Tomato soup with basil and vegan parmesan

The Coziest Tomato Basil Soup

Hello, my chickpeas! Now listen. I’m about to state a VERY strong opinion: I think this recipe might be my favorite Joyful Balance blog recipe yet. Give it up for my Tomato Basil Soup!

The Coziest Tomato Basil Soup recipe by Joyful Balance - Vegan, WFPB, and oil-free

This soup is ultra creamy, ultra flavorful, and ultra cozy (three of my favorite things). I’ve tried a number of vegan tomato soups over the last couple years, and nothing has hit the spot for me quite like this one. If there’s one cozy recipe you try from me this fall, let it be this one!

Inspiration for Tomato Basil Soup

Cozy Tomato Basil Soup with vegan parmesan

This recipe is very near and dear to my heart. I grew up in a mostly vegetarian household, so as you can probably imagine, turkey was not usually the star of our Thanksgiving dinner. Early on in my family’s vegetarian journey, my mom started a tradition of making tomato soup for Thanksgiving. Sometimes she would even go wild and buy sourdough bread bowls to serve it in!

I know that tomato soup is probably not the top thing that MOST people think about when they think about Thanksgiving, but to me it will always be special. When I left home for college, it actually became the meal that I craved when I was homesick and missed my mom. Nowadays I don’t always serve it specifically for Thanksgiving, but it is definitely a staple in my house this time of year.

The original tomato soup recipe that she used when I was a kid is very much not vegan, but this year I set a mission for myself to make a veganized version that would satisfy that craving. On top of that, I also wanted a simplified recipe that I could easily make on weeknights, without sacrificing flavor. This one fits the bill and it makes me so so happy! I hope you try it out!


Cozy Vegan Tomato Soup with basil

Honestly, there aren’t a ton of ingredients in this one. I was really going for simple here! But here’s what we’ve got:

  • Onion and garlic: pretty much all of my recipes use these staples! They add so much great savory flavor, and they pair SO WELL with the tomato and basil.
  • Tomato paste: this makes our tomato flavor a little bit deeper, and also thickens our soup a bit.
  • Canned whole peeled tomatoes: Someday I might try another version of this recipe with fresh tomatoes, but I REALLY WANTED SIMPLE here. If you like this recipe you can buy a couple cans of these and keep them in your pantry for last-minute soup cravings!
  • Vegetable broth: this, along with the juices from our tomatoes, will provide most of the liquid for our soup.
  • Cashews: I absolutely love using cashews in vegan cooking to make things creamy and delicious. They’re my go-to dairy replacement in recipes like this! If you aren’t into cashews checkout the “Tips & Tricks” section for some of my other ideas.
  • Maple syrup: for just a tad bit of sweetness! Tomatoes are acidic, so adding in something sweet balances it out nicely. But we only use a bit so that the tomatoes still stand out as the star!
  • Basil: if you aren’t a basil fan, feel free to leave this out. But I personally think the basil brings this soup to a whole other level. The pairing of tomato and basil might be my favorite culinary pairing of all time.

How to make Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup with vegan parmesan and basil

Keep scrolling for the full details. But here’s the basics:

  1. Saute onion and garlic
  2. Add tomato paste and mix
  3. Throw in your tomatoes and veggie broth. Bring to a simmer and cook a while.
  4. Blend your mixture with soaked cashews and maple syrup
  5. Blend in some basil
  6. Slurp away!

Tips & Tricks

Plant Based Tomato Basil Soup

This one I’m pretty darn proud of, but I always encourage you guys to play with my recipes to your heart’s content. Here are some ideas for you!

  • Want a slightly lighter or thinner soup? Feel free to use less cashews here and just add little bits at a time until you reach the consistency you want. I like the ultra creaminess, but you can definitely adjust to your preferences.
  • Blender isn’t high powered enough for cashews? Some blenders handle cashews better than others. If you don’t think your blender can handle cashews, you could try simply replacing the cashews with a nondairy milk of your choice. I have not yet tried this myself, so do this at your own discretion, but I believe that it would be a good option! I would personally start with 1/4 cup and slowly add more until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Have fun with toppings and sides! I typically top mine with a bit of vegan parmesan and am good to go. But if I was making this for a special occasion, or just wanted to feel a little fancier, I would definitely top with croutons or serve it with sourdough bread! It would also be SO GOOD served with a vegan grilled cheese.
  • Not a basil fan? No worries! Simply leave out the basil and it’s still a delicious non-basil tomato soup.
  • Want some other soup options? I’ve got you covered. Check out my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup or my Sweet Potato Kale Soup next!


The Coziest Tomato Basil Soup

Recipe by Delaney Romero – Joyful Balance


From Start to Finish



This is the perfect weeknight tomato soup because it doesn’t take much hands-on time (only about 25 minutes)! Easy to make, ultra creamy, ultra flavorful, and ultra cozy. Many of these ingredients can be stored in your pantry, so keep some on hand for your next tomato soup craving!

*Note that the “From Start to Finish” includes 5 minutes to prepare your ingredients and 50 minutes to complete the directions of the recipe. It also assumes that you will allow your cashews to soak while you get started on the recipe (you won’t need them until step 5). 30 minutes of this recipe are spent just letting your soup cook – so only about 25 minutes of hands-on time!


  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes (with juice)

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 2/3 cup cashews, soaked in very hot water for 20-30 minutes (OR in room temperature water overnight)

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves

  • salt and pepper to tase


  • Bring a medium pot to med-high heat. Add a splash of water and your diced onion. Allow the onion to sauté for 4 minutes, adding more water as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Add your garlic to the pot and continue to sauté for 1-2 more minutes
  • Add your tomato paste to the pot and mix so that the onions and garlic are evenly coated.
  • Add your canned tomatoes (with juice) and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring it to a simmer, lower the temp to medium, and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
  • Drain your soaked cashews. Add the contents of your pot, your soaked cashews, and maple syrup to a high powered blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Add your basil, salt, and pepper to the blender. Blend until the basil has broken up into very small pieces that are evenly dispersed throughout the soup (or until completely smooth if desired).
  • Serve, top as desired, and enjoy!

Happy cooking, friends! If you made this recipe don’t forget to tag me (@joyfulbalanceofficial) on facebook or instagram so I can cheer you on for your soup-making ways.

Stay Joyfully Balanced!


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  6. Love this! The cashews made it so creamy. Thanks for sharing this excellent recipe!

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