Smoky Shiitake Tortilla Soup

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 4 votes

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

Smoky shiitake tortilla soup is naturally vegan, hearty and healthy, leans heavily on pantry ingredients, and is simple to prepare.
5 from 4 votes
SMOKY SHIITAKE TORTILLA SOUP (vegan) - The First Mess
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings 4 -6

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

Equipment

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.

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.
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.
27/02/2019 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, earthy, gluten free, main course, mushrooms, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, smoky, soup, spicy, spring, summer, tomatoes, umami, vegan, winter

15 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Alex

    5 stars
    Fantastic soup! This has so much flavor and is perfect for a rainy autumn Sunday. Easy to make and will be excellent as leftovers.

  • Bill Taber

    5 stars
    Dear Laura,

    You have the best recipes anywhere! I have learned so much from your recipes. They are ALL delicious. I am so happy to have found your website and your cookbook (which I’ve purchased). Your recipes are on the menu for 80% of my dinners.

    Because of your recipes, I have 3 friends who have become vegan. Thank you so very very much for sharing your gift of great vegan food with the world.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks so much for making my week with this comment! I’m really glad that the recipes are working for you and the folks in your life.

      Be well,
      Laura

  • Caroline

    5 stars
    So so so good! Made with portobellos last night and pleased both vegan and non-vegan family members! I can see this becoming a staple at our house through the winter!

  • Allison Royal

    I think you are the shit. I’ve been reading your blog for about 5 years now… I just wanted you to know that your recipes are ALWAYS amazing and actually turn out how I imagine they will. That is truly remarkable in this over-saturated foodie blog world. You know your way around the kitchen lady, DO. NOT. DOUBT. THAT. I can tell you let the veggies inspire and guide you. You go with your gut and listen to your instinct… that is a gift that should not be taken for granted and also does not pour in constantly. Real, intuitive creativity takes time to nourish, cultivate, simmer, come to life and then … HELL YES REST <3 ~Take care of yourself~

    Super glad you exist and do what you do! xoxo

  • Yelena

    This was quite amazing! Thank you!

  • Sue

    Hi Laura. Thank you for this delicious recipe. I had never eaten any tortilla soup before, but I definitely will again. Even my non-soup lovers had seconds! Glad I made 1.5 batches. I’m enjoying exploring your blog. Thanks again.

  • Emily Rivas

    You are my most favorite chef and blogger and everything I have ever attempted of yours has come out beautifully. Your recipes are approachable, easy to follow and beautiful. We are trying this soup tonight here in Southeast Alaska and every post we do our best to try the week it comes out. Keep creating and sharing, you are touching many lives around the globe and helping fuel the fire that is our love of food.

  • Cassie Autumn Tran

    Beans and mushrooms truly are marvelous together! I hope you feel better from the flu because I recently got it and it was AWFUL. I love that I am recovered now but I needed LOTS of sleep and hot tea to feel better. Hope you enjoy this soup as much as possible–you’ll ace those peanut butter swirl brownies too, one day! I have so much faith in you!

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    Oh wow do I hear you on this one! I grew up in a household where productivity = worth, and I am REALLY struggling with the idea of taking breaks or resting. Even though I know I need it. I constantly feel like I should be “hustling”. Wish I had a better perspective on this! Maybe one day I’ll finally know what it’s like to relax without guilt ;)

  • Jessica Flory

    Love the message in this post so much. Thank you for sharing. Soup looks delicious!

  • Emily

    Quick question: How would you recommend altering the recipe if you do not have a blender? Hopefully I will purchase one soon, but I want to try this recipe right away. Any recommendations? Thank you!!

    • Laura

      Hi Emily,
      You would have to make a more broth-y version of the soup because you really need a blender to thoroughly grind the tortilla strips into the liquid components. Cut the amount of tortilla strips down by half so that you’re only making them for the garnish. Skip the blending step and just add the tomatoes and ONLY 3 CUPS of broth to the pot after the black beans and corn. Simmer for the specified amount of time and if the soup seems too thick at that point, add more broth. The result will be quite different though! Definitely thinner and more delicate in flavour I would say.
      -L

  • Elenore

    Ever inspiring woman! Wishing you such a rockin’ start of your new spin (in your new boots!). I just wanted to say that your words really hit home. Me have the kids have had back to back viruses and stuff since the second week of January (first work week this week!) and it’s taken a shit load of mental work to process through all of the programming around being ON as you mention here. So here’s a mega hug to you, get well lovely and yes to hellah more boundaries in 2019!