Raw Tortilla Soup

by Gena on September 14, 2009


Happy Monday, guys!

Thanks for the lovely feedback to Cory’s highly informative guest post!

When people transition to a raw diet, they tend to anticipate missing things. For this reason, most new raw foodists spend a whole lot of time trying to re-create their favorite “cooked” recipes in raw form: raw lasagna, raw noodles, raw “rice,” etc. At this point, I’m accustomed enough to the raw lifestyle that I’m more interested in simple preparation than in trying to replicate a cooked diet. But as I was transitioning, I, too, spent a great deal of time mimicking warm dishes, and I still get a great kick out of helping clients to find raw recipes that feel reminiscent of conventional cuisine.

But believe it or not, going also gave me an appreciation of certain foods I’d never liked in cooked form. I’ve always loved avocados, of course, but I’d never been much of a guacamole lover till I discovered the raw diet (and realized that you can omit the red onion from guac!). I hated cilantro until I discovered avocado and cilantro soup. Even cooked spinach used to give me the heebie jeebies; raw spinach, though, tastes refreshing and delicious. In other words, there are certain dishes and foods I’d rather eat raw, plain and simple.

For instance: raw tortilla soup.

I’ve never been one for regular ‘ole tortilla soup. There are many reasons for this: one is that the soup is often made with chicken or chicken stock. Another is that it’s typically heavy on spices and seasonings, and I have a minimalist’s palate. It usually carries notes of garlic and onion, which you all know I can’t abide by. And finally, it usually feels over salty to me. Last week, though, a client of mine mentioned having been very impressed by a raw tortilla soup. And since I’ve still got some of the incredible raw blue corn chips that Pure Market Express was kind enough to send me, I got to thinking: could I improve upon the original in raw form?

I hate to pat my own back, but mission accomplished! I’m in love with this soup, and I’ve been eating it for days. It’s spicy without feeling heavy or overwhelming; light enough for a hot summer day, but satisfying enough for evenings. And it really does recall the original in its use of characteristic Mexican spices and flavorings.


Raw Tortilla Soup (serves two people with appetites)


2 tomatoes, chopped
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, packed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, packed
2 large stalks celery, chopped
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic (optional!! raw garlic is powerful, folks)
Dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Optional toppings: tomato, avocado, onion, corn chips


Blend all ingredients in a minus the olive oil in a blender (a high speed blender will work best, but any will do). When the ingredients are well combined, drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running until the whole mixture is creamy and emulsified. Pour into bowls and top with the chopped veggies and the corn chips! Serve alongside more chips, some pita strips, an Ezekiel sprouted wrap that you’ve warmed in the oven, or simply some chopped veggies for a delicious lunch!


If you don’t have raw corn chips — and, let’s face it, why they hell would you — go ahead and use the Guiltless Gourmet brand of corn chips, which are made with integrity.

I hope you all enjoy this Mexican inspired treat soon!


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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Chocolate Covered Katie September 14, 2009 at 6:58 am

Gena, you are the soup queen! Yes, that’s actually a good thing, even though it sounds a little weird ;)

And soup is perfect right now because it’s so rainy!



VeggieGirl September 14, 2009 at 7:01 am

Same here – there are so many ingredients that I have a newfound appreciation for (especially since I had to cut so many other ones out with my food allergies – blah), now that I eat high-raw.

While I’m still not too keen on soup, your “new & improved Pure Market Express” tortilla soup makes me want to reconsider that feeling – holy yum :)


Lauren September 14, 2009 at 7:11 am

You’ve out done yourself this time! :) I loooove Mexican food, this looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! Mmm!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 14, 2009 at 7:36 am

I also cannot hang with onions or garlic at all (I made that thai peanut sauce this week sans either of them which is a feat b/c usually asian cooking or mexican like you’re doing with the soup is heavy on both!). Short ingredient lists, no gluten, soy or dairy…vegan and healthy and puts me in the mood for fall…you’ve succeeded Gena!

