Jan 08

Dreamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Dreamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Sometimes it takes falling sliding down a hill mountain several times and picking yourself back up to enact the tiniest bit of positive change you had been willing yourself towards for over a year. After rediscovering the benefits of yoga in November of 2012, I promised myself that I would work hard to move the positivity of my practice off my mat and into the typical, everyday moments of life. Most specifically, I wanted to use mantras to help combat moments of stress, lack of motivation, anxiety, and frustration, which tend to rear their ugly heads all at once when I’m feeling like my plate is overflowing with tasks.

Although I had the best of intentions throughout the past year, it wasn’t until a recent ski trip that I actually found myself in a position where all else had failed and it was time to use the mantras or plop down in the snow and sob. When Dan first brought up the idea of taking a couples’ ski trip to Colorado for New Year’s Eve, I cringed and reminded him that I had literally been skiing twice in my life and both times were on tiny ice-hills in the midwest more than 15 years ago. I didn’t know how to stop, I didn’t know how to turn, and I certainly didn’t know how to get myself down a mountain in Colorado on a pair of skis. He assured me that I just needed to take a lesson or two when we arrived, and I would be fine.

So, I did. I took a beginner’s lesson on the first day and learned all the basics; I learned how to get the skis on my feet (pretty important), how to use the poles, how to make a wedge shape to stop, and how to turn my way down the bunny hills. Dan met up with me at the end of the day for a quick run down a bunny hill and said he was impressed that I had already learned how to turn {insert ego boost here}.

On day two, our group of mostly intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders decided to ski the bigger green runs together for the first few hours. I confidently plopped down on the lift with Dan and our friends but became a bit fearful as the lift carried us up the mountain for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 minutes. This is a green run, right? Are you sure this is a green, Dan? It won’t be steep, right? There won’t be moguls, right? All questions I nagged Dan with as we climbed higher and higher. My fears diminished as Dan reassured me that I would be fine, and he’d make sure I got down safely. So with one glance down the mountain, I threw on my best façade of confidence and went for it…

I quickly noticed that squatting down very low while making wide turns that traverse the width of the entire run will actually 1) turn you into a moving target for people who actually know what they’re doing and 2) rocket you into an uncontrollable speed. After zig-zag bombing down a portion of the run and beginning to wonder if this might be the way I die, I sat back on my skis and allowed myself to slide/tumble/slip to a stop. Dan quickly made his way down to help stand me up, brush me off, and encourage me to continue down the run at a slower speed. Slow down? Do I look like I want to be going this fast?

After a deep breath, I went at it again, and I wiped out again. I went at it again, and I wiped out again. This ski-and-wipe-out cycle continued over and over again until we lost our group of friends and it was just Dan and me. During one of the more epic falls, I slid a good 20 to 30 feet on my butt as my skis spewed snow in all directions before coming to a stop. When I glanced up through snow-stung eyes, I saw a man laughing hysterically at my mishap as he gracefully glided on his skis. You’re right, sir, this is pretty funny stuff happening right here on this mountain. I laughed for a second or two and then stopped when I realized that I was covered in snow, shaking from fatigue, and feeling completely discouraged.

After more cheerleading from Dan, I followed him down another section of the run but took a wrong turn and went up a large hill while he went down another. I watched him disappear behind a patch of pine trees as I stood fearful on the top of a steep portion of the run, and I cried. Nothing like a quick and snowy minute of tears to reboot a first-time skier’s confidence, I suppose. Somehow, in what must have been a ski-crisis miracle, I remembered the yoga mantra that usually helps me when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed by a tricky pose, and I began repeating it to myself. Yes, I can. Yes, I can. Yes, I can.

I then side-stepped my way down the steepest part of the slope (that mantra is only so powerful), and then pointed my skis downward and went for it. During moments when I felt like I was losing control and about to force a fall to escape my fearfulness, I repeated the mantra. I didn’t fall the rest of the way down and more importantly, I started to enjoy myself. It turns out that during my beginner’s skiing epiphany, Dan 1) hiked back up the mountain to look for me, 2) couldn’t find me, 3) assumed I had likely tangled myself in a patch of trees/plummeted down a black run, and 4) decided he needed to alert the ski rescue crew. Fortunately, I found him right as he was walking over to alert someone. Embarrassing scene averted.

