Monte Vista Tortilla Soup

A number of people have asked me for this delicious tortilla soup recipe that I posted on a previous blog a few years ago.

This hearty and rich soup can be made a number of ways. If the cream and cheese are left out, this is a wonderful low-fat vegan soup, roasted or poached chicken can be added for an amazing *chicken tortilla soup, or my favorite, with the cream and cheese added keeping it vegetarian but not vegan. All of the variations are delectable!


Monte Vista Tortilla Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (this time I used 1/4 cup roasted poblano pepper and 1/4 cup fresh green bell pepper)
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced fine
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (sweet, not hot)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to your taste)
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted are best)
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I make a vegetable stock with water and a one or two Rapunzel herb bullion cubes)
6 corn tortillas torn in 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or Velveeta cheese (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped coarse


Sauté onion, pepper, celery and carrot in the olive oil until tender. Add the garlic and all of the spices except for the cayenne pepper and cook for a minute or two to release the flavors. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to boil. Toss in the corn tortillas, turn the heat down and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Just before serving, add cream and cheese and warm the soup thoroughly until cheese is melted and incorporated. Stir in the cilantro and half of the cayenne pepper, taste for desired spiciness and add more if you prefer more heat.


Garnish with tortilla strips or chips, sour cream, fresh cilantro and even some diced avocado.

* For Chicken Tortilla Soup – 10 minutes before serving, add 2 cups roasted or poached chicken that has been shredded or cubed and use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.

Makes 6-8 servings.



  1. It’s so nice to see you again, Eva. I am delighted with this recipe. On two recent trips out to lunch, one being yesterday, I’ve ordered Tortilla Soup, wishing I had a good recipe! This looks fabulous and I can’t wait to make it. You’ve used some wonderful spices and I can see how flavorful it would have to be!

    • Hi Debra- yes, I took the summer off as far as blogging goes. I had bloggers block! I hadn’t made this soup in a very long time so it was fun for me check the recipe again and test it on my husband. I forgot how much I love it and I do hope you enjoy it too. How was your summer? We were just getting ready to head out to California when the floods hit Boulder. We couldn’t get out of our neighborhood to catch our flight! Thanks for stopping by! Eva

      • I’m so glad you mentioned the flood, Eva. I was typing away my response to you yesterday and almost asked, but then thought you’d have mentioned it if you’d been directly affected. At the same time, I realize that when a disaster of this proportion hits any state or region everyone is, of course, affected. I’m so very glad you’re safe. But it is going to be a long time before the Boulder area will restore, I’m sure. Even though I saw news coverage I still can’t quite comprehend!! ox

      • Thanks for sharing this! My goodness! I’m sorry I missed it when you posted. I dropped out for a bit, too, after taking a fall right about that time! I am fine, but my head was mildly scrambled for a couple of weeks. I did watch the news and managed to call several of my Colorado friends. Each was fine, but they were badly shaken, and shared some of your experiences. oxo

      • Wow, I’m so glad you are okay! I’m afraid I was completely out of the blogging loop all summer. I’m trying to catch up so I’ll have a visit to your blog today an see what else you have been up to. Be well!

Please share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

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