Dipping grilled cheese into vegan tomato soup

How to Make ‘No-Cream’ Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Man, oh man, do I LOVE a warm bowl of creamy tomato soup, particularly on a cold, rainy day. This super creamy vegan tomato soup is easy to make, extremely flavorful, and, honestly, perfect for any time of the year! It’s such a simple, comforting dish, especially when paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. That is a must, BTW. It’s a crime to eat one without the other!

What makes this vegan tomato soup so creamy if there’s no actual cream in it?

Great question! It’s a combination of three things, actually—lots of caramelized onions, roasted garlic cloves, and a very long blending period. I only blend three cups of the soup base at a time, each for an entire minute at high speed. In this amount of time, the soup not only gets smooth, but it essentially emulsifies. The caramelized onions and roasted garlic cloves play a big part in emulsifying the soup, too, as they are secret thickeners!

Thick, creamy vegan tomato soup

The base of this vegan tomato soup is canned San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes. I highly recommend using these same cans of tomatoes, if possible! As silly as this may sound, I genuinely feel that their flavor sets themselves apart from other cans of tomatoes. These particular ones are sweet and rich in flavor, with low acidity. They also have a very tender texture, which is always a good thing. I love ’em!

What gives this soup it’s depth and flavor?

Some other key ingredients in this creamy vegan tomato soup are fennel seeds, caraway seeds, and fresh, whole basil leaves. I like to think of these as my three tomato soup musketeers. They pair so perfectly together!

Fennel seeds have a slight sweetness to them, with a strong kick of black licorice. Caraway seeds have a bit of a licorice flavor to them, too. But, mainly, they are sweet, with a hint of citrus and pepper. Lastly, the fresh basil adds another strong punch of pepper, but with a nice touch of freshness. Despite these three ingredients having intense and unique flavors, they’re not overpowering whatsoever. They more so come together and elevate the taste of the tomatoes.

Adding cashew parmesan to the soup

Top this baby off with lots of parmesan!

I almost always have a batch of homemade cashew parmesan in the fridge, and I always dump probably way too much onto this tomato soup. It adds a subtle cheesy and nutty flavor. It’s just so tasty, so I can’t help but always dump on a bunch!

PSST! Here’s a super quick and easy cashew parmesan recipe:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until it has a fine meal texture that resembles grated parmesan.

Hey! If you’re thinking about making this recipe, why not make my Super Easy Homemade Bread for Beginners!? It’s the bread I used for my grilled cheese in these photos. It’s so much better than store-bought bread, and it’s almost too easy to make!

If you make this super creamy vegan tomato soup, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!

Dipping grilled cheese into vegan tomato soup

No-Cream Super Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Author Chef Summer Storm – garden grub
This tomato soup is exceptionally creamy, yet the recipe is made with absolutely zero creams! It's super flavorful, easy to make, and perfect to eat at any time of the year.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 cups


Roasted Garlic

  • 1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin

Caramelized Onions

  • 3 1/2 cups yellow onion, julienned (About 2 medium-sized onions)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Soup Base

  • Two 28 ounce cans "Cento" San Marzano organic, whole peeled tomatoes, please use these exact cans of tomatoes if possible!
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 10 fresh, whole basil leaves


Roasted Garlic

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the garlic cloves and olive oil into a tiny roasting pan. The garlic should be completely submerged in the olive oil. Wrap the top of the pan with a piece of plastic wrap and then with a piece of tin foil.
  • Roast in the oven for 1 hour.

Caramelized Onions

  • Add the olive oil into a large saute pan over medium-low heat.
  • Once hot, add in the onions. Cook for 10 minutes, and stir occasionally.
  • Add in the sugar and salt, and stir well. Cook for another 25 minutes and mix occasionally to ensure the onions do not stick or burn.

How to Cook the Tomato Soup

  • Add all of the ingredients from the soup base, EXCEPT for the fresh basil leaves, into a large stockpot. Also, add in the roasted garlic, including its oil it was cooked in and the caramelized onions.
  • Cook over medium heat for 12 minutes, and stir occasionally.
  • Cover, reduce the heat down to the lowest temperature and cook for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Allow the soup base to cool down slightly, and then add in the fresh basil leaves.
  • Place 3 cups at a time into a high powered blender. Blend for exactly 1 minute. Pour the soup into a large container or another pot. Repeat blending 3 cups at a time for 1 minute until there is no soup mix left.
  • Stir the soup together really well to ensure all of the blended batches are evenly combined.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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  • RW

    5 stars
    I know grilled cheese is the preferred combo with tomato soup, but I made this soup with the cheddar bay biscuits from this blog (make them!) and it was such a satisfying meal. This soup was so savory, rich, and creamy. Didn’t change a thing. Once my buscuits were gone I used a little bit of leftover soup to toss some penne in and it almost gave me a penne alla vodka vibe. Really, really delicious.

    • garden grub

      Ohhhh, what a fun combination, I may have to try that myself! I’m so happy you enjoyed both recipes! I also think I’m going to have to try your leftover soup/penne idea. That sounds delicious, and I love leveling up leftovers into a new dish!!

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