They are easy to make, require only one pot, and keep you warm when the temps start getting low as the sun sets. Plus, aside from the vegetable chopping and initial stir-frying, soup is pretty much hands off.
I’ll make soup year round, no matter the temperature. At home, I love to make big batches that turn into leftovers for days to come. Of course, leftovers are a little more tricky in the outdoors, but I’ll often store any extra soup in an insulated food canister and eat it for lunch the next afternoon.
One of the first soups I make as soon as the summer turns to fall is Mexican tortilla soup. The spices keep me warm in the crisp air and there’s just something about holding a bowl of hot soup that brings on a sensation of coziness.
This Mexican tortilla soup is great to make after a long day of cycle touring or hiking when you want to make the most of your autumn outdoor adventure as the days become shorter.
Adjust the level of spiciness to your preference, and don’t skimp on topping the finished product with crunchy tortilla chips! I like to crumble in a few at a time so they stay crunchy with each bite. Adding avocado adds a nice creaminess to the soup and finely diced onions provide a little bit of a bite with every spoonful.
Vegan Mexican Tortilla Soup
1 tablespoon grapeseed, coconut, or sunflower oil
1 medium yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 pasilla pepper (a green bell pepper works here, too, chopped)
1 zucchini (chopped into ½ inch cubes)
1 serrano pepper (minced)
1 teaspoon cumin
½ – 1 teaspoon chili powder (depending on spice preferences)
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes
½ cup of canned or frozen corn (optional)
1 (15 oz) can of black beans
½ teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR SERVING (optional)
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Red onion (diced)
Add oil to a pot and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about five minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the peppers, zucchini, and serrano pepper and saute another 4-5 minutes.
Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to coat, continually stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Next, add the water or vegetable broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and add the beans and corn, if using. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful.
Serve with desired toppings (but definitely don’t forget about those tortilla chips!)
Sharp knife + cutting board
Minimum 2-liter pot
Bowls + spoons for serving
About The Author
Jen Sotolongo lives for adventure and food. Most recently, she returned from a two-year bicycle tour across Europe and South America with her dog and partner, otherwise, you can find her running long distances in the woods. When she’s not outdoors, she is crafting culinary delight in her kitchen, wherever that may be. She is a blogger and photographer at Long Haul Trekkers. Follow along @longhaultrekkers.