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Spicy salsa tomato soup

This spicy salsa tomato soup is filled with great flavor from enchilada sauce, sofrito and salsa. #vegan #glutenfree

The calendar tells me that soup season has arrived, but even without the calendar, I feel it in my bones. Cooler temperatures, dry air, a few leaves changing color here and there: it all spells soup. After the humid heat of summer, I'm finally willing to turn the stove on again. 

To get my soup-making juices flowing, I raided my pantry a couple of weeks ago to create a pot of tomato soup with a spicy kick. The tomato base combines canned chopped tomatoes, red sofrito, and mild red enchilada sauce. Rice gives the soup body, and you can omit the added jalapeño pepper if you want a milder soup. As is, this soup is vegan and gluten-free, but I'd never discourage you from topping it with Cheddar or queso fresco. If you have ripe avocados, which I didn't on the day I took these photos, you definitely should add them at the end, and if you like cilantro (I don't), a few leaves on top of your soup bowl wouldn't be a bad idea. Think of this recipe for Meatless Mondays; you can make it ahead and freeze it, if the urge to cook strikes you on another day of the week.

Spicy salsa tomato soup gets its kick from enchilada sauce, sofrito, and your favorite salsa.

Spicy salsa tomato soup {vegan, gluten-free}

From the pantry you'll need: olive oil, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, canned jalapeño peppers, sofrito, enchilada sauce, salsa, canned chopped tomato, rice, lime.

Serves 6; can be doubled.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder (I use this one from Penzeys)
4-oz can diced roasted jalapeño peppers, drained
12 oz jar red sofrito (I like Goya)
14-oz can red enchilada sauce (be sure to use gluten-free if needed)
12 oz salsa, hot or mild (I like a mix of Herdez salsa verde and Trader Joe's habañero and lime salsa; both are spicy, so use your favorite salsa, hot or mild)
28 oz chopped canned tomato, with their liquid
2 cups cooked, chilled rice (day-old rice is best)
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lime

For garnishes: grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, diced avocado, toasted tortilla slices, cilantro leaves


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions, and sauté for 3 minutes, until they are just starting to brown. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 30 seconds.

Sprinkle in the cumin and chili powder, and stir to combine with the onions. Then, add the jalapeño pepper, and stir everything together. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.

Pour in the sofrito, enchilada sauce, salsa and canned tomato. As the soup is coming to a boil, break up the cooked rice with your hands (if it's clumpy), and stir to incorporate it into the soup. Add 1 cup of water.

Bring the soup to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Squirt the lime juice in, stir again, and taste. Add black pepper if you need it (I never do need it, but you should always season to your own taste).

Serve hot, with optional garnishes. Or, allow the soup to cool completely, and refrigerate or freeze in an airtight container.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More soups with a kick:
Black bean, tomato and sausage soup, from The Perfect Pantry
Corn chowder with chipotle cream, from The Perfect Pantry
Spicy Southwest pumpkin soup, from A Spicy Perspective
Korean spicy seafood soup, from My Korean Kitchen

Spicy salsa tomato soup gets a kick from jalapeño pepper and your favorite salsa. #vegan #glutenfree

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Sounds tasty. I definitely will look for that Goya sofrito! I don't think I've seen sofrito in a jar before.

Kalyn, the sofrito comes in red and green (which is called recaito). In my markets, it's on the shelf with other Goya products. It's a wonderful variation on tomato sauce, filled with spices (but not hot).

I could definitely go for a bowl of this soup right now, Lydia--to wake me up and perk me up! This is a soup that Mr. GFE would love as well because he loves soups with rice in them. He's a rice lover. :-) Like Kalyn, I'm a bit intrigued by the sofrito, too. Spicy but not hot is such a nice option.

Off to share. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Shirley, sofrito is basically a vegetable mixture, like a mirepoix, with cilantro and other seasonings. It's easy to make at home, if you can't find a gluten-free version in your market. (There's a recipe here on the blog.) However, most brands seem to be naturally gluten-free, which makes it so easy to keep in the pantry.

Nice how our internal clock tells us what to eat. A few weeks ago, when there was a shift in light and heat, I began to crave soup. This is very appealing!

Susan, a lot of soups are happening in my kitchen now that the air is cooler. Stay tuned.

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