I agree w/ VeggieGirl, I am not hugely into soups since going high raw, but I think I can get there with recipes like these :)


Whitney @ Lettuce Love September 14, 2009 at 7:59 am

That soup looks delish! I am definitely going to try that at some point this week. Raw soups sort of scare me so I try to make them a little thicker and eat with veggies like a dip. I agree with VeggieGirl and Averie about keeping my meals simple –with the least number of ingredients as possible. I love when I can really taste the freshness of a raw meal.

Happy Monday!


Diana (Soap & Chocolate) September 14, 2009 at 8:35 am

MMM, sounds fabbulus, dahlink. Like Mexican gazpacho! I’ll make this one, it’s just a matter of time. Coincidentally, I did raw soup last night for the first time and it was lovely! Nothin much to it, but it made me curious to try some more substantial recipes like this one, what for a whole meal and such. I should probably forego the chips, though–like you said, it’s tempting to want to make raw dishes that recall their cooked counterparts, but since I rarely crave conventional tortilla chips in the first place, it would probably make more sense to pass on the raw version too, no? If it ain’t broke…


Kaytee September 14, 2009 at 8:37 am

This looks/sounds delicious. I love tortilla soup, but the complexity of flavors usually kicks my sensitive allergies into overdrive. This seems like a great alternative.


Marcia September 14, 2009 at 8:48 am

oh my goodness this looks SOO terrifically yummy…I will definitely be using my blendtec to try this soon. Especially since I’ve got garden tomatoes coming out of my ears.

But no onion or garlic?? sigh…


Teresa September 14, 2009 at 9:25 am

What timing! I just made my first raw soup last night for dinner, with a recipe from none other than ChoosingRaw! I made your simple zucchini soup plus ginger and it was delicious! I also mixed in some finely chopped cauliflower/nooch with the second half of my bowl. I was seriously impressed. I made two bowls and my meat eating mom and dad split the other bowl along with their dinner. Although they were unwilling to even try eating it cold because that would just be “too weird,” so they did gently heat it up on the stove. I was happy though, because they probably wouldn’t have even tried something so green not too long ago.

After last night I told myself I need to try at least one new raw soup each week. So you can bet that I will be making this tortilla soup next. I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe!


brandi September 14, 2009 at 9:26 am

this soup sounds awesome! Thanks for posting the recipe!


Tyler September 14, 2009 at 11:46 am

yum! this sounds so fresh and easy to make! i will have to try this while summer tomatoes are still delicious :)


karmalily September 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

That doesn’t even look raw! Thanks for another interesting recipe!


MarathonVal September 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Looks great as always, Gena! I know a while ago you mentioned that you don’t use your dehydrator – I was wondering if you had gotten a chance to use it at all? I can only imagine what delicious treats you could make once you break it out! :)


Gena September 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Hey Val!

Well I made one step forward: I brought it home. Now all I have to do is open the box!

And when I do, I promise stabs at greatness.



mikey September 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm

i love tortilla soup, so this would def. be interesting to try. thanks for sharing!


GirlonRaw September 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for sharing this creation Gena. The colours alone make me want to go out and make it immediately. :)


Talia September 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

This soup looks incredible! Since I’ve been in Edinburgh I haven’t been able to make any of your delicious sounding (and looking) sauces or soups because I don’t have a blender. Since I’m a poor student saving my money for travelling :), would you suggest getting a food processor, magic bullet, or hand blender?

Also, I just wrote a new post and would really appreciate your advice on the topic. If you have a chance to read it I would be so thankful.

Keep inspiring!


Katharina September 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm

OOOO this is PERFECT because I bought some blue corn chips the other day, and I don’t just want to eat them with salsa ;)

I love how in all of your recipes you seem to take advantage of the beautiful array of colors nature has to offer.

Take care! XO


Shannon September 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm

how fabulous! another winner, gena :) and your comment about the raw chips made me laugh ;)


Gliding Calm September 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

That soup looks fantastic!!! Woweee, another amazing recipe, Gena! Guiltless Gourmet chips are so good! (Thanks for reminding me!!)


Veggie Booty September 14, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I’ve never actually had regular Tortilla Soup, but this sounded too good not to try. When I found myself without a lunch date AND all the necessary ingredients, I decided to whip it up. Result: Scrumptious. Thank you, as always, Gena, for inventing some of the best recipes, both for raw and non-raw foodies!


