Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

This pumpkin tortilla soup is a hearty vegetarian spin on a classic. Perfect for fall, this soup is also vegan and gluten-free.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

We’re halfway through October and I suppose I’m behind on pumpkin season :).

I haven’t made pumpkin bread, I haven’t made pumpkin cookies, in fact, I haven’t even opened a can of pumpkin yet which is blasphemy in the blogosphere.

This year, I wanted to think a little outside-the-box for my pumpkin recipes, so I’m going to start with the actual vegetable rather than canned pumpkin (so I guess I’m thinking outside-the-can?). When I was brainstorming ideas of what to make with fresh pumpkin, the winner was one of my favorites – tortilla soup. While it’s traditionally made with chicken, I thought cubes of pumpkin would make a delicious, hearty, comforting soup for fall. Lucky for all of us, I was right.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

I got this giant pumpkin from the farmers market last weekend – it’s called a Long Island Cheese pumpkin, because its shape resembles a wheel of cheese. It’s similar in flavor to a sugar pie pumpkin, and let me tell you, it was a beast to cut open. Uhh.. it was a beast that I made Jack cut open. If you can’t find a good fresh pumpkin (or you want something easier to cut), feel free to use butternut squash in this recipe.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

The base of the soup is made with roasted tomatoes, onions, and garlic. These are blended with a dried (and soaked) chipotle pepper, which adds depth and smokiness (see notes below if you can’t find a dried chile), and a corn tortilla, for thickness. It all gets simmered with vegetable broth, pumpkin cubes, and black beans.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

Of course, tortilla soup is all about the tortillas… slice the remaining tortillas into strips and bake until crispy. Load up your bowls with the rest of the toppings – crispy radishes, avocado and lime juice. Then dig in!

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

4.8 from 4 reviews

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

Serves: serves 4
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 dried pasilla, guajillo, or chipotle chile, stemmed and seeded*
  • 5 corn tortillas, divided
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 heaping cups cubed pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1½ cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Lime slices, for serving
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sliced avocado
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the whole tomatoes, onions, and garlic on one baking sheet and roast until the skins of the tomatoes and the edges of the onions are charred, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, soak the dried chile in hot water until soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, onion, peeled garlic, 1 torn tortilla, the softened dried chile, salt, and 1 cup of the vegetable broth. Blend until smooth but not entirely pureed.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cumin and oregano and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the blended tomato mixture, 1½ cups additional broth, the cubed pumpkin and the black beans. Simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 25 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, reduce the oven heat to 300. Slice the remaining 4 tortillas into thin strips and spread on the second baking sheet. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake until crispy, about 8 to 14 minutes.
  7. Season the soup to taste with more salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more broth. If it’s too thin, simmer a while longer until it thickens up. If you prefer the soup more tangy, add a few squeezes of lime.
  8. Serve the soup with the crispy tortilla strips, avocado, radishes, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime slices. If desired, add a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt to the avocado slices.
*1 to 2 chipotles from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce can be substituted for the dried chile. If you like your soup spicier, add 2 dried chiles instead of 1. Note that all chiles can vary considerably in heat levels.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Amanda

    This was absolutely delish!! So flavorful!

  2. Britt Feitz

    I think what I like about this recipe is the roasted tomatoes blended with the chipotles (I used her substitution). The base of the soup is just better than most add-a-can-of-this soups. How long have I been going without trying to use chipotles!? I used yam instead of pumpkin (because my grocery store was out!). I liked it more than I thought I would, since I’m not exactly “into” the whole vegan thing. Next time, I might add hominy instead of blending in a tortilla, and I highly recommend frying the tortilla strips instead of baking!

  3. Such a comforting bowl of soup. Glad I stopped by your blog today. Cheers.

  4. Emily Krueger

    Wonderful soup! Made this tonight with butternut squash and used one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Thank you!! We will add this to our favorite dinner recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Emily, I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Your start to pumpkin season looks good to me!! 😄

  6. Erin

    Delicious! My spoon is ready.

  7. Missy from behindtheplates.com

    Love this fresh take on a seasonal ingredient! It sounds like such a good chilly night meal, I can’t wait to try! I’ve been using up pumpkin like crazy (see http://www.behindtheplates.com for some recipes) but, I’m really loving this idea!!

  8. Josh Bardi

    I need to add more soups to my diet. Thank you for posting this. I will bookmark it for later.

  9. Lexi from lexiscleankitchen.com

    This looks SO comforting and fabulous!!!

  10. Laurina

    I made your recipe tonight, a keeper. It was very tasty. A new soup to add to my winter comfort food rotation. I didn’t have the dried chilies so used the suggested chipotle in adobo sauce. Yum…thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Laurina, I’m so glad the recipe was a hit!

  11. gerry speirs

    Yum, those roasted veggies are everything!!

  12. Heather S Christo

    This is so genius! I love the flavors!

  13. Yes! I always disliked pumpkin (and the whole pumpkin mania that starts in August) until last year when I started using fresh pumpkin and making my own puree. Now I can get down with it (but still only after October 1 – no earlier – Lol). This soup looks amazing and so cozy for Fall!

  14. Sarah | Well and Full

    Breaking up a pumpkin is no joke. You have to cut it up, take out all the goo and seeds, then remove the skin and cut it into chunks… all of which is super difficult with pumpkin goo everywhere! I made pumpkin tacos today so the experience is fresh in my mind haha. But it looks like the end result here was worth it 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ha, yes, it was worth it in the end 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.