For the remainder of our trip, I used the mantra to move myself from fearful to empowered, and it allowed me to understand why people love skiing so much. I still fell yardsaled a few more times but learned that there is fun to be had in the process of falling.

Since returning home, I’ve been using mantras more regularly to push myself through moments when I feel stuck. Do you use mantras? If so, what are your favorites and when do you use them? Below are some of the mantras I find most helpful…

1| Let. It. Go.

2| Yes, I can.

3| The time is now.

4| Inhale love, exhale hate.

5| I am enough. I have enough. There is enough.

6| Quiet. Focus. Trust.

7| Breathe in peace, breathe out love.

8| Be true. Be kind. Be present. Breathe.

So what does this long, rambling ski story have to do with tomato soup? Nothing other than the fact that it’s the perfect meal to warm up after being out in the cold and covered in snow. Considering most of the midwest was in a blizzard/arctic freeze over the last few days, a soup recipe was warranted. This vegan tomato soup gets its rich and creamy texture from puréed cauliflower and nutritional yeast. The addition of red bell pepper, garlic, and plenty of spices creates layers of flavor that will keep you coming back for more. It’s the perfect meal to warm your heart during lunch or dinner, and it’s pretty much a requirement that it be paired with grilled cheese.

Dreamy Vegan 8

Dreamy Vegan 7

Dreamy Vegan 5

Dreamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Dreamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Dreamy Vegan Tomato Soup


4.5 from 13 reviews
Dreamy Vegan Tomato Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This vegan tomato soup is rich, creamy, thick, and chock full of healthy goodness, and the addition of cauliflower makes it ultra creamy without the need for dairy. The perfect complement to grilled cheese; this soup will warm your soul on a chilly winter's day.
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnishing
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice
  • 1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ to 1 cup water (if needed to thin soup)
  • fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  1. Add olive oil to a large stock pot and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add in garlic and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.
  3. Add in the red bell pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the tomatoes, cauliflower, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes (be sure to submerge the cauliflower chunks in the tomato liquid as much as possible -- it will seem like there is too much cauliflower, but there is just enough)
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and allow the mixture to simmer vigorously for 25 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and purée mixture with an immersion blender for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can add the mixture to a blender in batches or a large food processor (return soup to pan once done blending).
  7. Add in salt (to taste) and nutritional yeast. Simmer on low for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If soup is thicker than desired, add in ½ to 1 cup water and whisk into soup.
  8. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and top with chopped fresh basil, if desired.


  1. This looks great! Perfect for fighting the cold. I’ve used cauliflower in sauces before, but never thought to put it in tomato soup – makes a lot of sense though!

    The “let it go” mantra is one that I need/use quite frequently :)

  2. HEY! What part does the nutritional yeast play in this recipe? or even in life? I’ve only used it for cheese or bread.


    • Hi Elise! It adds a creamy/cheesy flavor to the soup that helps enhance the overall flavor and richness. Hope you’re doing well!

    • Pennelope says:

      I am going to make this soup in my Nutriblast Rx so it is completely raw! I’m excited xD. To add to the first response to your question, Elise, nutritional yeast is super cheesy tasting (it also thickens some) and is perfect in soup, or pretty much anything you want!! If you don’t heat it more than 115*F, then it is an excellent source of B12, and even has some protein. If you mix nutritional yeast, a tiny bit of water, and salt, you have a nacho cheese sauce perfect for burritos or dipping! I’m obsessed with the stuff xD

      • Hi, Pennelope! I’d love to hear how this soup is as a raw soup; great idea. Also, thanks for the additional nutritional yeast info!

  3. Using cauliflower to thicken tomato soup is brilliant! Is there anything cauliflower can’t do?! Great recipe :)

  4. Oh wow!…. this look like the recipe I have been dreaming of. I happen to love “Noodles” tomato basil bisque and don’t dare ask the ingredients for fear I won’t order it any more. I can’t wait to try this.

  5. I just made this now, although I omitted the yeast and red pepper because I didn’t have them. It tasted weird – maybe the brand of tomatoes makes a difference? And even with an immersion blender, I couldn’t quite get a smooth consistency. I ended up adding almost 2 cups of chicken broth and that, along with some chipotle seasoning, helped the taste a lot!

