This easy Dairy-free Tomato Soup Recipe is rich and delicious. A creamy tomato soup that’s vegan and gluten-free, ready in 30 minutes and made with wholesome pantry ingredients….yes, please!
This post has been updated from the original posted March 20, 2017.
Who else loves a piping hot bowl of creamy tomato soup on a cold day? My idea of the perfect vegan comfort food. This is a great recipe for homemade tomato soup fans because it is super easy to make and uses simple ingredients that are pantry staples.
What about tomato soup for a hot summer day? Oh, yes, I’m in! This is possibly my favorite soup in the summer too. It’s both nourishing and refreshing, and you can enjoy it at room temperature or as a healthy chilled soup.
Hello dairy-free folks….I’m here to show you how to make creamy vegan tomato soup….no heavy cream, no coconut cream or plant milk is needed. No chicken stock either. We’re going to use vegetable stock (check out my easy veggie broth recipe for all your favorite soup recipes) and….wait for it…canned chickpeas for the creamiest, dreamiest dairy-free tomato soup ever!
Why you’ll love this soup
- Quick and Easy
- Healthy roasted chickpeas used as croutons is my favorite part!
- Back pocket recipe…made with pantry ingredients…perfect for those days that don’t go according to plan.
- Secret ingredient chickpeas give this dairy-free soup a creamy texture and also add healthy plant based protein and fiber.
- Leftover soup can be frozen or easily reheated.
- The best part? Tastes like a tomato basil bisque with ingredients that are like healthy tomato soup…oh yes…BOTH are true!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Canned tomatoes: You can use fresh tomatoes when they’re in season, but I find it so much easier to use whole peeled tomatoes or crushed tomatoes from a jar or can and still get plenty of tomato flavor. If you’re looking for a creamy roasted tomato soup flavor, use canned fire roasted diced tomatoes.
- Vegetable broth: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need chicken broth to make delicious tomato soup. You can make a vegan broth that is so easy and tasty and store it in the freezer with my vegetable broth recipe. If you buy it already made in a box or jar from the grocery store, be sure to read the ingredient label and look for low-sodium and oil-free.
- Chickpeas: My not so secret ingredient that guarantees a creamy consistency without the use of any dairy. The white beans thicken the soup to a tomato bisque sort of consistency.
- Yellow onion: Sauteed diced onion plus grated or minced garlic builds so much flavor!
- Medjool dates: Their sweetness counters the acidity in the tomatoes perfectly. Plus they’re full of nutrients and antioxidants, making them my preferred sweetener.
- Spices: Turmeric plus black pepper: Winning anti-inflammatory combo. The black pepper makes the curcumin in the turmeric more available for absorption.
- For a gluten-free tomato soup, I chose chickpeas to add a thick and creamy texture without the need for wheat flour or other thickeners.
- Full of fiber, chickpeas are good for gut health. Plus they contain pre-biotics and act as a regulator for blood sugar levels.
- Chickpeas contain good amounts of iron, phosphate, calcium and magnesium which have been shown to contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
- Beans provide plant-based protein and help lower bad cholesterol.
- Low on the glycemic index and are anti-inflammatory.
How to make Dairy-free Tomato Soup
Have all your ingredients chopped and ready before you begin. If you’re using frozen veggie broth, you can put it into the pot straight from the freezer.
Start by heating a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. You can saute the onions and garlic with extra virgin olive oil, but I don’t think it adds much in terms of flavor compared to using a couple Tablespoons of vegetable broth.
Add onions and celery to the pot, then sprinkle with salt, turmeric, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Cook over low heat, stirring as the veggies soften. Use a microplane to grate the garlic right into the pan and saute until fragrant.
Pour in the whole tomatoes, with their juices, straight from the can.
Turn up the heat to medium and let them cook for about 5 minutes and then use the back of a wooden spoon to smash any that are still whole.
Now add the canned chickpeas, chopped dates and remaining vegetable broth and simmer for about 20 minutes, until everything is tender.
Then use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
Sprinkle hot soup with fresh herbs or a little bit of Italian seasoning. Pass around the crunchy roasted chickpeas and enjoy.
