This creamy dairy-free tomato soup made with coconut milk and canned tomatoes is comfort food at its finest! This soup is ready in 30 minutes and is a fast & affordable option for lunch or dinner that's best served with vegan grilled cheese or homemade croutons during the colder months!
Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of hot soup on a cold day and this dairy-free tomato soup recipe tops the list for me! When paired with melty grilled cheese sandwiches, there's nothing better.
Just like my dairy-free broccoli cheddar soup, this soup is creamy and satisfying while still being allergen-friendly. I wanted to make this creamy vegan tomato soup as simple and accessible as possible, so we'll be using canned, whole peeled tomatoes. It's just as delicious and flavorful as if you were to use fresh tomatoes (and easier)!
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's quick and easy to make. This vegan tomato soup recipe with canned tomatoes is made in one pot and ready to serve in just 30 minutes! Using canned tomatoes allows for more consistency in flavor, and cuts down the time of having to cut and peel the tomatoes yourself.
- It's affordable, convenient, and accessible. You only need 8 simple ingredients, all of which are pantry staples! Even better, this recipe costs less than $10 to make!
- This recipe is allergen-friendly! This tomato soup is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, sugar-free and can be made oil-free.
- It's perfect for meal prep, lunch, dinner or to feed a crowd! It's a great lunch or dinner alone or paired with a side salad. If you don't eat it all right away, don't worry, this recipe is freezer-friendly.
All you need to make this easy vegan tomato soup are a few, basic kitchen tools:
- One large pot or 5-quart dutch oven
- Immersion blender or high-speed blender
- Wooden spoon
- Cutting board & sharp kitchen knife
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Tomatoes: we'll be using a canned whole peeled tomatoes for this recipe. You can also used crushed or diced canned tomatoes. I recommend San Marzano tomatoes. Canned tomatoes will actually gives a more consistent & perfect tomato flavor in comparison to fresh tomatoes, especially when they're not in season (like in the fall and winter!). Plus it's a quicker and easier recipe this way since you don't have to roast then peel the tomatoes yourself.
- Onion: a white or yellow onion will work! To make this soup as flavorful as possible, we'll be caramelizing the onions.
- Garlic: I feel like garlic is a MUST in tomato soup.
- Coconut Milk: instead of heavy cream, we'll be using a can of unsweetened, full fat coconut milk. Full fat just means it doesn’t say 'light' on the label. The ingredient list should simply be coconut, water, and guar gum. It’s super easy to find at the grocery store (it's usually in the international foods aisle in the Asian section!) and it’s something you can keep in the pantry for months. Give it a shake before opening because it does naturally separate. It adds a touch of sweetness, gives a creamy consistency and texture, and does not add a strong coconut flavor.
- Vegetable Broth: we'll be using vegetable stock for added flavor and to thin out the soup a little bit. If we were to only use coconut milk, the soup would be too thick, almost like an alfredo sauce instead of a soup.
- Spices: we're keeping it simple and only using italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
- Basil: tomato soup isn't tomato soup without some fresh basil leaves! You can use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried basil if necessary.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Variations & Substitutions
I love this recipe as is, but feel free to try out these any of these variations & substitutions that are guaranteed to work:
- Make this a spicy tomato soup by adding a jalapeño (with the seeds) to the soup, prior to blending, or sprinkling in some crushed red pepper flakes!
- Use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes. The recipe will taste extremely similar if not identical, especially if tomatoes are still in season for you. I would recommend using a combination of fresh cherry tomatoes, medium tomatoes, and roma tomatoes. You could turn this into a creamy roasted tomato soup by using fire roasted tomatoes for a slightly different flavor if you'd like!
- Add roasted red peppers for added flavor and veggies.
- Make this creamy dairy free tomato basil soup without coconut milk a few different ways! You can create a roux with non-dairy milk and flour, use white beans (this would add a ton of plant based protein!), cashew cream, or any dairy free heavy cream, oat milk or cashew milk. Either of these will give you the same thick, creamy texture!
- Substitute the olive oil with coconut oil, avocado oil, vegan butter, or a splash of vegetable broth.
- Add a tablespoon of tomato paste for an even stronger tomato flavor.
This recipe has not been tested with any other substitutions or variations than the ones listed above. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
Step 1: Place a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and heat a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until shimmering. Then add in the sliced onions.
