Eddie Garza: Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

Eddie Garza

Instagram: @theeddiegarza

Eddie Garza is a plant-based chef, cookbook author, and host of “Global Bites with Eddie Garza” on OzTube. 

Eddie and his work to reform food systems in marginalized communities have been featured by a wide variety of media outlets in the United States and abroad, including CNN, ¡HOLA! TV, The Washington Post, People, Telemundo, Univision, MiTú Network, Travel + Leisure, Sin Embargo (Mexico), TV Azteca (Mexico), Canal Nuestra Tele (Colombia), TV Venezuela, GoTV (Honduras), El Tiempo and El Colombiano (Colombia), Daily Mail (UK), and many more.

Eddie has cooked for a host of plant-powered stars in the television, film and music industries, including television host and model Daisy Fuentes, singer-songwriters Richard Marx and Rob Thomas, Latin American television personalities Marco Antonio Regil, Ximena Córdoba and Catalina Robayo, actors Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Cybill Shepherd, Maria Conchita Alonso, Daniella Monet, Harley Quinn Smith, among others.

Eddie grew up in the Mexican-American border town of Brownsville, Texas, a region plagued by childhood obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Like many of his childhood peers, Eddie struggled with serious weight problems from an early age, maxing out at 310 pounds by the time he was 21 years old. It was when he transitioned to a plant-centric diet that Eddie was able to naturally lose over 150 pounds and reverse his declining health.

Eddie’s book ¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook features 150 plant-powered recipes that represent the 150 pounds he lost on his vegan journey. In his latest book, The 30-Day Vegan Meal Plan for Beginners, Eddie simplifies plant-based versions of comfort classics from around the world. 

Eddie is a sought-after speaker, culinary coach, and thought leader on issues related to plant-based health. He has lectured and presented at top universities, culinary schools, and major conferences in the US and Latin America, including SXSW in Austin, Expo en Verde Ser in Mexico City, and the Nexus Summit in Washington, D.C.

You can check out Eddie on his website eddiegarza.com

Photo Credit: Marija Vidal/Rockridge Press

Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup 

By Eddie Garza

Tortilla soup has a special place in my heart…and belly! It’s been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. The origins of tortilla soup are highly contested. Some say it’s native to Central Mexico; others say it was born in the American Southwest by Mexican immigrants. This easy version of the tortilla soup my Mexican grandma used to make calls for silky oyster mushrooms, which bring a rich umami quality. The trick is to get those mushrooms nicely browned before simmering with our smoky chili broth and veggie mix. To dress a real vegan Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup, top it with pan-fried tortilla strips, vegan cheese shreds, avocado wedges, and a large pinch of chopped cilantro. Oh. So. Good. 


Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Nut-Free, Gluten-Free


1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, divided 

½ small yellow onion, diced medium

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced medium

1 stalk celery, diced medium

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chipotle sauce

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, not drained

½ pound oyster mushrooms, separated from clusters

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 liter vegetable stock

1 cup corn kernels  

2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime


4 ounces corn chips (or pan-fried tortilla strips)

½ cup vegan shredded cheese 

1 medium Hass avocado, sliced into wedges

½ cup cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large soup pot on medium-high heat, add ½ tablespoon of oil and sauté onion, carrot, celery, and garlic for 7-10 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat.
  2. Add sautéed mix, chipotle sauce, and diced tomatoes to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. 
  3. In the same pot, add the remaining oil and sauté oyster mushrooms for 5-7 minutes or until nicely browned. Add cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 more minute. Pour in tomato mixture from the blender and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 
  5. Add corn, cilantro, and lime juice and cook for 5 more minutes. 
  6. Serve soup hot in individual bowls and top with corn chips (or pan-fried tortilla strips), vegan shredded cheese, avocado wedges, and cilantro.


Pro tip: I call for oyster mushrooms in this recipe because their a perfect swap-out for the chicken my grandma used to use in her original recipe, but any mushroom works well for this dish. Use white button mushrooms if you’re on a budget. Try shiitake mushrooms for a more complex soup. 

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Paul Turner

Paul Turner

Paul Turner co-founded Food for Life Global in 1995. He is a former monk, a veteran of the World Bank, entrepreneur, holistic life coach, vegan chef, and author of 6 books, including, FOOD YOGA, 7 maxims for soul happiness.

MR. Turner has traveled to 72 countries over the last 35 years helping to establish Food for Life projects, train volunteers, and document their success.

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