How to serve this healthy tomato soup
- I love the way roasted chickpeas taste in this soup. A gluten-free alternative to croutons that are easy to make and nice and crisp. See the recipe card for directions.
- A dollop of my favorite dairy-free sour cream is fun and tasty….and still keep this a dairy-free recipe.
- Julienned fresh basil leaves or a swirl of my basil pesto gives you a rich and creamy vegan tomato basil soup.
- A simple arugula salad, plus some crusty bread and you’ve got a delicious plant based meal.
- My favorite side dish for tomato soup is a toasted piece of sourdough slathered with carrot top pesto. Let me know in the comments if you try it!
How to store, reheat and freeze
- Store: If you made this in a dutch oven, just put the lid on the pot and put it in the fridge. If you don’t have the height space to fit the knob, turn the lid upside down. Otherwise, transfer to an airtight container. It will last in the fridge for 5 days.
- Freeze: Make sure soup has completely cooled. Use a freezer-safe container, allowing space for soup to expand when frozen. Store in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat as directed below, either straight from the freezer or defrost overnight in the fridge.
- Reheat: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally until simmering.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Save time: Use an immersion blender to puree this dairy-free soup. This is also the less messy option!
- Super creamy: If you’re looking for a super smooth and creamy dairy-free tomato soup, transfer to a high-speed blender or even a food processor. Cashew cream is a great way to avoid that coconut flavor while adding a diary-free creaminess.
- If you’re making the crispy chickpeas (definitely do this!), take the extra minute to rub the skins off for crispier results.
Tomato Soup FAQs
If your tomato soup recipe calls for milk, you can use any plant based milk, including coconut milk instead. My dairy-free tomato soup recipe uses chickpeas that are blended into the soup for a rich and creamy yet dairy free tomato soup…so that’s another option!
Many tomato soup recipes are thickened by adding flour or cornstarch. Personally, I prefer a whole foods, gluten-free tomato soup that is thickened with chickpeas instead. Beans are a nutritious way to thicken plant-based soups.
Build flavor with simple fresh ingredients like onions and garlic. It’s Ok to use canned whole tomatoes, but I wouldn’t recommend tomato paste. A good veggie broth is a must and it’s easy to make vegetable broth from scratch. Avoid corn starch as a thickener and instead use canned chickpeas to thicken up your tomato soup!
More 30-minute Vegan Recipes
Did you know commenting and rating recipes is one of the best ways to support your favorite food bloggers? If you made this recipe, please consider a five star rating below and leave a comment. Also, please share your photos on instagram by tagging me @dkhealthcoach and using the hashtag #debraklein
Dairy-free Tomato Soup
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic finely grated or pressed
- 1 28-oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
- ¾ cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 medjool dates pitted and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
Crunchy Chickpea Croutons
- 1.5 15.5 oz can chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder not garlic salt
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
For the Soup
- Dice onion. Heat dutch oven over medium heat and then add 1-2 Tablespoons veggie broth. Saute onion until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Dice celery and add to the pot along with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and turmeric. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes and then grate garlic over the pan and stir until fragrant. If pan becomes dry, add another Tablespoon vegetable broth.
- Add tomatoes with their juices and turn down heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 5 minutes, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the remaining vegetable broth, turn up the heat until mixture begins to boil and then turn down to keep a low simmer. Stir in the chickpeas and chopped dates. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until tomatoes are super tender.
- While soup is simmering on the stove, make the crunchy chickpeas.
- When tomatoes are tender, soup is done. Puree in the pot using an immersion blender. Keep blending until smooth and creamy. If you want super duper smooth and creamy tomato soup, transfer to a high speed blender and blend well. Then transfer back to the pot.
For the Crunchy Chickpeas
- Preheat oven to 425
- Drain, rinse and then drain chickpeas again. You should have just over 2 cups…since half of one can was used in the soup. Use a cotton dishcloth to rub them dry, and rub the skins off.
- Use a baking sheet large enough to fit all the chickpeas in one layer. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Use your hands to evenly coat beans with spices.
- Roast for 15 minutes. Shake the pan to roll them around and then put them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until dried out and crispy.