Gena September 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Thank you so, so much! I am honored that you’ve been sampling my recipes.


Veggie Booty September 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm

You are *very* welcome. Thank YOU for inventing the recipes!


BroccoliHut September 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Delicious! I second the notion that raw garlic is stanky–I have made far too many batches of hummus with the subsequent garlic breath to make that mistake again.
PS I have the same bowls in red:)


Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) September 14, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I have been scouring my market for good vegan soups, and dang they are hard to find! I’m definitely trying this one…thanks Gena!!!


Gena September 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Hola Mamacita:

Amy’s organics and Pacific are my fave brands!



Eleanor September 15, 2009 at 2:47 am

I ate this for dinner last night and it was wonderful! This is the only raw soup I’ve tried that I’ve been really sold on. I added more chili and topped my soup with lots of avocado and diced cucumber; it made a really satisfying dinner. Thanks so much, Gena.


Gena September 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm

So happy you liked, Eleanor!


Shelby September 15, 2009 at 2:56 am

I actually think the spicier the better! I add hot sauce and red pepper flakes to almost everything! I especially crave it when I have an upset stomach…weird huh?

I never really eat soup but I always loved this certain brand of vegan tortilla chip soup. I’m so happy you made a raw version! Hopefully I can pick up some raw crackers soon and make this right away!


Tracy September 15, 2009 at 4:05 am

This sounds wonderful! I was wondering if you could answer a question for me, Gena. From a health perspective what is better – organic dairy cream cheese or the vegan tofutti cream cheese substitute? I’d love to know your thoughts.


Gena September 15, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Great, great question, Tracy — perhaps a Question of the Week soon!

I’d call these neck and neck, with the soy cream cheese one step ahead. I am a big believer that bovine dairy is a gastrointestinal disaster food — intensely mucuous forming and terrible for immunity. So in spite of my serious dislike of processed soy foods, I’d give them the neck up. But only slightly.

If it were organic, raw, unpasteurized local goat’s cheese? Then I might give that the nod.



Tracy September 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Thanks, Gena! I’d love to see a question of the week about dairy products vs. soy cheese products. I should start looking for a nut based cream cheese alternative :)


Lebkuchen September 15, 2009 at 4:52 am

I made this for dinner last night, and my hubby proclaimed it the best raw soup he’s had yet! As soon as I saw this post, I knew I wanted to make it for dinner. It was sooo fabulous! And it totally doesn’t need the garlic – I made it without it and it was fine. I added some diced tomato, scallions, chopped avocado, cilantro, and corn to the top of the soup. All I had were some Santitas corn chips (hubby’s) so he had them with the soup and I didn’t have any – but honestly, the soup is fab even without chips! Thanks for another great recipe, Gena! I have made several of your blended soups and I love them all!! <3


Pam September 15, 2009 at 7:04 am

I love raw corn chips, they are so good!


Dawn (HealthySDLiving) September 15, 2009 at 10:36 am

I have the same feelings toward Warm Tortilla Soup and I’ve never been a fan of it. This sounds amazing though and I have almost everything to make it! :) Might have to give it a try!


melissa September 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm

wow, you are a genius. That soup looks beyond amazing!


Ada September 15, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Thank you for yet another great recipe! I have never had regular tortilla soup, but I think I would prefer the raw version anyways:)
P.S- I know in some previous post you mentioned possibly doing a running race at some point (unless I just made that up, if so I apologize!). If you’re looking for a fun, beginng race you should try the Columbia Fun Run on Friday which is a non-competitive 5K. Lions represent!


bibixs September 15, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Hi Gena! I just made my first raw soup!! i made a “gazpacho andaluz” which is a traditional spanish recipe :) it was delicious! i love how there are many recipes in spanish and mexican cuisine that are originally raw, like gazpacho, guacamole, pico de gallo, etc.. here’s a pic of my gazpacho!


if you think it’s yummy, i’ll post a recipe :)


Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries September 15, 2009 at 8:52 pm

That soup looks amazing. I don;t eat a raw diet, but that will not stop me from trying (and I’m sure loving) that soup. I’m so happy we’re heading into soup season :) Can’t wait to try this!



erica September 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm

You’re a soup goddess! I’ve got to make this one asap.


