This easy vegan tomato soup recipe is the richest and creamiest tomato soup recipe out there. Made with three tomato products from your pantry for ultimate depth of flavour, this vegan soup is nut-free, soy-free and can be made oil-free!
There’s nothing better than a hot bowl of tomato soup on a chilly evening or when you’re feeling under the weather, amirite?
Tomato soup is a classic and no only is it delicious, it’s also super easy to make.
How to make tomato soup better
There are lots of different ways to make it but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this tomato soup recipe is the best! It’s even better than a can of Campbell’s tomato soup!
The problem with a lot of tomato soup recipes is that they sometimes come out closer in texture to gazpacho (by that I mean too thin) than a proper creamy tomato soup.
This recipe tries to rectify that by using a combination of three forms of tomatoes in order to give it a super tomato flavour that’s complex, umami, rich, and delicious. A touch of coconut milk gives it that unctuous, velvety creaminess that every good bowl of tomato soup needs.
You can serve this tomato soup as-is or alongside your favourite vegan grilled cheese sandwich, or you can dress it up with some add-ins like pasta, veggies or herbs (more ideas below).
How to thicken vegan tomato soup
There are lots of tricks out there to thicken soups without using heavy cream or other dairy products.
Some that I’ve seen are: rice, bread, potatoes, flour, blended cashews (aka cashew cream), lentils, cauliflower, garbanzo beans, and oats.
Sure, these all work to thicken a vegan soup but, with the exception maybe of the cashew cream, they won’t add much in terms of a velvety creaminess or flavour.
In fact, no only do they not add any flavour, they actually take away from the tomato-i-ness of your tomato soup since you’re now diluting your tomatoes with random starches.
For that reason I used sun-dried tomatoes in this vegan tomato soup recipe. Not only are they there for their tomato flavour and savouriness (sun-dried tomatoes are umami-rich, in case you didn’t know), but when blended, the soup becomes instantly thicker.
In addition to sun-dried tomatoes, a drizzle of coconut milk (the kind in the can and full fat) adds creaminess. You may be wondering if the soup tastes like coconut. Not to me it doesn’t. Just ½ a cup isn’t enough to taste.
If you have a particular aversion to coconut, or if you doubt me about not being able to taste it, start with ¼ cup and give the soup a taste. Add more until it’s creamy enough for you.
Finally, this recipe relies on a careful proportion of ingredients in order to reach the perfect consistency. 2 ¼ cups of stock might seem like an odd measurement, but that extra ¼ cup resulted in just the right thickness for me. If you disagree you can, of course, adjust the consistency to your preference by adding more stock.
How to make vegan tomato soup
This recipe starts off by sautéing onion and garlic. Since I used sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, I used a tablespoon of the oil from the jar.
Once they’re tender, I added a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and fried it for a couple of minutes in order to bring out the flavour and sweetness.
Then I added in the crushed tomatoes, stock and sun-dried tomatoes. I let it simmer gently for about 10 minutes to allow the flavours to meld and the sun-dried tomatoes to soften.
I used my immersion blender to blend the soup. You could also carefully transfer it to a blender and blend, with the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, until smooth.
Finally I blended in the coconut milk and seasoned it with salt. Easy!
Vegan tomato soup NO OIL
This recipe can easily be made oil-free by using dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes instead of those packed in oil.
This Cook’s Illustrated article details the ideal way to rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes without diluting their flavour.
Additionally, the onion and garlic can be sautéed in a splash of vegetable stock or water instead of oil.
Swap full-fat coconut milk for low-fat or lite coconut milk.
My tomato soup is too sour
At this point you will want to taste your soup to see if it’s seasoned enough.
If you’re comparing with a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, the fact that Campbell’s has added sugar may skew your perception into thinking that homemade tomato soups are too sour.
This is just a matter of taste. Some people like a bit of tartness in their tomato soup, others will find it a bit too sour.
If that’s the case, there are a couple of things that you can do. Firstly, since the soup is already made, you can add sugar, half a teaspoon at a time, until you are happy with it. I added one teaspoon.
