Tomato, Chickpea & Coconut Soup

tomato chickpea & coconut soup (vegan) / @loveandlemons

This is the perfect pantry soup. I’m even betting that most of you have these ingredients on hand already. We’re all about fresh eating around here, but there’s nothing wrong with opening up a few cans from time to time… especially in the middle of winter when you crave tomato soup and tomatoes are not in season.

The soup is basically: 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of chickpeas, and (part of) 1 can of coconut milk. The chickpeas thicken the soup and the coconut creates a creamy, velvety texture without adding real cream. For a lighter soup, you can use light coconut milk or—get this!—the leftover watery milk from the can after you’ve made coconut cream.

Of course no tomato soup would be complete without grilled cheese. I’m sure you don’t need a recipe… a good simple grilled cheese is really about good ingredient choices. At the moment I’m particularly fond of this combo: Sourdough from Easy Tiger, Champagne Cheddar from Whole Foods, with a spread of dijon and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Grill on a cast iron grill pan. Dunk in soup.

4.9 from 14 reviews

tomato chickpea & coconut soup

Serves: serves 4 as a side
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 big garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar, more to taste
  • 1 14-oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • a few pinches of sugar, optional
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full fat or light
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, very optional, skip if vegan
  • red pepper flakes, optional for garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat oil in a medium pot. Add the onion, garlic a few pinches of salt and pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the paprika and cook until fragrant (30 seconds or so). Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Add the tomatoes, sugar and thyme leaves. Stir, then add the chickpeas, coconut milk and water. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Uncover and let cool slightly.
  2. Transfer to a blender and puree. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding parmesan cheese, if desired. If the soup is thick add a little water to thin to your desired consistency.
  3. Scoop into bowls and top with remaining chickpeas, red chile flakes and a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches for dunking, and extra balsamic on the side.
This soup gets better on the second and third day, so this is a great one to make in advance.

If you don't like coconut, use heavy cream in place of the coconut milk.

If you don't have fresh thyme add ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried thyme or oregano.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Quyen from

    If you get a good quality brand of canned foods, there is nothing wrong with canning! Everything is always in season and some of the work is done for you. Take San Marzano canned tomatoes. I could never get fresh tomatoes to taste like that! Great recipe. Thanks!

  2. This flavour is killer!! I bet this is a tiny bowl of heaven…and love…heavenly love.

  3. Nicola from

    This is my kind of soup. Love the addition of coconut milk and additional chickpeas at the end for texture. I’ve been in the mood for tomato soup as well (evident in my last blog post). So comforting but still healthy- perfect for January!

  4. Andrea

    What size can of tomatoes? I am excited to make this!

    • jeanine

      oops! 14-oz… just updated it in the recipe, thanks for pointing that out!

        • Andrea

          Made this tonight. Very very tasty but next time, if the plan is to serve with grilled cheese, I might not use any chick peas at all–I found the additional texture (fiber) of the blended chickpeas took away from the creaminess imparted by the coconut milk. For a more stand-alone soup-as-a-meal, the chickpeas do make it more filling and I might add the reserved chickpeas and toss in a few dark rye croutons 🙂

          This one is a keeper, thank you!

  5. Kathryn from

    The simplicity of this makes me so happy. Such a beauty of a recipe Jeanine!

  6. I’ve had a soup similar to this at a restaurant in Portland. Although they added a little orange juice to the soup. Sounds weird but it totally worked! Love this recipe.

    • jeanine

      I always add a pinch of sugar to cut down the tartness of the tomatoes – orange juice sounds like a nice (more natural) substitution for that. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Eileen from

    What a perfect combination! I am all about the soups this winter (and, er, every winter), so I’m excited to give this one a try. 🙂

    • jeanine

      Hi Eileen, me too, I can’t get enough 🙂

  8. yum. that sounds amazingly delicious. definitely going to try it tomorrow. i have some leftover coconut milk in the fridge from yesterdays green thai curry. the joy of cooking for one – leftover ingredients.

    • jeanine

      technically, I cook for two but I ALWAYS seem to have part of a coconut can in the fridge 🙂 Hope you like!

  9. Kiki from

    Can’t wait to try this one out

  10. Oh my, I so have to try this!!

    Allie of ALLIE NYC

  11. Melissa from

    Pantry cooking is saving my life these days. Bookmarking this one!

