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


  2. 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

  3. Monika

    What are the calories per serving?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. Sophie

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

    • jeanine

      Hi Sophie, soo glad you liked it!!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 🙂

  15. 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 😉

  16. 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. 🙂

  17. 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!!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. Kelsey

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

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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.