Creamy Tomato Soup

This creamy tomato soup recipe is comfort food at its best! It tastes rich, but it's light and healthy, made with blended chickpeas instead of heavy cream.

Creamy tomato soup

I’d say yes to a bowl of this creamy tomato soup every day in the wintertime! It’s exactly the sort of comforting dish I crave on cold, gray days, because it’s wholesome, yet fun. The soup itself is pretty darn healthy, made without any heavy cream or butter. In fact, it’s totally vegan! Still, it has a satisfying creamy texture and rich taste. Wholesome: check.

The fun part of this creamy tomato soup is actually the topping. I load it up with toasty vegan grilled cheese croutons! They add a nice crunch to the creamy soup, and they let you enjoy the classic grilled cheese + tomato soup combo all in one. SO fun, right? Let’s cook!

Homemade tomato soup recipe ingredients on marble

Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe Ingredients

Because it’s winter, I intended to make this soup using only canned tomatoes, but at the store, I saw some organic fresh tomatoes that looked too good to pass up. I decided to roast them and toss them into the soup in addition to the canned tomatoes. Then, I rounded it out with these key ingredients:

  • Roasted onion and garlic add an irresistible, caramelized depth of flavor.
  • Chickpeas are the secret ingredient! They make this vegan tomato soup lusciously creamy without any dairy.
  • Balsamic vinegar makes it deliciously tangy.
  • Fresh thyme adds a lovely herbal note. A handful of fresh basil would be great here too!
  • Maple syrup balances the acidic balsamic and tomatoes.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil adds richness.
  • And a dash of red pepper flakes spices it up.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Tomatoes and onions on a baking sheet

How to Make Creamy Tomato Soup

I like to think of this homemade tomato soup recipe in two easy steps: 1. Roast and 2. Blend.

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° and roast the garlic, onion, and fresh tomatoes until tender and browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Transfer the roasted veggies to a blender and add the other ingredients.
  3. Blend to creamy perfection!
  4. Top with the grilled cheese croutons, if using, and enjoy!

Creamy tomato soup recipe in a blender

Homemade Tomato Soup Serving Suggestions

This creamy tomato soup is delicious on its own, but the grilled cheese croutons really take it over the top. Of course, regular croutons would be a yummy topping too.

Not in the mood for croutons? That’s ok! Pair this soup with a regular grilled cheese sandwich, avocado toast, homemade focaccia, or crusty bread. I also like it with a salad on the side. This kale salad, this broccoli salad, a Caesar salad, or a chopped salad would all be good choices.

Grilled cheese ingredients Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup

More Favorite Soup Recipes

If you love this creamy tomato soup, try one of these homemade soup recipes next:

For 85 more vegan recipes, check out this post!

Creamy Tomato Soup

rate this recipe:
4.89 from 18 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves 3 to 4
This homemade tomato soup recipe is the ultimate winter comfort food!

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 medium fresh tomatoes* (see note)
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into quarters
  • 1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

for the croutons: (optional)

  • 8 slices SimplyNature 7 Grain Bread
  • heaping ½ cup Earth Grown Vegan Mozzarella

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wrap the garlic cloves in a piece of foil and place it on the baking sheet along with the whole tomatoes and the onion wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes and onions are well browned. Peel the garlic and transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender.
  • Reduce the oven heat to 400° F and line the baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper.
  • To the blender, add the canned tomatoes, garbanzo beans, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon olive oil, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and freshly ground pepper and blend until creamy (a Vitamix is ideal here. If using a regular blender, just blend longer!). Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. At this stage, the soup should still be hot. If not, pour it into a pot to reheat it.
  • Make the croutons: Sprinkle 4 slices of the bread with a thin layer of cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices to make sandwiches and drizzle the outsides of the bread with olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into croutons so that the cheese doesn’t ooze out when you cut it.
  • Serve the soup with the croutons (some in the soup, some on the side) and additional fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas, if desired.

