How do you make a vegan or vegetarian tortilla soup?

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Answered by: Melissa, An Expert in the Easy Vegetarian Recipes Category
To make a vegan or vegetarian tortilla soup, purchase a large can of whole tomatoes or 8 to 10 Roma tomatoes, six to eight jalapeños, jasmine rice, baby spinach and a punnet or package of mushrooms. The spices needed for this dish include low sodium tomato or vegetable bullion that does not contain chicken or beef stock, a pinch of cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Top the soup with low fat tortilla chip strips and fresh avocado.

Place 16 cups of water into a large pot and place it on the stove to boil. Add two or three cubes of bullion, or 2 to 3 tablespoons, and the entire can of whole tomatoes once the water starts boiling. Allow the tomatoes to boil for 20 to 25 minutes.

While the tomatoes boil, slice the mushrooms and sauté them on a low setting using a small amount of olive oil and vegan butter in a separate pan while the tomatoes stew. Cut the stems off of the jalapeños and remove the seeds for less bite, or keep the seeds for those who like a spicier dish.

When the 20 to 25 minutes is up, only remove the tomatoes from the pot, leaving the water, and place them in a heat safe container or a blender. Using a hand mixer or a blender, blend the tomatoes and the fresh jalapeño together. Blend them into a smooth sauce with only small pieces of jalapeño remaining. Allow the mixture to stand while cooking the rice.

Lower the heat on the pot to medium or low and cook 2 cups of rice in the remaining water and bullion. Jasmine rice typically takes less than 10 minutes to cook all the way through. Just before the rice is done, add the sautéed mushrooms with any oil and butter remaining into the pot. Mix in the tomato and jalapeño sauce, the cumin, the salt and the pepper, and stir the combination together. Add the spinach last and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes before turning off the stove.

Allow the soup to cool before serving. Ladle the soup mixture into a bowl and top the soup with tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips and diced avocado. Some additions to consider include one Serrano chile for the sauce, cheese or vegan cheese. This vegan or vegetarian tortilla soup makes six to eight servings.

To refrigerate the soup, be sure to separate most of the broth from the soup and store them in different containers so the rice does not absorb the soup base. When reheating the soup, make each serving needed, and then add the soup base and a little water. The jalapeño tends to become more potent the longer the mixture sits, so adding a little water should not alter the taste of the soup. Do not heat the avocado because it becomes mushy and the heat alters the flavor. Do not heat the tortilla strips or chips either, as they easily become soggy.

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