This cheesy, fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup is my favorite vegetarian version of the classic! This soup is thickened by corn tortillas, made rich by melty cheesy and filled with tender black beans. The toppings are the best part!

My inner fall-freak is super excited that we officially hit the new season in just a few days. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

What better way to celebrate than with SOUP?

Extra cheesy, fire roasty black bean tortilla soup to be exact. A long title but you don’t NEED to say all those words. I just threw them there so you could fully anticipate the deliciousness of what is to come in this bowl. 

tortilla soup base with chopped tortillas

Because, here’s the thing. 

I LOVE this tortilla soup recipe. The soup is actually thickened by corn tortillas, which give it a creamy, silky, rich texture without any cream, roux or slurry. It’s awesome! Of course, I stir in cheese for that classic tortilla soup flavor, and that adds to the richness. But the creamy texture of this soup cannot be beat.

tortilla soup base with cheese

I’ve done many versions of this soup, especially using chicken. I often make it after Thanksgiving too with leftover turkey. I have been dying to try a vegetarian version, so today I’m showing you how I make it with black beans.

Yes, just black beans in our tortilla soup and I can’t even explain how wonderful and satisfying this is. It’s perfect for taco night or a great soup to make for work lunches. 

tortilla soup with black beans

The base of this soup is amazing. The way it glides off your spoon makes it feel like a cream-based, heavy soup. And while there is cheese stirred into it, it is not thick and heavy whatsoever. It’s smooth and rich but feels like at the same time. It’s perfect!

The beans given it even more satiety and make this the perfect bowl when you need comfort food or one of those “good” meals. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

It’s very filling and of course, my favorite part – it can handle allllll the toppings! You can add whatever you want on top, obviously.

We always crush tortilla chips on our tortilla soup and for this version, I like to use a thicker corn chip. We love the Trader Joe’s elote corn chips – they are similar to a slightly spicy frito. They are very thick and crunchy, which adds incredible texture to the soup. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

I also like a lot of fresh garnishes: think sliced green onion, chives, fresh cilantro and some spritzes of fresh lime juice. This adds SO much flavor to the bowl that I can’t go without it.

And finally, a little sprinkle of cheese on top! Yes, we have melty cheese IN the soup, but a sprinkle of crumbly cotija or queso fresco really takes this over the top. 

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

This is going to be in heavy rotation as it gets chillier here and I could not be more excited. Another great one to add to the lineup!

fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

Cheesy Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Cheesy Black Bean Tortilla Soup

This cheesy black bean tortilla soup is my favorite vegetarian version of the classic! This soup is thickened by corn tortillas, made rich by melty cheesy and filled with tender black beans. The toppings are the best part!
5 from 10 votes
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 14 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable (or chicken!) stock
  • 4 (4-inch) corn tortillas, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • crushed tortilla chips, for topping
  • for topping: fresh cilantro, cotija cheese, scallions, chives, avocado, radish

Instructions 

  • Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in the diced tomatoes and stock and add the tortilla pieces. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. You could also use an immersion blender if you wish, but I like a regular blender to get it silky smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and heat it over low heat. Stir in the cheese, one handful at a time, until melted. Stir in all but ½ cup of the black beans - I like to leave this extra ½ cup to garnish the top of each bowl. Cook on low until the soup is heated through. Taste and season additionally if needed.
  • Serve in bowls and top with the remaining black beans, scallions, chives, tortilla chips, cilantro, cotija cheese and more.
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fire-roasted black bean tortilla soup

I’d like to float on that frito raft.