  12. My husband would be delighted by this recipe. He’s a grilled cheese and tomato soup type of man. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  13. Sandra Lea

    I don’t see wine in the list of ingredients but your directions say to add wine. How much?

    • jeanine

      oops! the second time I made this, I ended up omitting and found that didn’t make much of a difference to the overall taste. Originally, I had it where I have the vinegar, and then I did a splash of vinegar at the end… but it’s entirely not necessary. Thanks for pointing that out – good eye 🙂

  14. georgette

    your recipe called for wine or did I miss read it help

    • jeanine

      Hi Georgette – see my reply to the comment above – it’s not actually necessary, I used it in the first round of my recipe and when I remade it I realized it wasn’t necessary… I just forgot to change it in the instruction area. (fixed now).

  15. What a delicious-sounding combination of ingredients. I would never have thought of combining tomato with coconut but I can see how it would go really well. And I would definitely plump for the addition of the grilled cheese!
    Lovely blog in general by the way!

  16. Tieghan from

    I do have all these on hand! What a perfect week night meal!

  17. meg from

    Yum! This looks excellent

  18. Jack's sister

    My favorite combo! What does adding whole chickpeas at the end do for you? Is it a texture thing for taste or to thicken it up a bit? I only ask because I think I would want to purée them all but not sure what I’d be missing…and did you save some for me? 🙂

    • jeanine

      just for fun – you don’t have to add them at the end if you don’t want to 🙂 (Although I would blend the 1 cup before you add them all – taste and decide if you want to add more. It might end up too thick).

  19. Susana from

    Maravilhoso, simplesmente maravilhoso!

  20. Ritu

    Omg…this is simmering away on the stove. The house smells divine and it tastes delicious!! Your recipe looked so good, but I can never follow a recipe exactly (gotta add extra hidden veggies and use up what I have in the fridge, right?!). I made a few changes: I added about 3/4 of a cup of chopped carrots and 1/4 cup chopped zuchinni, I added 1/2 cup more coconut milk, I used Italian seasoning in place of thyme, I added a splash of soy sauce, and since I had already used some of my last can of tomatoes, I added in about a T of tomato paste.

    • jeanine

      Hi Ritu, so glad you like it (so far)!

      A+ for some tasty-sounding adaptations (I can’t follow recipes exactly either!)

  21. Lee

    Delicious! Can you tell me where the beautiful spoon in the picture is from?

  22. Liese

    I’ll be trying this out but with a careful eye to BPA in canned foods. AFAIK Muir Glen is the only company that doesn’t have BPA lining in their cans. I just made up a batch of dried garbanzo beans, what isn’t used will go in the freezer for the next batch! And for coconut milk, there is a powder available in my oriental market.

  23. Jordan from

    This looks exceptional, it combines so many things I love. The flavors of tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, and my favorite spice smoked paprika are all keepers in my book. So excited to try this out!

  24. Pang from

    You read my mind. This could be THE tomahto soup I can make before tomatoes are in season again. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you as always for sharing lovely pics & great recipe. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  25. Marie from

    This soup looks delicious, I’ll make sure to try it next time I’m off 🙂

  26. Abby from

    I love the idea of adding coconut milk to soup so it isn’t too rich or heavy. Soup looks cozily delicious! I think I’ll toast a few chickpeas to top it off.

  27. Kate

    This is simmering now and I’m so excited for the final product! I almost wonder if you could add curry paste for a different kind of meal? Might have to try it out when this batch is done!

  28. Lauren from

    Wow!! I made this soup tonight and it was everything I remember creamy soups tasting like in my pre-vegan life. I used vegetable broth instead of water and added fresh tomatoes along with the canned for additional flavor. My MLB (meat-lovin boyfriend) loved it too. I have a feeling this will become a staple. Thanks Jeanine!

  29. Alanna from

    This soup looks utterly perfect! Thank you for sharing – I can’t wait to make it.

  30. Victoria

    I want to let you know that I have done this soup at least four times in the last 2 weeks. Love love love LOVE it thank you so much xxx

    • jeanine

      Hi Victoria – I’m so happy to hear it’s made it to your regular rotation! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  31. Anna from

    I just made this soup for my weekly work soup club which is 2 days away. I don’t think it’s going to last, it is FANTASTIC! I added some vegetable stock instead of water, and a bit more garlic, but otherwise followed the recipe closely. I am in love! I”ll be checking out your other recipes!
    Thank you!

    • jeanine

      Hi Anna, Thanks I’m so happy to hear!! :).