Notes

*Note: If you're replacing the fresh tomatoes with canned tomatoes, simmer the soup (after blending) over low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes.

Special thanks to ALDI for partnering on this post. Click here to find a store near you!

45 comments

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  1. christine
    01.11.2018

    I see my old self in your description of your college self 🙂 Funny what we can live through, eh? Thanks for the super recipe! I look forward to trying it out!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.11.2018

      ha yes, I love lemons but can’t recommend the lemon-only diet 🙂

  2. Rachel
    01.11.2018

    If you have room in your freezer, you can freeze quartered roma-type tomatoes from the summer glut. I grow my own, but you can get them from a local farmers market when in season. I used to can them but it is a million times easier (and less hot) to just freeze them in bags.
    I then use them all winter long for chili, sauce, soups – anything that calls for canned tomatoes, I throw them in. The best part, when defrosting, the skins will come right off. I am fine with the skins (think they add more tomato flavor) but to your taste.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.11.2018

      thanks for the tip!

  3. Ora
    01.11.2018

    How would you adapt this to using canned tomatoes? Should they still be roasted in the oven?

  4. sue
    01.11.2018

    Step 2 says to reduce the oven temperature to 400oF, but I can’t seem to see what the original temperature was when roasting the veggies in step 1. What am I missing?
    Thanks for another delicious recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.11.2018

      fixed! thanks for pointing that out!

      • sue
        01.11.2018

        thanks for clarifying 🙂 Going to make some right now.

  5. Amanda Wise
    01.11.2018

    Omgosh this looks amazing!! And VEGAN cheese at Aldi 😱😱😱 #runstoaldirightaway I hope my local Aldi carries it!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.11.2018

      I think all of the stores just started carrying it this January – we really like it, I hope you do too!

  6. Gaby Dalkin
    01.11.2018

    GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS?!?! This recipe is pure genius!

  7. Addie from thebougecruise.com
    01.12.2018

    Excited to cook this this week – have been looking for a tomato soup for awhile that had complex flavor but not a boatload of heavy cream (could’ve tried coconut milk but for some reason tomato soup with coconut milk felt wrong to me – I’m sure I’m off base about that since I love a curry…) and I bet the chickpeas are perfect, plus making it an actual meal with staying power. Looking forward to this.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.12.2018

      Hi Addie, I hope you enjoy the soup! I have tried tomato soups with coconut milk and it’s really good too 🙂

  8. EIleen from eileensim.wordpress.com
    01.12.2018

    The grilled cheese as crotons is genius!

  9. Karin from geld-lenen-van-particulier.nl
    01.13.2018

    Looks good to me! 😉

  10. Ginger
    01.14.2018

    5 stars
    Terrrific recipe, thank you! And what a great way to use up the sprouted grain hamburger buns in the freezer. 😉

  11. fi
    01.15.2018

    5 stars
    Soooooh creamy and delicious on a rainy day – or any day! Didn’t have chickpeas to hand, which is unusual, so tried a couple of handfuls of cous cous instead. A bit wary putting it in blender, as don’t like to mess around with recipes too much. Seemed to work just as well. Your soups are just the best around. Thank You!

  12. Hi Jeanine
    I just happen to come to your blog from pinterest. your images and recipes are so amazing, that I couldn’t help but write a comment. You are doing an amazing job. You just inspired me to cook more! I am definitely going to try this recipe!

  13. Andrea
    01.15.2018

    Do you think a food processer will work here?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.15.2018

      it’ll be a chunky soup vs. a creamy soup – I bet it will still be delicious even though the texture will be pretty different. Hope that helps!

      • Andrea
        01.16.2018

        5 stars
        Thanks. I don’t have a VitaMix and was afraid my blender wouldn’t be able to handle it but it was fine in my blender. The soup was amazing!

