I got the inspiration for this creamy plant-based tomato soup after enjoying a delicious bowl at this wonderful vegan restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia in late February 2020. Although we didn’t know it at the time, this was our last trip away from home in Cambodia. Soon after, home quarantine started in Cambodia in early March 2020.
Tomato soup is a hit with kids. My daughter and I both loved this tomato soup at the restaurant and enjoyed making it together during home quarantine. This recipe is full of bright, fresh, acidic flavor and balanced with the creamy smoothness of coconut milk. Serve it almost-hot in a bowl with plenty of toast for dunking. To me, this is a comforting rainy day lunch or dinner.
Traditional Tomato Soup Recipes
Tomato soup is normally a dairy rich soup. The most indulgent versions contain sugar, butter and heavy cream. But even a simple creamy tomato soup will feature a lot of oil, either for frying the onions or roasting the tomatoes. Most creamy tomato soups are finished with cream, yoghurt or sour cream. Suffice to say, this dish is usually fairly heavy.
This Creamy Plant-based Tomato Soup
The ripe tomatoes keep the taste fresh and light. Just the right amount of flavor comes from onion, garlic and seasoning.
Coconut Milk is the perfect dairy replacement here
Vegan soup still needs something creamy to bring smoothness. Coconut milk gives this plant-based version a delicious silky texture and taste. This plant-based source of healthy fat is an ideal ingredient to have on hand to enrich any recipe which would usually call for a little yoghurt or cream.
Why the ½ teaspoon of sugar?
Tomatoes can be very acidic and the ½ tsp of sugar takes the edge off the acid taste. This is just to balance the flavor. It is amazing how much of a difference this small amount can make, it takes the flavor from tinny to rounded.
Perfect to serve with toasted bread
In my opinion, the best food is simple. Since we are putting in a lot of effort here with our soup, the accompaniment needs to be effortless. If you have a fresh loaf on hand, great! But stale bread makes perfect toast or tastes almost good as new after a few minutes in a warm oven.
- Tomatoes: Ripe!
- Tomato Sauce: Use your favorite. This recipe is perfect to make when you have tomato sauce left over from a pasta meal, or when you have frozen tomato sauce in the freezer. Equally, you could use a carton of pre-made passata for convenience.
- Canned Coconut Milk: This is a store cupboard essential. Freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray so you can add small portions to recipes, rather than opening a whole new can each time.
- Sugar: The amount used here is minimal so you don’t need to use anything fancy. Organic palm sugar gives a wonderful natural flavor, or you could even use a blended date or spoon of honey.
- Heat: Add ½ -½ tsp of chili powder or paprika to add a lovely heat to this soup
- Creamier: Add more coconut milk
- Thicker: If you want a thicker consistency, use 2 cups of water instead of 3
- Temperature: This soup is also delicious served cold
- Add vegetables – my cousin made this soup and she wrote me an email with her variation: “chopped up yellow pepper, shallot, and celery all sauteed with the garlic.”
- If you want a chucky tomato soup – simmer it for 1 hour and do not blend.
10 medium ripe tomatoes
3 cups water
½ cup + 2 Tbsp vegetarian tomato sauce (homemade or bought)
1 onions, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup coconut milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar (optional)
Pepper to taste
Measuring cups and spoons
Fill a kettle with water and bring to the boil.
Using a small, sharp knife, cut an “X” into the bottom of each tomato and place into the empty soup pot.
Fill the pot with freshly boiled water to cover the tomatoes. Leave for 1-2 minutes, until the skin of the tomato starts to split.
Transfer the tomatoes into into a bowl of very cold water. Leave to stand for 1 minute, or until the tomatoes are comfortable to handle.
Peel the tomatoes with your hands, discarding the skin. Chop the peeled tomatoes and transfer to a prep bowl.
In a soup pot, Saute the chopped onion and minced garlic for 3-5 min
Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, tomato sauce and optional spices and bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool down for at least 10 minutes.
Place in a blender and blend until smooth.
Serve with crusty fresh bread or toast.
Keywords: tomato, vegan, plant-based soup, creamy soup
More soup recipes:
Soup is a great one-pot, batch cook meal to prepare ahead and freeze leftovers for easy meals later on. For more healthy vegan soup ideas, try out these recipes:
- Jackie’s Creamy Vegan Celery Soup – an intense, slow cooked soup highlighting a vegetable we usually only think of as a base flavor. This is part of Jewish Food Hero’s Community Recipe series, where community members share their favorite vegan recipe. If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here.
- Eileen’s Hawaij Vegetable Soup – another Community Recipe created during home quarantine. Eileen shares this Mediterranean inspired, Yemeni spiced soup, packed with satiating squash and potato.
- A round-up of 8 vegan soups – I put together this list of vegan soups around Chanukah, but vegan soup is also great year-round!