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 24 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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Liz

    This recipe has been in my regular rotation for 5+ years – it’s a winner with my family! I love to make grilled cheese sandwiches on crust sourdough bread to dip in the soup.

  2. Sam

    Such an excellent recipe. We loved it !

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy to hear!

      • Sarah

        I’ve had this recipe on repeat for the last few years after eating something similar in a cafe. It’s perfect for batch cooking and freezing. I add a little nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan. Thank you!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          I’m so glad you’ve loved it!

  3. Rakka

    Can’t go wrong with this recipe and can alter it to use up leftovers from other recipes. Plan to make this again.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Amy

    This would be great to use the rest of the tomatoes in my garden!!!

  5. Jane

    Just enjoyed my second bowl of this soup (day 2)! I definitely echo your comment that it’s better the next day.

    Overall, just a nice, creamy soup with the added punch of protein from the chickpeas. I was pretty generous with the spices and the balsamic vinegar, and it turned out great! I roasted the leftover chickpeas in the oven until crispy and added them on top to serve. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Sara Hulse

    Hi! Can you use crushed instead of diced tomatoes? Does it make a difference? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      you can! Shouldn’t make a difference since it’s blended anyway.

  7. Nicole

    I loved this soup! I have a tendency to get acid reflux and the amount of tomato was a little too much. Any suggestions for using less? Maybe substituting broth? Would love to make this a regular go to!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. Sue

    Delicious, nutritious and very easy to make

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Barb

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

  14. Emily

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

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.