This uber easy and crazy flavorful Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup can be made in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or on the stove – game on!
Cue the jazz hands, people! Today we’re making a luscious, flavor-packed, rock-your-face-off vegetarian tortilla soup.
After much deliberation (ok like 5 seconds) I decided the marriage of my Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup and Lentil Veggie Chili would make the most delightful union. Obviously I was right (otherwise we would be talking about kale chips or spinach salads today) and I’m so stupid excited to share this one with y’all today!
sidenote: WHY AM I STILL SAYING Y’ALL?!
I haven’t lived in NC for a good year and a half but somehow the 5 years we spent in good ole North Carolina has embedded that contraction deep within my psyche. My Boston accent is lahhhhhhng gone (hah, ok mostly) yet y’all is here to stay, y’all!
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Wait! Back to the recipe! I cannot wait for *ahem* YOU GUYS to try this one.
Nope. Feels forced. I give up — Y’all need this soup!
It channels the flavor of my go-to tortilla soup perfectly, with the added bonus of extra veggies, extra legumes, and a swirl of creaminess that makes this easy, every day dinner soup feel like a luxurious indulgence.
As for the leftovers, yowza! I’m happily scarfing a leftover bowl of this Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup while typing this, seriously! The flavors mingle and jingle and it’s just plain magic. Plan on snagging a bowl to take to work/school the next day and another to pair with a cheesy quesadilla for dinner. You can even stash a bowl or two in the freezer for heat and eat “fast food” without the fuss OR the sketchy ingredients.
It’s also a great use for rescuing all those broken tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag. Instead of tossing them, use them as a tasty soup topper!
Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup
This easy peasy recipe yields 6 cups of deliciousness. That’s enough for 6 side-dish sized servings or 3 big bowls! Pair it with your favorite Mexican main (anything from tacos to enchiladas to burritos) or a fresh salad for a delicious dinner that won’t disappoint.
Meal prepping? Make it in advance and enjoy for lunches or dinners all week long! It’s FABULOUS the next day and oh so flavorful!
Vegetarian :: Vegan Option :: Gluten-Free :: Freezer-Friendly
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Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (Instant-Pot + Slow Cooker)
Yield 6 cups
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 2.5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 can (14-15 oz) tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, extra to taste
- 1/2 cup salsa verde (or your favorite salsa!)
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained + rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained + rinsed
- 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
- 3/4 cup dried red lentils
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream* (optional - see notes)
- salt and pepper to taste
For a thicker soup, feel free to add some corn tortillas (torn into pieces) to the soup or simply swirl crushed tortilla chips into the soup after serving!
Pile on the toppings!
INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS:
- Chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients.
- Next add everything but the heavy cream your toppings.
- This includes bell pepper, jalapeño, corn, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa verde, and all your herbs + spices. Toss them in and set IP to high pressure for 15 minutes. Walk away; FREEDOM!
- Allow natural pressure release.
- Stir in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
SlOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS:
- First chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients. This will make everything super easy to toss together!
- Next add everything except the heavy cream and toppings.
- Cook on high for 5-6 hours, until dried lentils are cooked through and veggies are tender.
- Swirl in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and dive in!
* In place of the heavy cream, feel free to use half-and-half or cream cheese. Skipping the cream? No problem! This recipe can be made without it - let your tastebuds be your guide.
Feel free to adjust the consistency of the soup to your liking. The soup can be thinned with a little broth or tomato sauce if desired or thickened with extra cream or beans/veggies! If you add a lot of extra liquid, consider amping up the spices a smidge to compensate. You can also make this as mild or as spicy as you'd like. As written it's on the medium side. The type of salsa used, jalapeños, and cayenne pepper will control the heat factor.
Want it super chunky? Feel free to add extra beans and veggies! Simply amp up the seasoning as needed depending on how much extra goodies you add to the pot.
A NOTE ON SALT AND PEPPER :: I leave salting the dish to the end to prevent over-seasoning. Depending on the brand and type of broth, tomatoes, and beans that you use, the sodium content will vary. I usually don't add any salt until the end once I am able to taste the soup.
Pressure cooker recipes always leave out the details so here's a breakdown of what you can expect time-wise: About 13 minutes to come to pressure plus 15 minutes cook time and 15 or so to release pressure. You won't need to be anywhere near your kitchen for this all to partake, the Instant Pot will handle it all and switch to warm once it's done. So fabulous right? For the slow cooker, simply set a timer and you're good to go.
special diets and swaps
- vegansaurus chefs: skip the cream and the cheese and you’re good to go
- t-rex chefs: use chicken broth if needed and you’re 100% welcome to add chopped or shredded chicken to this BUT promise me you’ll still add all the veggies and legumes too? Deal?
optional stove-top instructions:
Bring a large pot to medium heat and add a drizzle of your favorite cooking oil. Sauté your onion until edges are golden, then add your bell pepper, jalapeño, and corn. Cook until peppers are tender, approx. 5 minutes.
Next add veggie broth, tomato sauce, salsa verde, beans, and spices; stir to mix. Let mixture come to a boil and add your dried lentils. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes. The longer you let it cook the more pronounced the flavor will be. Feel free to cook a little longer if time permits, up to you! Lastly swirl in your cream. All that’s left to do is scoop out a bowlful, pile on the toppings, and face-plant into this tasty vegetarian lentil tortilla soup!