The voracious Vegan September 16, 2009 at 5:46 am

Thank you! I can’t wait to make this. I love cooked tortilla soup and I’m sure I’ll love the raw version, too. Great recipe and beautiful photos, as always. :-)


elise September 16, 2009 at 9:29 am

mmm…those chips look so good! i laughed at your comment “and why the hell would you” regarding keeping raw chips stocked in the house. yeah, that might be pushing it…

and btw, i nominated you for the foodbuzz award “blogger id most like to have make me dinner” – although technically you HAVE made me dinner, :)


Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) September 16, 2009 at 10:36 am

My beloved list of Gena inspired recipes grows everyday. I’m moving this up to the top. Cannot wait to try it…I love tortilla chips, and this like it will pair perfectly with them!


Jessica September 16, 2009 at 11:09 am

I LOVE tortilla soup – I may need to try the raw version!


Lori - pure2raw September 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Love the pics! I agree with VeggieGirl and Averie on having raw soup. I see all these great recipes but just so nervous to try one. I am not really sure why? Though this one looks delicious. Would this be a recipe to try for having my first raw soup? Or do you recommend another one. Thanks.


Michal September 20, 2009 at 5:06 am

This soup looks simple and delicious! I cannot wait to try it out :) Enjoy your sunday!


The voracious Vegan October 8, 2009 at 8:07 am

I love this recipe! Reviewed it on my blog today. Thank you again for always sharing your beautiful meals with us.


Kristina January 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Just made this soup for dinner-amazing. I did have “raw italian crackers” and added some guacamole on top…so good!


Scale Accessories March 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I love this recipe. It’s pretty meaty and full of spice and that’s the way my husband likes it! It’s very filling for a soup. Also great to take to potlucks.


Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama March 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I just saw this in VegNews and I was like “WOW! That’s Gena!!” – I made sure to have all of the ingredients to make this soup… I’m munching on guac and chips as I type, too ;) I will let you know how it turned out!


Stephanie August 28, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Love love love tortilla soup! The flavors in this were incredible (even without cilantro, which I didn’t have on hand). I only wish I could have gotten it to a smoother consistency. My food processor didn’t get it smooth enough and I don’t have a Vitamix (the blender I do have isn’t quite as good as my food processor, either). Any tips?


Tiffany October 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm

As a newbie to all of this, I claim this soup YUMMERS!!!!!!! I made this tonight, served hubbys hot and mine cold. I don’t have the best food processor so it was more chunky, but yummy yummy yummy! I could easy process this less and make a salsa. LOVED it and I’ll double the recipe next time to have some in the fridge for lunches! Totally yummy. Thank you for a great start to Raw foods!


Bobbi April 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

Just wondering how long this soup would stay good for in the fridge? Do you think you could freeze a batch of it for a later day? Thanks!



Debbie June 5, 2011 at 9:18 am

I’ve been eating RAW for about three months now. When I first started I was making gourmet meals everynight, and it was becoming a drag. Then, I saw there were ‘easy’ or ‘simple’ recipes that still played into the RAW theme… YUP eating RAW is a keeper now… I am not a vegan but do try and stick to at least a 90% RAW diet. I love soups and was stressing about plain old veggie soup… THANKS FOR THIS and the OTHERS… I’m on my way out to make “Oatgurt” and “Raw Tortilla Soup” now :-)


leslie October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Made this last night and it is deeelicious!!!


Barbara (Rawfully Tempting) October 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm

We made this tonight..just threw it together and it was wonderful…posted on my blog…thanks! We didn’t have any tortilla chips..but enjoyed it just fine with all the fixins and a nice salad.

Thanks Much,


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Elaine (Get RaWcous!) March 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Mmm, I love mexican flavours and saucy things! Great raw recipe and one that is very satisfying! Thanks :)



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Leslietheyellowgirl April 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I am eating this right now and it is 100% delicious!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!


Kinsey October 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

This is the perfect pick me up on a chilly fall day. Thanks for sharing!


Mimi June 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm

My 1 year old and I loved it!


Gena June 3, 2013 at 7:12 am

So glad!


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