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ladle of vegetarian tortilla soup
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5 from 6 votes

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup

Delicious and creamy, this Vegetarian Tortilla Soup is packed with bold flavors, made easily with common and easy to find ingredients, economical, and can be made in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stovetop!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: vegetarian soup
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 582kcal

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano Mexican oregano is amazing, but regular will also work
  • 15 oz can black beans undrained
  • 15 oz can pinto beans undrained
  • 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn regular frozen corn will also work
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes undrained
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles undrained
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened or cut into cubes
  • 4 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth

Toppings (all optional)

  • tortilla strips or tortilla chips
  • diced avocado or avocado slices
  • sour cream
  • lime wedges
  • pico de gallo
  • sliced fresh or pickled jalapeños
  • minced white or red onion
  • minced fresh cilantro

Instructions

Prepare

  • Dice and mince all fresh produce, open cans, measure corn, and measure spices. Get out slow cooker and large skillet.

Sauté vegetables

  • Heat a large skillet over MED heat. Once hot, add oil.
  • Add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Add garlic and cook about another minute, stirring often, until fragrant.
  • Stir in cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook another 30 seconds or so, stirring well to get everything combined.

Slow cook

  • Transfer the vegetable mixture to the insert of a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Add black beans, pinto beans, frozen corn, lentils, diced tomatoes, diced green chiles, cream cheese, and vegetable broth.
  • Stir well to combine, then cover, and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours, or until lentils are tender, but not overly mushy.

Serve

  • Stir the soup to fully incorporate the cream cheese into the soup mixture.
  • Serve hot, topped with desired toppings.

Notes

  1. Recipe makes 6 servings, of approximately 1-1.5 cups per serving.
  2. Other lentil varieties may be used, but cooking times may be altered.
  3. If you want to ensure a smooth blend of the cream cheese, don't add it to the slow cooker before cooking. Once the soup has cooked, try adding the softened cream cheese to a small mixing bowl, then adding a few ladles of the soup liquid from the slow cooker. Whisk until smooth, then stir that mixture into the slow cooker and continue cooking another 10-15 minutes, until it's fully warmed through.

Instant Pot Directions:

Don't add the cream cheese to the Instant Pot before cooking.
  1. Select "saute" and "low" (if you have the option for low or high). Once hot, add oil, then add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until softened.
  2. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring often.
  3. Add spices and stir well.
  4. Select "cancel". Pour in black beans, pinto beans, frozen corn, lentils, diced tomatoes, diced green chiles, and vegetable broth.
  5. Stir, then secure lid and make sure the valve is set to "sealing".
  6. Select "pressure cook" or "manual" and press the +/- buttons until the time reads 10 minutes.
  7. Once the cooking time has elapsed, don't do anything and let the pressure cooker sit for 10 minutes. This is performing a natural pressure release.
  8. Once the 10 minutes has elapsed, move the valve to "venting" and release any remaining pressure. Remove lid.
  9. Add softened cream cheese to a small mixing bowl and add a ladle or two of the liquid from the soup. Whisk together until smooth.
  10. Stir this into the soup in the pressure cooker.
  11. Serve hot, with desired toppings.

Stovetop Directions:

Don't add the cream cheese to the pot before cooking.
  1. Heat a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over MED heat. Once hot, add oil.
  2. Add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  3. Add garlic and cook about another minute, stirring often, until fragrant.
  4. Stir in cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook another 30 seconds or so, stirring well to get everything combined.
  5. Add black beans, pinto beans, frozen corn, lentils, diced tomatoes, diced green chiles, and vegetable broth.
  6. Stir well, then increase heat to MED HIGH and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to MED LOW or LOW and simmer (covered) for 30-45 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  7. Add softened cream cheese to a small mixing bowl and add a ladle or two of the liquid from the soup. Whisk together until smooth.
  8. Stir mixture into the soup and simmer another minute or two until heated through.
  9. Serve hot, with desired toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 743mg | Potassium: 1213mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2537IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 8mg