfruit marinated in Mexican spices). However, if you can only find the plain canned version, simply increase the spices used in this recipe and you'll be good to go. You can serve the soup alongside chips and salsa, alongside some rice, or on its own. However you serve it, I hope it keeps you warm and cozy this winter and beyond.
YIELDS 4-6 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups jackfruit marinated in Mexican spices
- 14oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans (2 cans)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups vegan chicken broth
- Juice of one lime (2 tablespoons)
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
- Avocado, cilantro and lime wedges, for topping (optional)
1. Heat oven to 400°F. 2. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. 3. Add jalapeño, red pepper, and corn and continue to saute for another 4-5 minutes. If vegetables begin to stick, add a tablespoon of water. 4. Add jackfruit and use the back of a spoon to break it up until it begins to separate and give the appearance of shredded chicken. Saute for another 2 minutes. 5. Add tomatoes, beans, spices, and chicken broth and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes. 6. While soup is cooking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the sliced tortilla. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until crispy, checking periodically to ensure they don't burn. 7. Remove soup from heat and stir in lime juice. To serve, scoop soup into bowls and top with crispy tortillas, avocado, and lime wedges, if desired.
Also by Molly: Vegan Chocolate Cherry Biscotti
Related: Vegan Asian BBQ Jackfruit Tacos
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Photos: Molly Lansdowne