  14. Who knew…chickpeas. I’ve got all these things in my kitchen…no fresh tomatoes…so canned will have to do the trick. How quick and easy and I’m sure will be full of flavor. Since I’m trying to pump the brakes on my bread addiction I think I’ll add some pepitas to the top for a bit of crunch. Thanks for the post!

  15. Ashley
    02.06.2018

    Hi,

    This recipe looks great. This year, I have been in such a Soup mood. I have yet to find a homemade tomato soup recipe that I want to make over and and over again. I’m hoping this will be that recipe!

    I have a question about blending. How would you adapt the recipe if you used an immersion blender rather than blending the soup in a vitamix or other free standing blender? I prefer thick soups so I do not mind if it does not come out completely smooth like in the pictures. I appreciate any insight you may have!

  16. Kristin
    02.07.2018

    yum! i love tomato soup but i don’t think i’ve seen a recipe that throws chickpeas in the mix. i’ll definitely have to try it!

  17. Lyana
    03.06.2018

    If I don’t have any fresh tomatoes, could I still make it? Maybe add some more canned tomatoes?

  18. Diana
    04.21.2018

    5 stars
    absolutely delicious! We will definitely be making this soup again!!!!

  19. Pranjali
    12.30.2018

    This recipe was amazing and came out delicious! I’m in my late 20s and always have been scared to cook by myself. Last week I saw this recipe and since tomato soup is my favorite, I got the courage to get these very few ingredients and put it together. It came out great and I feel so accomplished. Thank YOU!

  20. Courtney
    01.06.2019

    Hi!! Would an immersion blender work here?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.06.2019

      Yep! It won’t be as smooth as using a high speed blender, but it’ll be delicious nonetheless 🙂

  21. Molly
    05.08.2019

    5 stars
    This recipe seriously makes THE most delicious tomato soup ever!! And it’s so so easy. I love that I have all of these ingredients in my kitchen and can easily make. Highly recommend trying!!

  22. Veronica
    10.22.2019

    5 stars
    Delicious! The soup alone is truly an under 30 minute recipe. I paired this with Love and Lemons’ Tomato, Basil, and Artichoke Picnic Sandwich.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.23.2019

      And I’m so glad you loved the soup along with it!

  23. April
    11.19.2019

    5 stars
    So good! And easy! I had some leftover giant white beans in tomato sauce so i used that instead of chickpeas.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.21.2019

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  24. Lindsay
    03.21.2020

    Turned out overwhelmingly acidic! Tad too sweet. Starting with a teaspoon of balsamic next time and no maple syrup, only adding at the end if needed.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.21.2020

      Hi Lindsay, thanks for the feedback. If you wanted to tone down this batch, you could try blending in more chickpeas, more olive oil, and a few extra pinches of salt and pepper (depending on it’s current salt level), for balance. If you simmer it for a little bit, the balsamic taste will cook out some.

  25. Koko
    04.03.2020

    I just made this and am sitting in front of it. It is SO good, I can’t believe I actually did this myself (I am a pretty mediocre cook). This recipe is 10/10!

  26. Maggie
    04.20.2020

    Can you make this recipe with grape tomatoes instead?

  27. Lily
    04.23.2020

    hello! Ironically I was able to get my hands on plenty of fresh tomatoes, but no canned. Do you have any recommendations on adapting to use entirely fresh tomatoes? I have plenty 🙂 Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.23.2020

      Hi Lily, try doubling the fresh tomatoes, and then once the soup is blended, you might have to season it a little bit more since canned tomatoes have a more concentrated tangy flavor. Aside from salt and pepper, add more balsamic if it’s bland and needs some pop… or if it’s too tart, add a pinch of sugar. I hope that helps!

  28. freya
    09.13.2020

    5 stars
    This was delicious!! We had a bumper harvest of homegrown tomatoes this year so this was a perfect way to use some of them. I added a little more of the maple syrup and chilli and there was a perfect sweet-savoury-spicy combination. It had a really strong tomato flavour, and overall my family really enjoyed it! Thanks for the great recipe.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.