While meal prepping, I decided to make vegan tortilla soup simultaneously; I made vegan enchiladas. Since I made vegan enchilada jackfruit "meat," I doubled to use half for my vegan tortilla soup recipe.
Not only did it work as planned, but I ended up with a large pan of enchiladas, as well as eight servings of vegan tortilla soup.
WHAT IS JACKFRUIT, AND WHY SHOULD I EAT IT?
Jackfruit, though commonly found in a can, is a high protein, high antioxidant fruit. Its bland flavor is the perfect texture and blank slate to absorb any marinade or spices. As a result, the jackfruit's neutral flavor allows me to transform it into spicy shredded meat.
Jackfruit has the texture of chicken! I didn't say it tastes like chicken because obviously, I don't like chicken. But, tortilla soup is generally full of chicken, so I plan to fill it with jakfruit and veggies.
Making vegan tortilla soup, however, is easy and will keep you full and satisfied. So if you meal prep, take vegan tortilla soup to work for the week!
TRANSFORMING JACKFRUIT INTO "CHICKEN MEAT"
Jackfruit, when drained and removed from a can, looks like triangles of chicken. However, if you taste it, as it comes from the can, it is tasteless. Jackfruit's bland flavor makes it the perfect sponge for absorbing flavors.
For me, the fun is transforming a can of jackfruit into incredible vegan tortilla soup that would fool any meat-eater. But, first, it is vital to buy the jackfruit in water or brine.
One of the biggest mistakes people make, however, is buying jackfruit in syrup. Unfortunately, I have made this mistake, and I ended up throwing my whole meal away. And I hate wasting food. So, avoid that pitfall and buy jackfruit in water or brine.
Then, you rinse the jackfruit, put it in your food processor, and pulse until shredded.
Although many recipes suggest using the jackfruit as is, I'm afraid I have to disagree. Instead, I like to cook it first. Like my Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip, cooking the jackfruit first gives it a different texture and flavor.
For the jackfruit to get the right flavor and texture, my goal is to absorb the onions, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and spices before it goes into the soup pot.
Sauteeing the onions, garlic, and jalapeno together first brings the flavors before adding the cilantro. However, the magic is sauteeing the cilantro with the initial vegetables with lime and then add the jackfruit.
INGREDIENTS IN VEGAN TORTILLA SOUP RECIPE
Once the jackfruit meat is cooked through, set it aside. You will also need:
- Fresh or Frozen Corn
- Red Bell Pepper
- No-Chicken Vegetable Broth
- Rotel Spicy Tomatoes
- Black Beans or Pinto Beans
- Nutritional Yeast
- Corn Tortilla
- Chili Powder
Personally, I prefer grilled corn on the cob when adding it to soup, but frozen corn works just as well.
First, I saute the red bell pepper with the grilled corn removed from the cobs.
Then, I add the cooked jackfruit meat and a can of drained and rinsed black beans.
Then, I add all the No-Chicken Broth, tomatoes, and nutritional yeast. Because the jackfruit is already pre-seasoned, you do not need any other seasonings or spices.
Typically, tortilla soup contains cheese, but my vegan version uses nutritional yeast for that thick and cheesy flavor.
Next, you bring it to a boil and then lower to simmer for 30 minutes to develop the flavors. In the meantime, it's time to make oil-free homemade tortilla strips.
Also Read: Vegan Options At Chipotle
MAKING QUICK AND EASY NO-OIL TORTILLA STRIPS
Even though tortilla chips are usually used in and on top of tortilla soup, my vegan tortilla soup called for homemade oil-free tortilla strips. While the soup is simmering, the oil-free tortilla strip can be made in the air-fryer.
To begin, I used white corn tortillas, and using a pizza cutter, I cut the tortilla into strips. Then, I added the cut tortillas into a bowl and tossed them in lime juice. Next, I sprinkled a combination of chili powder and cumin.
Once seasoned, I add to my air-fryer basket and cook at 370 degrees for 10 minutes, tossing once at the 5 minutes mark.
When I serve vegan tortilla soup, I like to add the tortilla strips on top with diced avocado.
When I packed this soup up for lunches throughout the week, I kept the air-fried tortilla chips on the side in baggies to add after heating. Of course, I did the same for the avocado, so it didn't turn brown.
If you are a meal prepper, soup is one of the easiest ways to prepare for a week of lunches in one pot.
DO YOU ENJOY SOUTHWESTERN VEGAN FOOD? WE HAVE YOU COVERED!
- Mexican Lasagna
- Mexican Street Corn Vegan!
- Green Plant-Based Potato and Kale Enchiladas
- Kale and Quinoa Southwestern Salad with Cumin Citrus Dressing
- Southwest Chickpea Quinoa Salad
- The Best Ultimate Vegan Lentil Black Bean Burrito Ever
- Skinny Inside Out Burrito
- Sweet Potato Tacos
- Mushroom Chorizo Tacos
- Tater Tot Nachos
Vegan Tortilla Soup
- 14 ounces jackfruit in water or brine
- 1 yellow onions diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno diced, seeds removed
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
Vegan Tortilla Soup Ingredients
- 1 Red bell pepper diced
- 2 ears fresh corn on the cob or 1 cup frozen corn
- 10 ounces Rotel Tomatoes
- 6 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth or vegetable broth
- 15 ounces black beans drained and rinsed (or pinto beans)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
Oil-free, Air-Fried Corn Tortilla Strips
- 4 white corn tortillas or any corn tortillas of choice
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 lime juiced
- Air-Fried Tortilla Strips
- 1 Avocado diced
- Rinse and drain a can of jackfruit.
- Place all contents in a food processor with a large blade.
- Pulse until jackfruit is shredded.
- In a medium-sized skillet, saute garlic, onions, and jalapeno and cook on medium-low until onions are translucent.
- Add a small amount of vegetable broth to avoid sticking.
- Then, add chopped cilantro and cook a few more minutes.
- Next, add the shredded jackfruit to the skillet with the onion, garlic, cilantro mixture.
- Cook jackfruit until brown and dried out.
- Add the chili powder, paprika, and cumin.
- Stir together and add a little more vegetable broth.
- Cook until added fluids have dissipated.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large soup pot, saute diced red bell pepper and corn.
- Add a little vegetable broth to avoid sticking.
- Add No-chicken broth, Rotel tomatoes, black beans, nutritional yeast, and jackfruit meat mixture.
- Bring to a boil
- Reduce to simmer, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
OIL-FREE, AIR-FRIED TORTILLA STRIPS
- Using a knife or a pizza cutter, slice tortillas into strips.
- Then, toss in the juice of 1 lime, and season with chili powder and cumin.
- Transfer tortilla strips to an air-fryer pan.
- Set Air-fryer to 370 degrees.
- Cook for 10 minutes; tossing at 5 minutes.
- Remove from the air-fryer pan.
- Let cool.
- Ladle soup into bowls
- Add a few tortilla strips to each bowl.
- Add chopped avocado
- Serve with hot sauce of choice.
- Substitute your favorite tortilla chips
- Use pre-packaged southwestern flavored jackfruit
- Exchange pinto beans for black beans
- Exchange regular roasted tomatoes for Rotel tomatoes if you don't like spicy
- Add more nutritional yeast for a more cheesy flavor
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