Another option is to use baking soda. Baking soda is alkaline and neutralizes the acidity in the tomatoes. Again, start with a little bit, like 1/8 teaspoon, and add more as necessary to cut the acidity. You probably won’t need more that ¼ teaspoon.
Finally, think about trying a different brand of crushed tomatoes next time you make this recipe. In a blind taste test, testers were able to distinguish differences in the sweetness and acidity of a variety of canned tomato brands. So try a different brand to find one that has the right balance and flavour that you’re looking for.
What goes good in tomato soup?
You can enjoy this soup just as it is straight out of the pot or you can get fancy with it and bulk it up with some add-ins. Here are some ideas:
- Small pasta. I added alphabet pasta to mine but any other small soup-sized pasta shape is good. I prefer to cook it in a separate pot so as to not affect the consistency of the soup and if there are any leftovers, the pasta won’t continue sucking up all the liquid from the soup. Store the pasta and soup in separate containers.
- Vegan tortellini. Kite Hill makes an almond-based vegan tortellini.
- Vegan gnocchi
- Spinach. Add a couple handfuls of spinach for some extra vitamins.
- Basil. Add basil before blending for a delicious vegan tomato basil soup. Garnish with some chopped basil.
- Vegan Pesto. If you don’t have fresh basil, add a swirl or dollop of vegan pesto to each bowl.
- Grains like barley, farro or rice add a nice bite. Like pasta I would cook them in a separate pot and add to each bowl before serving the soup.
- Vegetables like diced potato, sweet potato, carrot or cauliflower. If you want to cook them directly in the soup, you’ll need to dice them quite small so that they cook in 10 minutes. Try not to add any vegetables that will release water into the soup like zucchini. Alternatively, you could roast them in the oven to bring out their sweetness and then add them to the soup.
- Caramelized onions or roasted garlic. If you’ve got a lot of time, rather than dicing half an onion, try slicing a whole onion and cooking it low and slow to caramelize. This will also add sweetness if you find homemade tomato soups to be too acidic (see above). Similarly, you could roast the garlic instead of frying it.
- Crushed crackers
- Crusty bread or vegan garlic bread
- Diced tomatoes. Keep in mind that if you add a whole can of diced tomatoes it will water down your soup. You could strain them and just add the chunks or if you’ve got some fresh tomatoes from your garden you can dice them up.
- Grilled cheeze sandwich. Do I even need to say it?!?!?
How long will tomato soup last in the fridge?
This creamy vegan tomato soup will last in the fridge for 3 – 5 days in an airtight container assuming that you chill it quickly after cooking and it hasn’t been sitting out at room temperature.
Can tomato soup be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze it for 2 – 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup
- ½ medium onion finely diced – $0.08
- 2 cloves of garlic finely diced – $0.16
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste – $0.20
- ½ cup (100 grams / 3.5 oz) sliced sun-dried tomatoes – $2.30
- 2 ¼ cups (540 ml) vegetable stock – $0.68
- 1 (400 gram / 14 oz) can crushed tomatoes – $0.40
- ½ cup (120 ml) coconut milk from a can (I use full fat. See notes for wfpb option) – $0.35
- Salt to taste – $0.03
- Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste – $0.01
- Optional: Any add-ins you like. I added pasta.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes in a pot over medium heat (use stock if making this without oil). Fry the onions until soft and transparent then add the garlic and fry for a minute or so more until soft and transparent.
- Add the tomato paste and stir well. Fry for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the tomato paste has darkened slightly in colour.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable stock and can of crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender or carefully transfer to a blender and blend, with the lid ajar to allow steam to escape, until smooth.
- Blend in the coconut milk. Taste and add salt. If you find it a bit sour, add the sugar or follow one of the other tips mentioned in the blog post above. If you'd like it thinner, add another splash of stock.
- You can enjoy the soup just as it is or you can add in some cooked pasta, basil, veggies or other suggestions mentioned in the blog post above.