Introduction: Tortilla Soup Two Ways (Vegetarian or Chicken)

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate c…

My mom makes great chicken tortilla soup, and that's what I wanted this evening. But I was sharing dinner with a vegetarian roommate- so there was going to have to be some creative substitution.

I've found that a great vegetarian substitute for chicken is chickpeas and olive oil (works great in Qorma, too). So I mixed things up a little and made a delicious vegetarian imitation of my mom's recipe. (It would be pretty easy to make a vegan version from this, as well.)

I've included both options- mine and my mom's- in the ingredients list, but I don't think I have a preference on taste, to be honest. Just use whichever you have!

46 oz. vegetable broth (original: chicken broth)
15 oz. tomato sauce
4 large tomatoes, diced (a 15 oz. can works too)
1/2 c diced onions
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
15 oz. can of chickpeas- pour in the juice, too (original: 3c shredded cooked chicken)
spicy green pepper to taste- I used half a serrano pepper for a mild taste (my mom uses half a small tin of diced green chiles)
hot chili powder, also to taste
2 t cumin
2 T minced cilantro
olive oil to taste

Put it all in a pot and simmer for a while so all the flavors meld. (If you want to get fancy, put the onions and oil in first and cook until they're translucent.)

Top with:
Tortilla chips (stale ones are fine, but I made the ones pictured here specially)
Grated cheddar
Sour cream/yogurt/lebni (kefir cheese- that would be my pick of the three)
More cilantro is always nice.

A nice hearty soup!
This recipe is family-sized.

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