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Quinoa Tortilla Soup

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This Quinoa Tortilla Soup recipe is made with the most amazing zesty chile broth, it’s naturally vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, and totally hearty and delicious.  Pile yours high with your favorite toppings!


  • 24 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded*
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans beans of your choice, rinsed and drained (I used one can pinto, one can black beans)
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • toppings: lots of tortilla strips (or crumbled up tortilla chips), diced fresh avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, diced red onion, fresh lime wedges


  1. To Prepare The Chiles: If you have a gas range, briefly toast the chiles by holding them a few inches above the open flame, rotating to toast on all sides, until fragrant.  If you have an electric range, heat your stockpot over medium-high heat and toast the chiles in the dry pot for a minute or so, pressing them down with a wooden spoon or spatula, and rotating to toast on all sides, until fragrant.  Transfer the chiles* to a blender or food processor along with 1 can of the tomatoes and 1 cup of vegetable stock.  Puree for 1 minute or until completely smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in the large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Add in the garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.  Add in the remaining can of tomatoes, vegetable stock, beans, corn, quinoa, cumin, and the pureed chile mixture.  Stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking the soup until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer until the quinoa is completely cooked, stirring occasionally.
  4. Taste and season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, as needed.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with lots of your favorite toppings.  Or store in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


*A few notes about the pasilla chiles:

  • They are considered to have a “medium” heat level.  So if you’re not a fan of spicy food, I would recommend starting with 1 or 2 chiles.  Then taste your soup once it’s ready to go.  And if you would like to add more chiles, you can always puree 1 or 2 more with a cup or two of your broth at the end of the cooking time.
  • If your grocery store does not carry dried pasilla chiles, you can order them online.  Or you can substitute ancho chiles, which will be slightly sweeter.  Or guajillo chiles, which will be a bit spicier.