Chickpea Tortilla soup

This flavorful mexican soup is probably one of the best soups I have had at a restaurant. It was so delicious that I tried to duplicate it. I’m not sure why it’s called, ‘tortilla soup’ when the crispy fried tortilla strips are served as garnishes along with avocado, sour cream and cheese. But in a way it is a good thing because I would not like tortilla strips to get soggy in the soup.



There are many ways to make tortilla soup and it can be easily adapted to any palate. Traditionally, it is made with chicken, tomatoes, onion, pasilla chile, garlic, queso fresco and the mexican herb epazote. I love all these ingredients but pasilla chiles and epazote are hard to find. I changed a few ingredients around and made a hearty tortilla soup with chickpeas and chard. There is a nice depth of flavor in this soup, which comes from the fire roasted tomatoes and smoky chipotle. Chickpeas add body and protein to this smoky flavored soup and keep you satisfied. When topped with the richness of avocado, freshness of lime juice, saltiness of cheese and crunch of tortillas…its just too good!

Hope you enjoy this delicious and incrediblyย  simple recipe as much as I do!




Chickpea Tortilla Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-5

An easy and flavorful chickpeas soup, topped off with shredded cheese, avocado and crispy baked tortilla chips.


    Chickpea Soup
  • 1 can (398 ml) fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (398ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 bunch chard, chopped, stalks discarded (you will have about heaped 3 cups)
  • 1.5 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • Garnishes
  • 4 corn tortilla, cut into strips
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 3/4 cup shredded mixed cheese (cheddar, colby, montrey jack)
  • 1 lime, quartered


  1. Preheat oven to 375 ยฐf. Lightly coat an oven tray lined with aluminum foil with oil. Place half of strips on the tray and bake until golden and crisp, about 5-10 minutes. Repeat process for other half of strips.
  2. Heat oil in a pot, saute onions for 2-3 minutes on medium. Add garlic and saute for 30 sec.
  3. Scoop the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon and transfer to the food processor or blender with tomatoes and chipotle pepper. Process until smooth.
  4. Return the pot to medium heat. Add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add broth and water. Bring it to a boil on high, cover loosely, reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes to a desired consistency.
  6. Add chickpeas, salt, cumin powder and chard. Boil on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls, squeeze lime and top with shredded cheese, avocado and tortilla strips.

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  • comment-avatar
    Coffee and Crumpets December 19, 2013 (7:07 am)

    There used to be a restaurant in Houston where I ate this tortilla soup for the first time and loved it from then on. I do love the crunch of tortillas on the side and it goes so well with the soup itself. I’ve never made it at home but I do love your twist to it! Are the pastille chiles the same as pasilla chiles? Just wondering, I can get pasilla quite easily but don’t know about pastille.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder December 19, 2013 (7:35 am)

      Good pick up Nazneen!It is actually pasilla, just corrected it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • comment-avatar
    Monica December 19, 2013 (8:33 pm)

    Mexican food is one cuisine I don’t know a lot about and I didn’t realize tortilla soup doesn’t have tortillas actually in it. I do know that this soup looks wonderful – I could eat a flavorful soup like this every night these days.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder December 21, 2013 (8:53 am)

      Mexican food is wonderful! I can eat for the rest of my life and be in complete bliss.

  • comment-avatar
    Nava Krishnan December 20, 2013 (2:43 am)

    I am so tempted and tempted Bal. Its so fabulous and will be perfect for our rainy weather. I seldom make anything Mexican and its time to start. Tortillas has to be on standby, unless I can find them from the bakery. I bet my other half will love it even with toasted bread slices. I (don’t know if weird it may sound) need a little helping of rice.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder December 21, 2013 (8:54 am)

      No, not bread, but you can use flour tortilla.

  • comment-avatar
    Robyn @ simply fresh dinners December 20, 2013 (9:50 am)

    Hi Balvinder,
    This dish looks fabulous and so healthy too. I am leaning towards making more and more dishes gluten free. Even if people don’t have issues with gluten, they seem to be looking to remove it from their diet. Makes sense!
    I am from beautiful BC as well. Can’t beat it, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder December 21, 2013 (9:05 am)

      Isn’t it Robyn! It is quick and easy with amazing flavors.
      Eating a few gluten free dishes doesn’t harm. My family and friends are not gluten free, but they enjoy quinoa or millet over pasta and love gluten free baked goods as much as I do. Good to meet a British Colombian. I live in Richmond.

  • comment-avatar
    techie2mom December 20, 2013 (11:04 am)

    Very inviting soup, especially now that the mercury has dropped by a few degrees…Would love to slurp it..But I won’t get half of the ingredients here ๐Ÿ™

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder December 21, 2013 (9:18 am)

      I can understand which one you are pointing to. Chard can be substituted with spinach or any leafy green and for that smoky chipotle flavor you can use smoked paprika with jalapeno or whichever chilies you get.

      • comment-avatar
        techie2mom December 24, 2013 (3:58 am)

        Hey thanks Bal, will try it out then ๐Ÿ™‚

  • comment-avatar
    yummychunklet December 20, 2013 (11:04 am)

    How yummy and healthy!

  • comment-avatar
    sangeeta khanna December 20, 2013 (9:46 pm)

    This would be such yum flavours as I love all the elements in this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  • comment-avatar
    Bam's Kitchen December 20, 2013 (11:31 pm)

    Great spin off on a hearty vegetarian version of this dish. I also like to just dip my tortillas in as I do not like them soggy. I also like your garnish of advocate as it adds a little creamy freshness to the dish. Take care, BAM

    • comment-avatar
      Bam's Kitchen December 20, 2013 (11:32 pm)

      Oh dear auto spell is at it again. Avocado not advocate. LOL

  • comment-avatar
    Shirley Tay (Blackswan) December 21, 2013 (10:13 pm)

    I spotted my fave avocado! Ok, count me in for this meal, my friend ^_^

  • comment-avatar
    easyfoodsmith December 22, 2013 (5:16 am)

    That soup is my heaven on plate – cheese, avocado, chick peas. I don’t ,mind sour cream just like the restaurant you mentioned about.

  • comment-avatar
    ela@GrayApron December 23, 2013 (11:57 pm)

    Yummy! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚ ela

  • comment-avatar
    anne December 24, 2013 (5:57 am)

    Bal , your tortilla soup is what I really need right now – a bit cold in this side of the world ๐Ÿ˜€ Eventhough I don’t like avocado , it certainly looks pretty delicious on top of that soup !

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 10, 2014 (6:24 am)

      Anne, avocado is just one of the garnishes, you can do without i ๐Ÿ˜›

  • comment-avatar
    afracooking December 26, 2013 (5:55 am)

    Sneaking some time during these busy holidays to relax whilst browsing some recipes. Loving the look of this one! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas to you, your family and all your loved ones!

  • comment-avatar
    Ansh December 27, 2013 (3:35 pm)

    I have been adding all kinds of chopped greens in my soups lately. I Love the addition of chard in this soup. Very Nutritious!

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Balvinder.

  • comment-avatar
    Chai a Cup of Life December 28, 2013 (1:13 am)

    Your soup looks lovely, exactly what we are needing nowadays in this cold. In fact, I just ate Chickpeas..maybe I should use the rest in a soup!

  • comment-avatar
    Asmita January 10, 2014 (5:58 am)

    The soup looks amazing! Perfect for this kind of weather too!