This creamy tomato soup recipe is comfort food at its best! It tastes rich, but it’s light and healthy, made with blended chickpeas instead of heavy cream.
Because it’s winter, I intended to make this soup using only canned tomatoes, but at the store, I saw some organic fresh tomatoes that looked too good to pass up. I decided to roast them and toss them into the soup in addition to the canned tomatoes. Then, I rounded it out with these key ingredients:
- Roasted onion and garlic add an irresistible, caramelized depth of flavor.
- Chickpeas are the secret ingredient! They make this vegan tomato soup lusciously creamy without any dairy.
- Balsamic vinegar makes it deliciously tangy.
- Fresh thyme adds a lovely herbal note. A handful of fresh basil would be great here too!
- Maple syrup balances the acidic balsamic and tomatoes.
- Extra-virgin olive oil adds richness.
- And a dash of red pepper flakes spices it up.
I like to think of this homemade tomato soup recipe in two easy steps: 1. Roast and 2. Blend. Here’s how it goes:
- Preheat the oven to 450° and roast the garlic, onion, and fresh tomatoes until tender and browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer the roasted veggies to a blender and add the other ingredients.
- Blend to creamy perfection!
- Top with the grilled cheese croutons, if using, and enjoy!
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 4 medium fresh tomatoes* (see note)
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced into quarters
- 1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Heaping ½ teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
for the croutons: (optional)
- 8 slices Simply Nature 7 Grain Bread
- heaping ½ cup Earth Grown Vegan Mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 450° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wrap the garlic cloves in a piece of foil and place it on the baking sheet along with the whole tomatoes and the onion wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes and onions are well browned. Peel the garlic and transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender.
- Reduce the oven heat to 400° F and line the baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper.
- To the blender, add the canned tomatoes, garbanzo beans, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon olive oil, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and freshly ground pepper and blend until creamy (a Vitamix is ideal here. If using a regular blender, just blend longer!). Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. At this stage, the soup should still be hot. If not, pour it into a pot to reheat it.
- Make the croutons: Sprinkle 4 slices of the bread with a thin layer of cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices to make sandwiches and drizzle the outsides of the bread with olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into croutons so that the cheese doesn’t ooze out when you cut it.
- Serve the soup with the croutons (some in the soup, some on the side) and additional fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas, if desired.