    • Caleb Johnson

      I made this today and I was slightly disappointed in the taste… It was a bit grainy in texture, I added some vegetable stock and more seasonings which kicked it up a bit. I served with avacodo mayo ( Dijon + avocado +olive oil and lemon) tomato sandwiches.

  32. Ashley C

    Do you have any idea what the nutrition breakdown is per serving because I’ve been making several of your recipes and have to cut myself off from eating it ALL! I’ve made your curried sweet potato soup 2x in 3 days!!

    • jeanine

      Hi Ashley – glad you liked the sweet potato soup (and other recipes!!).

      I don’t do nutritional info for a few reasons… personally, when I get too rigid about “my diet” I tend to go crazy and feel deprived. I’ve been able to maintain a much healthier weight when I just try to be mindful, eat (mostly) balanced, and have a positive relationship with food… The more good things I eat, the less bad things I crave, and (I find) that I don’t see a weight fluctuation even though I use a good amount of oils, healthy fats, salt, etc. (again, this is my personal experience – and I totally understand if some people work better with actual facts and figures).

      The other main reason is that recipes are so adaptable so the count could actually vary a lot – if some people need to use less oil, light coconut milk vs. regular , etc – it’s all totally doable… I try to offer suggestions when those options are applicable so people can customize recipes to fit their own individual diets…

      Thanks for the great comment! I totally hear ya… I have a pretty big appetite and I am not especially good at portion control when I’m hungry 🙂

  33. irma

    I loved this soup, it was delicious. Heartier than normal tomato soup, and not so typically flavored (basil/oregano) it was great for a non-summer soup, in the cold Boston area. Also, the coconut milk seems magical. I left out the vinegar. Yum yum yum. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

    • jeanine

      Thanks Irma, glad you liked it :). I know, sadly in the winter I have no basil… I’m sure I’ll make a lighter version for summer!

  34. ana

    Hi, this is the first recipe i have tried from this blog and i loved the soup. i think it would be a great entree replacing the grilled sandwich for a couple of grilled shrimp! love the coconut milk and the hint of red pepper flakes!
    One question, my soup did not look as smooth as i have to strain it? Tx

    • jeanine

      Hi Ana,

      So glad you liked it! I didn’t strain it, it blended really smoothly in my Vitamix…

  35. Kelsey

    Made this today and it was delicious and so easy! Thank you!

  36. jodi lynn

    I made this last night and it was delicious (and even better today as my lunch!). I thought the addition of the leftover chickpeas really made the soup for me; it tasted a little ‘blah’ when by itself without the peas or the grilled cheese. Really easy soup to make — I’ll be hitting up this recipe again, for sure. Thanks!

  37. Beth

    I made this soup tonight, and it was incredibly delicious! I loved the flavors together, so creamy and healthy and good. A perfect dinner for me and my hubby. Thank you for your wonderful, yummy recipes! I appreciate how simple they are, and yet they retain layered details that add up to some seriously good food. I love your blog!

    • jeanine

      Thanks Beth! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying them, thank you for the wonderful feedback!

  38. Jenna

    Oh my goodness I made this tonight and it is so good!!!! I left out the extra add-ins at the end because I like my soups extra creamy and it was just fabulous!!! Thanks for a great recipe – I will definitely be trying out your other recipes as well!!

    • jeanine

      so glad you liked it!!

  39. Kristena from

    This was delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe. I used heavy cream instead of coconut milk because that’s what I had in my kitchen. Would love to try it with the coconut milk sometime though. 🙂

  40. Amy

    Just made this and I’m in love. Easy and delicious comfort food, I followed the recipe to a T except that I did not blend anything (I like chunky soups), did not add water and forgot the chili flakes. I used parmesanand coconut milk. I paired it with the balsamic-dijon grilled cheese that was suggested. It’s in my rotation now! I love my Campbell tomato soup but this feels and tastes richer and fancier 😉

  41. Cat

    Hi! Do you think it would be possible to throw all the ingredients together in a slow cooker and cook it for 3-4 hours? I’m a very busy graduate student and am all about easy meal prep 😉

    • Kate

      If it helps, prep for this soup really only takes about 5 minutes if you have all your ingredients out and ready – sauteeing the onions takes the most time of all! I make this all the time and if I have the cans already opened, beans rinsed and onion chopped and then have the spices and vinegar ready to throw in, it is seriously the easiest thing ever. You can always just turn it off after it’s done simmering and blend later when it’s cool! I don’t know that a slow-cooker would work that well just because of the onions, and how the paprika has to cook just a little and the balsamic kind of burns off a little from the heat. But this is just from my experience – wanted to put in my two cents because I feel like it’s my duty in life to get everyone to make this soup!