Step 2: Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until they have caramelized and turned golden brown. Keep the heat on medium, only turn the heat down if they're getting too dark or sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add a tablespoon of water to help deglaze, if needed. Reduce the heat slightly and add in the minced garlic, cooking for 1 more minute.
Step 3: Next, add tomatoes, breaking them up a bit with a wooden spoon. Then add in the canned coconut milk, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper.
Step 4: Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
Step 5: Using an immersion blender (or transferring to a blender or food processor in batches), blend until smooth and fully pureed. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
Step 6: Divide across 3-4 bowls, garnishing with fresh basil, a dollop of coconut cream and a drizzle of olive oil!
This vegan tomato basil soup recipe wouldn't be complete without a dairy-free grilled cheese! It's truly one of the most perfect combinations that has ever existed in the culinary world.
Aside from a grilled cheese sandwich, you can serve this healthy tomato soup entirely on its own with some crackers, crusty bread, garlic bread or vegan cornbread. You could also serve it as an appetizer or side, or with a side salad! I personally love to have it alongside kale caesar salad.
Let's talk toppings! There's so many different things you can top this tomato bisque with:
- Homemade croutons
- Crispy roasted chickpeas
- Bac'n bits
- A drizzle of olive oil
- A dollop or coconut cream
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Fresh herbs
- Dairy-free sour cream
- Nuts or seeds
- Don't slice your onions too thinly. You'll run the risk of burning them more easily.
- If you want this soup a bit thicker, either add more coconut milk or a tablespoon of flour and let simmer over low heat until thickened to your desired consistency. Alternatively, if it's too thick, add some more vegetable broth until it's reached your desired consistency.
- If you're using a standard high-speed blender instead of an immersion blender, transfer the soup to the blender in batches. You don't want to overload your blender, especially since it is a hot liquid.
- Let the soup simmer. This ensures the flavors have time to develop. You could simmer the soup for up to 1 hour for optimal flavor but 20 to 30 minutes will still result in a delicious, flavorful soup.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Store leftover creamy tomato soup in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
This gluten-free tomato soup is freezer friendly! Allow the soup to cool completely first then store in a freezer-safe container or freezer-friendly storage bags for up to 3 months.
You can either reheat in a pot on the stove or a microwave-safe bowl covered with a paper towel in the microwave. If reheating from frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or reheat it at low temperature on the stovetop until defrosted and warmed through. Continuously stir it as it thaws.
You can buy dairy-free heavy cream substitutes, such as Violife's "Just Like Heavy Whipping Cream" or Califa Farms' "Heavy Whip." You can also use cashew cream, coconut cream (like in this recipe), or blend white beans into veggie broth! You can even create a roux to help achieve a creamy soup base.
If you find that your soup is a bit on the thinner side, you can either simmer until it has cooked down and thickened OR you can dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in ¼ cup of room temperature water to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the soup and allow it to simmer for a few minutes until it's thickened to your liking.
Yes of course but canned tomatoes, apart from making this recipe easier, are picked while ripe and instantly canned to retain all of their flavor and freshness. The fresh tomatoes at the grocery store, especially during the winter when you're most often enjoying this soup, are in the off-season and not as flavorful. However, I recommend using a combination of medium tomatoes, roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes.
Yes! Light coconut milk or full-fat coconut milk are both excellent options.
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Did you make this recipe?
Creamy Dairy Free Tomato Soup
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (200 g) large yellow onion sliced
- 4 cloves (8 g) garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
- ½ cup (115 g) vegetable broth
- 1 can (13 oz) full fat coconut milk more for drizzling on top, if desired
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Place a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and add in the olive oil and sliced onions. Cook onions, stirring occasionally until they have softened, caramelized and turned golden brown. Lower the heat only if they're getting too dark or sticking to the bottom of the pot.1 tablespoon oil, 1 large yellow onion
- Once the onions are caramelized, reduce the heat slightly and add in the garlic, cooking for another 1-2 minutes.4 cloves garlic, minced
- Next, add in your canned tomatoes and break them up a bit with a wooden spoon.1 can whole peeled tomatoes
- Add in the full fat coconut milk, vegetable broth, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.½ cup vegetable broth, 1 can full fat coconut milk, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, Salt and pepper
- Using an immersion blender (or transferring to a blender or food processor in batches), blend until completely smooth. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed/desired.
- Divide across 4 bowls, garnishing with fresh basil and a drizzle of coconut milk or oil. Serve with homemade croutons, vegan grilled cheese, or side salad. Enjoy!Fresh basil