Smoky Shiitake Tortilla Soup

Smoky shiitake tortilla soup is naturally vegan, hearty and healthy, leans heavily on pantry ingredients, and is simple to prepare.

An overhead shot of smoky shiitake tortilla soup in a white bowl on a white background. The soup is topped with crispy tortilla strips, a lime wedge, vegan sour cream, and chopped cilantro.
An overhead shot of ingredients, including: spices, garlic, jalapeño, canned crushed tomatoes, sliced shiitake mushrooms, black beans, corn, and diced onion. All on a white background.
An overhead, up close shot of crispy corn tortilla strips on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Whew it’s been a while! A few minor recipe failures (peanut butter swirl brownies, if you were wondering) turned into a slight creation rut, and that eventually gave way to a nasty flu bug that had me laid up on the couch for a couple days. I wouldn’t say that I’m totally back in the groove, but I’m trying!

I used to really beat myself up over these unintentional breaks. There’s a lot of gurus, writers, motivational speakers, podcasters, and prosperity hustlers constantly telling us that we have to stay busy, focused on all the tasks, commit to a 14-step morning routine, multitask like it’s our job because it now 100% certifiably is. If you’re not absolutely crushing it (ugh hate that expression), what are you even doing with your life?

Everyone needs rest without guilt. Real rest that goes deep. Or just time to do things that aren’t work and productivity exercises for the sake of it–time to just be! I turned 34 yesterday and I’m still learning that a clear separation of work/productivity time and just-being-me time is probably a good idea.

With that, I’ll leave you with this cozy and smoky shiitake tortilla soup. What’s with me and mushroom recipes lately? See these meatballs and this epic bolognese. Guess it’s just a Winter craving! This is that point in the year where I keep wondering if Spring will ever come to be honest. There’s a lot of variations on tortilla soup and debate over what precisely constituted the original. All I know is that I like a LOT of crunchy tortilla strips on top of mine, but also a bunch of them blended into the liquid portion of the soup to thicken it up.

An up close shot of shiitake mushrooms being sautéed in a beige Dutch oven and stirred with a black spatula.
An overhead shot of smoky shiitake tortilla soup in a beige Dutch oven.
An overhead shot of smoky shiitake tortilla soup in a white bowl on a white background. The soup is topped with crispy tortilla strips, a lime wedge, vegan sour cream, and chopped cilantro.
SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess
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Smoky Shiitake Tortilla Soup

Smoky shiitake tortilla soup is naturally vegan, hearty and healthy, leans heavily on pantry ingredients, and is simple to prepare.
PREP TIME25 mins
COOK TIME35 mins
TOTAL TIME1 hr
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Laura Wright

Equipment

Ingredients

Soup

  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock divided
  • 1 small white onion, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • ¾ lb shiitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

To Serve

  • diced ripe avocado
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  • First, we make tortilla strips. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the tortillas into thin strips and place on a baking sheet. Toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon of the oil until all are evenly coated. Spread tortilla strips out into an even single layer and bake until golden and crunchy, about 10-12 minutes, flipping and tossing the strips at the halfway point. Set aside to cool.
  • In an upright blender, combine the crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of the stock, and half of the tortilla strips. Bring the blender’s speed up to high until you have a completely smooth mixture. Set aside.
  • Set a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the remaining oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Saute the onion until the edges are just starting to get soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, oregano, cumin, and chipotle powder to the pot and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the shiitake mushrooms to the pot and stir. Let them sit for a full minute. Stir again and let them sit for another full minute. At this point they should be slightly softened and glistening. Add a splash of the vegetable stock to the pot and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the black beans and corn to the pot and stir. Season everything liberally with salt and pepper. Add the blended tomato mixture and remaining vegetable stock to the pot and stir. Cover the soup and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, remove the lid, and let the soup cook for 10 minutes.
  • Serve the smoky shiitake tortilla soup hot with tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Notes

  • A few drops of liquid smoke would be amazing in this!
  • I honestly went for shiitake mushrooms here because they look kinda chicken-like when sliced. Any mushroom you like is fine though.
  • Homemade stock will give you the best result in this simple soup! I like to simmer mine with the shiitake mushroom stems for an extra flavour boost.
An overhead shot of smoky shiitake tortilla soup in a white bowl on a white background. The soup is topped with crispy tortilla strips, a lime wedge, vegan sour cream, and chopped cilantro.
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