      • jeanine

        Thanks Kate! Love your quick tips – glad you liked the soup 🙂

  42. giulia Magri

    Hi ! If I were to use fresh tomatoes, how many would I need exactly? Dying to make this soup ! looks super yummy & easy:)) !

    • jeanine

      I’m not exactly sure without trying it – I’d start with about 1 pound (since the can is 14 oz but probably a bit more concentrated). Just be sure to taste and adjust the other seasonings to your liking – the salt level, etc might need some adjusting.

  43. Tammy from

    I have made this soup many times and it is one of my favorites! I was searching for something to make for dinner last night and thought of this recipe, but didn’t have any chickpeas on hand. I did have a can of cannellini beans, so I substituted those and it worked out great! Couldn’t tell much of a difference from the chickpeas and still tasted delicious.

  44. Miriam from Loveandlemons

    Delicious soup! I added a rib of celery. I didn’t have smoked paprika, so I substituted cumin and chili powder. The soup is a terrific base recipe and can be adapted very easily. The balsamic vinegar and coconut milk give a deep flavour. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow after it’s had a chance to develop even more flavour. Bravo!

  45. Miriam

    Delicious soup! I added a rib of celery. I didn’t have smoked paprika, so I substituted cumin and chili powder. The soup is a terrific base recipe and can be adapted very easily. The balsamic vinegar and coconut milk give a deep flavour. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow after it’s had a chance to develop even more flavour. Bravo!

  46. Sophie

    So good!! I loved the flavor and the creaminess.

    • jeanine

      Hi Sophie, soo glad you liked it!!

  47. Mary Kate from

    I just made this tonight, and it was excellent. I was hoping it would be good slightly cool (room temp), as it’s summer, and it really was. Yum.

  48. Laura

    Hi there, I love this soup! Have made it many times. This most recent time I made a triple batch and was wondering if you think it would hold up well to freezing. Thanks!

    • jeanine

      Hi Laura, I’m so glad it’s a favorite! Yes, you can freeze it – it’s not quite as creamy once it thaws, if that bothers you, you can blend it just a bit after you heat it up. (or just give it a good stir).

      • Laura

        Thanks so much for the quick response!

  49. Gabrielle

    Thanks for the great recipe! Just knowing this delicious soup is in our fridge puts some pep in my step. Your blog is bringing our kitchen to life:)

    • jeanine

      Hi Gabrielle – thanks – this makes my day to hear! xo

  50. Viv

    Hi Gabrielle,

    If I wanted to use fresh tomatoes, would it still be the same amount; and would i need to peel and remove seeds?

    • jeanine

      Hi Viv, I haven’t made this one with fresh tomatoes so I’m not exactly sure. At least 1 pound (maybe 1 1/2) – yes I would peel and remove the seeds.

  51. Marion

    Would it be possible to post the nutritional breakdown as I am seriously tracking things like fat grams, calories, carbs, sugars, fibre and sodium? The recipes sound delicious and so healthy and I can hardly wait to try them.

  52. Monika

    What are the calories per serving?

  53. Lynne

    Wow – delicious! I bought the cheapest tomatoes – and I fried chopped up bacon with the onions and added a chicken cube. When it’s all liquidised it’s smooth and creamy – really tasty! I didn’t put cheese in it. Yummmm. Thank you

  54. This sounds so good. Tomato is my favorite soup and with chili sounds perfect. Thanks


  55. Emily

    This is fantastic. Even better the second and third day!

  56. Barb

    Found this earlier this month and have made it 3 times already using fresh tomatoes from the garden. Delicious.

  57. Sue

    Delicious, nutritious and very easy to make

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  58. Christine

    Really tasty! Simple yet effortless and easy clean up (my kind of cooking!).

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Christine, I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup!

  59. Grace

    This soup is delicious!! A winner among vegans and omnivores alike! You won’t be disappointed.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  60. Donna

    This soup looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I was wondering if you have a favorite brand of organic coconut milk?

  61. Siena Klein

    Very quick and good. I used tomato paste added sliced celery to cook w onions. Added very little water and didn’t puree. It was delicious. That balsamic is a great addition. Thank you.

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.