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This easy vegan cream of tomato soup is the perfect way to use up an abundance of summer tomatoes.
It’s quick, super easy and unbelievably delicious.
In fact, it’s so delicious that I think I ate it for three months straight, which is unheard of for me.
I normally get sick of the same dish after just three days, but not this one.
Night, after night, after night of creamy, flavoursome, fresh tomato soup.
This is not a raw soup, because I’ve yet to master the art of raw soups.
In fact, you could say that so far, I’ve failed miserably at raw soups.
Either they’ve tasted awful, or my stomach has resoundingly rejected the strong flavours of raw onion and garlic and the abundance of uncooked starches.
But I’ve applied everything I’ve learned from preparing raw food, to make this soup as wholesome and minimally cooked as possible.
It was inspired by a recipe from Kathy Hester’s Great Vegan Bean Book, but adapted it to use even more whole foods, and to minimise the amount of cooking.
In fact, it’s the first soup I’ve successfully cooked in my beloved Vitamix high-speed blender.
Did you know that the Vitamix blends things as such a high speed that you can cook soup right in the jug?
Pretty cool, huh?
Anyway, after I planted my masses of tomatoes plants this summer, I ended up with masses of tasty homegrown tomatoes, ranging from big slicing tomatoes to teeny tiny cherry tomatoes.
So of course I had to find a way to use them all up.
And when my first attempt at vegan cream of tomato soup didn’t quite turn out as expected, I turned to the internet to find inspiration for the perfect flavour combination.
I discovered, of course, that tomatoes pair beautifully with fresh basil, which is also plentiful during summer, and so this amazing dish was born.
I still can’t believe how many nights in a row I eagerly devoured this soup and still didn’t get sick of it.
I even had times where I craved it and just had to have some more. Right now!
So we ended up using countless bunches of green, fragrant organic basil from our local greengrocer as well.
And I also discovered the easiest way ever to dry your own basil.
Just hang it upside down in a warm, dry spot for a week or two and let it dry out naturally.
Then strip the leaves and store them in an airtight container.
That’s my kind of kitchen prep. The kind where forgetting all about it actually helps.
And so we now also have an abundant supply of homemade dried basil, ready to use at a moment’s notice.
I enjoyed eating my vegan cream of tomato soup so much that I was a little sad when my ready supply of tomatoes eventually came to an end.
But I was also really pleased that I just happened to start wanting something different around the same time.
Almost as if my body is starting to naturally follow the seasons. That would be cool.
And now I have even more incentive to plant another massive crop of tomatoes again this year.
I’m looking forward to it already!
Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup
- 4 med tomatoes , fresh (540g)
- 1 can white beans (cannellini or navy) drained & rinsed (250g)
- 1 med brown onion , roughly chopped (130g)
- 1 clove garlic (3g)
- 3 med sun-dried tomato halves (15g)
- 4 med medjool dates (70g)
- 1/2 cup cashews (70g)
- 3 tbsp fresh basil (8g) or 2 tsp dried basil *
- 3/4 tsp instant stock mix
- 1 pinch salt (to taste)
- 1 3/4 cup water (430g)
- Add the ingredients to the blender in the order listed.
- Blend on high speed for around 12 minutes.
- Stop blending as soon as the soup boils (the sound will change).
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Before: -
- During: 20 mins
- After: -
- Need: Blender
Notes* Australian tablespoon = 20 ml
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- If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can just throw the tomatoes in whole. You don’t even need to chop the stalk bit out, because it will all be blended in and no-one will ever know.
- You can use any white beans that you have on hand, and of course you can cook them yourself if you prefer. I just love the convenience of canned beans. One can of beans is about 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans.
- The beans help to add creaminess and nutrition – in the form of carbohydrates and protein – without adding fat. In fact, the small amount of fat in this soup (6g in a 250g serve) comes almost entirely from the cashews, so if you left those out entirely, you could make a less creamy, but incredibly filling and delicious low-fat vegan cream of tomato soup.
- Although this soup is only minimally cooked, I’ve found that it’s enough to bring the onion and garlic flavours into balance, so you don’t need to pre-fry them. This reduces the oil content, as well as eliminating another source of high-heat.
- I tend to use dry sundried tomatoes (as opposed to sundried tomatoes in oil), but I’m sure either would work just fine in this recipe. The blender will make sure that they’re thoroughly combined either way.
- I added medjool dates to give this soup a hint of sweetness that it really needed. Medjool dates are big, sweet, soft and sticky dates that you usually find in the fresh produce section, or at your local health food store. They’re softer than regular dates, and have more of a caramelly taste and add a rich sweetness to recipes. If you’re using regular dates, you may want to soak them in warm water for 30 minutes before using them.
- If you want to make this recipe nut-free, just replace the cashews and water with any non-dairy milk (e.g. soy milk, rice milk, oat milk etc).
- The cashews in this soup add a lovely creaminess, but they do also add most of the fat content, so you could also just leave them out, but it might not taste quite as wonderful.
- I just added the fresh basil in at the start with all of the other ingredients, and it worked perfectly. I’m all for effortless recipes, so there’s no need to add it in at the last minute (and you may need to use less if you do). If you’re using dried basil, then about 2g (about 1 tsp) is enough, but if you’re not sure, just start with 1/2 tsp and then add more until you fall in love with the taste.
- I have a homemade stock mix that’s a blend of salt and dried herbs and spices that I use for instant stock, and I also have a salt-free stock paste that’s a mix of dried vegetables that I sometimes use. But any stock paste or stock cube will do in place of the stock paste. Or, if you’re happy to use the cashews, you can substitute the water and stock paste for your favourite liquid stock. Just make sure you adjust the salt to suit, or wait until the end and add it in then, because the last thing you want to do is overdo the salt.
- If you have an infrared thermometer, this is a great way to keep track of the temperature of your soup. But it’s not really necessary, because the blender will start making a very different sound the moment your soup starts to boil, and then you know you’re done.
- If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you’ll need to remove the stems from your tomatoes, pre-soak your dry sundried tomatoes, and then just blend your vegan cream of tomato soup until it’s smooth. Then transfer the soup to a saucepan and simmer gently until it tastes done . (I haven’t done it this way myself, but I still don’t think it would need to be simmered for the usual 20 minutes that most recipes recommend. The idea is to cook it as little as possible.)
I’ve been playing with the idea of using beans in many of my recipes, as a way to increase the nutrients in my food without increasing the fat content.
Beans are incredibly low in fat, yet high in carbohydrates and protein, and make this soup fantastically dense and creamy.
When I saw Kathy Hester’s recipe for “Heartier Cream of Tomato Soup with White Beans”, I had a lightbulb moment – I can use beans instead of nuts to add bulk and creaminess to dishes.
And so I’ve been using this idea, in combination with all of my existing raw food preparation skills, to craft dishes that are satisfying, yet low in fat.
Although they’re not 100% raw, but they are vegan, packed with nutritious whole foods and as cooked as little as possible.
So I’m interested to see where I end up with this next avenue of exploration.
Want to explore the wonders of bean-based vegan recipes for yourself?
You can order Kathy's cookbooks online today at Amazon, the Book Depository, or your favourite book supplier, and start making her easy and delicious vegan dishes for yourself.
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