This vegan tortilla soup features the best of Fall in the Southwest – Hatch chiles and fresh, sun-ripened tomatoes.
Hatch chiles are varieties of green chiles (usually Big Jims) grown in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. I fell in love with them when I lived in New Mexico during my Middle School years.
When we moved back to Texas, I really missed the foods of New Mexico, especially those fiery Hatch chiles. In later years, I did finally find them in my local H.E.B. grocery store, in the freezer section. Now that I live in Colorado, I can find fresh mild or hot Hatch chiles at most grocery stores starting in September.
If you can’t find fresh Hatch chiles where you live, check around to see if you can find them frozen in pouches or tubs. If you can’t find frozen, you can usually find canned Hatch chiles at most grocery stores and you can buy fresh, jarred, and canned chiles online.
I used my new Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven to roast these chiles. But you can easily use the broiler in a regular oven. To make them easy to peel, the secret is to get them as evenly charred as possible, rotating as they roast. If you don’t blacken them well enough, the skins will not loosen and they’ll be difficult to peel.
A word of warning: Freshly roasted “hot” Hatch chiles can be VERY spicy! Taste the chiles before you add them to your soup, and adjust the amount you are using to get the desired level of heat. I once dumped an entire cup of hot freshly roasted chiles into a stew. It was so hot I had to double the recipe to get the heat down to a consumable level. I used mild chiles in this recipe, as I wanted a lot of Hatch chile flavor, without having to take breaks while eating it :).
Traditional New Mexican green chile soup or stew would never include cumin or tomatoes. But I love cumin, and faced with plants loaded down with heavy, sun-ripened tomatoes, I had to do something with them! Turns out that roasted tomatoes, blended well, lend body and fresh flavor to this otherwise thin and brothy vegan tortilla soup.
Instead of shredded chicken or pork, this plant-based version uses a mix of Butler Foods Soy Curls and beans. If you don’t have Soy Curls, you can buy them online, or you can just substitute more beans and it will taste just as good.
I love topping my soup with creamy and cooling diced avocado, crispy oil-free baked tortilla strips, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
Ready to dig in?
Vegan Hatch Chile Tortilla Soup with Fresh Tomatoes
4-6 fresh mild Hatch chiles (or 2 4-oz. cans chopped Hatch or green chiles)
4 corn tortillas
4 large fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Soy Curls (or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 small avocados
Roast the fresh chiles until they are blackened, either over an open flame, under a broiler or in an air fryer. Place the roasted chiles in a paper bag, folded over, or in a bowl covered with a lid for 10 minutes. Using a paring knife, pull away the blackened layer and discard along with the seeds. Chop the chilies and set aside.
Optional: Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side down on a tray. Broil or air fry until the skins are starting to blacken. Set aside.
Cut the corn tortillas into strips and toast in a warm oven until golden and crispy. Set aside.
In a dutch oven, water saute the onion for 5 minutes until tender. Add the minced garlic and cumin and saute for 30 seconds.
Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender, or carefully transfer to a blender. NOTE: Blending hot liquids suddenly on high can cause it to explode. Let the liquid cool off for a few minutes. Crack the lid when you blend and start with slowest speed.
Return the blended soup to the pot. Add the soy curls if using, the beans and the green chiles. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Ladle into soup bowls and top with chopped cilantro, diced avocado and tortilla strips.
More Green Chile Recipes:
Do you love Hatch chiles? Share your favorite recipes in the comments below.
Inspired by Chicken Tortilla Soup with Hatch Chiles at TheWickedNoodle.com