This Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil Soup recipe is one everyone will enjoy! It’s a great Whole30 soup packed with a variety of veggies. A dairy free tomato soup, this gets its creamy texture from a blend of cauliflower and cashews.
A Healthy & Hearty Cauliflower Tomato Soup
If you read along, you’ll know how much I love using cauliflower to replace “traditional” ingredients in recipes and make them healthier.
This creamy cauliflower trick is not new — I use cauliflower as a base of this Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup, and also in my Dairy Free Corn Chowder.
I also love using cauliflower as “rice” and in place of potatoes. This is how I started this luxurious vegan creamy tomato basil soup recipe.
Tomato Basil Soup is a favorite of mine, but because I am lactose intolerant, I typically can not have it when I go out to eat. I don’t understand why cream soups are so popular, when there are many dairy free soups that are so delicious and much healthier (I suppose I could say something similar about most restaurant menu items!).
My issues with store bought canned soups — besides not tasting that great, they typically come with gluten and sugar. This one gets its creaminess from a puree of cauliflower and cashews, and it’s naturally sweet from the tomatoes and some carrots. A perfect Whole30 soup, but also a great option if you’re vegan or need to eat dairy free for any other reason.
How Do you Make Tomato Basil Soup?
This soup is easy to make — it’s contains lost of veggies, but they can be chopped and ready in about 10 minutes.
You’ll need to plan ahead if you’d like to soak your cashews first. I like to soak cashews overnight, but if I forget to do it or don’t have time, I just pour hot water over them and let them soak while I am preparing the rest of the ingredients.
The cauliflower will take about 15 minutes to steam — you’ll want it nice and tender for the smoothest texture “cream”. Once that’s done, I puree the cauliflower with the drained cashews, and a little water.
I saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes, add the carrots, celery, tomatoes, and vegetable broth, then let is simmer for about 20 minutes.
All that’s left at that point is to blend the tomatoes and veggies with the “cream.”
I like to top Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with a touch of reserved “cream”, chili flakes, and extra basil. Add parmesan cheese if you’d like, or crumbled crackers!
Tips for Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- Save Time: If you don’t have time to soak the cashews overnight, pour boiling water over the cashews and allow them to soak while you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Make it Ahead: This soup freezes beautifully! When ready to serve, to thaw, or put the frozen soup in a large pot with a cup of water, and turn on low to gently and slowly reheat. This is a great recipe to keep frozen for healthy quick meals.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
- 3 cups cauliflower roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cashews soaked overnight and drained
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic fresh, chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot peeled, chopped
- 2 15-ounce diced tomatoes cans
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable boullion
- 1/2 cup basil leaves chopped
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Soak cashews in water overnight. Drain when ready to use. If there isn't time for this step, soak cashews in boiling water for 1 hour and drain to use.
- Add cauliflower to a steamer, and steam over medium high heat for 15 minutes.
- In a blender, add steamed cauliflower, soaked cashews, and 3/4 cup water. Process until a very smooth cream is formed. Set aside.
- In a saucepot, add olive oil and onion and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add chopped carrots and celery, and saute another few minutes, then add diced tomatoes, water, and vegetable bouillon . Bring back to a boil, and then simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the "cream, then add tomato soup to the blender, and process until very smooth.
- Return soup to pot, mix in fresh basil, and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Garnish soup with "cream", and then add extra fresh basil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese if desired.
Other Whole30 Soup Recipes:
- Hearty Vegetable Soup, by iHeartNaptime
- Roasted Broccoli Soup with Lemon Tahini Cream, by The Endless Meal
- Creamy Sausage, Potato, Kale Soup, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Carrot, Apple, Fennel Soup, by Sunkissed Kitchen
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Linda @ Veganosity says
Yum! I love tomato basil soup. This looks so good! Thank you for sharing my cream of celery soup with your readers. 🙂
The soup turned out better than I imagined! I am in love with using cauliflower and cashews in soups now.
This looks perfect for the chilly weather we are getting!
The Food Hunter says
It looks so good. I bet it tastes fabulous
I love tomato soup, your version sounds very creamy and delicious!
Platter Talk says
I wish that I had a bowl of this beautiful soup in front of me right now! It looks incredibly delicious and healthy.
This is so wonderful and delicious! I made it for my husband this weekend and he couldn’t tell it was vegan! Thank you for posting vegan recipes – I look forward to trying more! Thanks Michelle.
I am glad you liked it Abbee! I really love the blend of cauliflower and cashews in soups– so rich and creamy 🙂
Michelle made this for me. It is wonderful.
Heidi Wurst says
What could I substitute for the cashews? I’m deathly allergic to tree nuts! This recipe actually kind of scares me, because I would never think to ask if there were tree nuts in my creamy tomato soup!!! I hope people who make and serve this are sure to inform everyone of the cashews present in it! However, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tomato and basil soups, so I would LOVE to try the recipe with a cashew substitute, or just leave them out if it wouldn’t significantly affect the taste and texture of the soup. Thanks for any tips you can offer!
I have life threatening food allergies as well — peanuts and soy, so I totally understand how you feel! Whenever I see soy used in a strange recipe, I think the same exact thing! Because of my experience, I do always ask people about nut allergies, because I use nuts in a lot of my recipes to replace gluten or dairy ingredients. FYI — cashews are an extremely popular ingredient right now- people are using it as a cream substitute, but there is also cashew flour being used in baked goods! My best recommendation for this recipe is to use the cauliflower, but then sub 1/4-1/2 cup of full fat canned coconut milk to give it some extra creaminess. You can also just add some whipping cream or half and half, if you’re not dairy-restricted! GOOD LUCK! 🙂
Have you tried making this in a crock pot?
This soup cooks so quickly I wouldn’t think it needs a crockpot. I would still brown the onions and garlic, and then throw everything else into the crockpot and blend when everything is softened if you want to try it!
i made this last night and it was so so so good! i’m such a tomato soup fan but always have been too scared to make it myself in fear of it tasting like tomato sauce! the carrot really helped sweeten it up! i subbed the cashews out for lentils and added in a bay leaf and topped it with homemade croutons. i’m having this for dinner all over again tonight!
Oh, I love this soup! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. This is one I make a lot in the winters and freeze portions for quick lunches. Love that you added lentils for a protein boost! I will have to try that.
Hi! Would this work with no carrots? We have a carrot allergy in the family, but we LOVE tomato soup. Any suggestions we can try? Thanks!
The carrots give this soup the sweetness that we are used in with tomato soups, since they typically have sugar. I would just omit the carrots, and then add honey — maybe start with a tablespoon, and add a little more to your taste! I think it would work out great even without it.
Tammy Schick says
It needed a little extra seasoning for our personal tastes but this recipe is THE BOMB-DIGGITY! It’s really very simple to make and doesn’t require weird ingredients that you can’t readily find and keep on hand. I made a batch this week and had to sit next to the fan to eat it (It’s hot here in AZ in August) but it’s totally worth it. Thanks for sharing a creamy, simple, dairy & gluten free recipe! You’re my hero!
Michelle Miller says
Thanks for this Tammy! I will definitely turn on the AC to enjoy soup year round 🙂
A little tart. Not savory, certainly not sweet. I ended up adding 1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk to make it a bit more mild in taste.