    • Hi Jackie, thanks for reading and trying out the recipe! The nutritional yeast is VERY important for the flavor as it helps add a richness and pulls everything together — I would expect it to taste off without it. You can purchase it online or at specialty grocers like Whole Foods. The red bell pepper also enhances the flavor! The soup won’t get silky-smooth with an immersion blender but a good immersion blender will get it just as smooth as the photos.

    • Yes…Ashley. …I’m making this soup right now…and I’m a vegan…so no chicken broth pleeeease….I’m adding also a bit of raw soaked cashews blended in a bit of VEGETABLE broth…it will taste delicious ..I’m sure

  6. Just made this for a party (doubled the recipe) and it’s absolutely delicious! The seasoning is perfect and the tomatoes + bread makes the consistency just right. The only thing I changed was using a handheld blender instead of a large blender or food processor. It makes less of a mess (although I did burn my hand – ouch!) and keeps a pretty good consistency. Great recipe and I will definitely be making more in the future!

    • Hi Courtney! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the tomato soup recipe! I hope your party is/was a total success. Thank you for reading, cooking, and commenting!

  7. I used a Ninja blender to get mine VERY smooth. Silky, in fact! I had to run it through in batches, but it got there. I don’t have an immersion blender. You have to blend it for a long time though. The first time I put the batch through the blender, I did not do it for long enough and almost decided to buy canned tomato soup instead. I’m glad I didn’t! Turned out great :)

    • Anna, thank you for taking the time to comment with your feedback and tips for getting the soup silky smooth! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it after all of that blending! It definitely takes a bit of time and effort, but I’m glad to hear it was worth it :)

  8. I made this for dinner and it was a hit! I only had one small tin of tomatoes, so I chopped up a few fresh ones as well. Substituted yellow pepper instead of red since thats all we had around the house. Turned out great and even my husband liked it (although he might have been more excited about the buttery grilled cheese that accompanied his!). Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. Sarah Burns says:

    I can’t wait to make this when the weather cools down. What kind of bread is that?

    • Hi, Sarah! It’s a sunflower seed bread from a local Chicago bakery, but I think you can find sunflower seed/seeded bread at most bakeries. It’s delicious and so satisfying. Definitely recommend it!

  10. erin o'bryan says:

    I rarely read a full post any where, any time – who has the time? But your skiing story really grabbed me. You write so “relatably”. And the recipe looks great. Glad I found you!

    • Well thanks, Erin! I’m touched that you read through the story — it’s certainly a lengthier one! Thanks for taking the time to share your sweet words :)

  11. Okay 1st thing….I little about me so if your reading the comments you know where I’m coming from.

    I NEVER post any comments on sites, I’m Vegan and I’ve always HATED Tomato soup, ALWAYS… Okay there is the background. :)

    I LOVE this soup!!! Mine looked exactly like your picture. I ended up adding 4 TB of Nutritional Yeast (I think because I bought no salt added tomatoes). I made my Grilled Cheese with roasted garlic and broccoli in between the melted Vegan cheese…… It was the BEST EVER combo and now thanks to your recipe, I LOVE Tomato Soup! Thank you. Now you got me making “Basil Olive Oil” so I can “up” the basil flavor next time.

    To those that are reading these comments and thinking about taking a risk on making something you’ve never tasted before and you’re just google’ing looking for that great recipe….Have NO fear…..this one will not let you down.

    PS…. I’m making a Cauliflower Pizza Crust this week and I’m going to use some of the leftover tomato soup as my sauce. I CAN’T WAIT!!! :)

    • Hi Wil! Thank you for the glowing review and providing a bit of background on your tastes. I’m so, so glad that this recipe was the first tomato soup to change your opinion. Making a grilled cheese with roasted garlic and broccoli sandwiched in between sounds like the best idea I’ve heard in a while; I have to try that combination. Also, great idea to utilize the soup as pizza sauce! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, and thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment with your feedback. It’s so very appreciated!

  12. Just found this recipe today as I was looking for some things to do with my current tomato bounty. I didn’t have a red pepper, but other than that I made it as is (fresh tomatoes instead of canned.) It is so delicious! I loved the addition of my friend, cauliflower. She wears many hats and I love keeping a couple heads on hand for a healthy daily dose. Thank you for a wonderful tomato soup recipe–keeper!

    • Hi, Wendy! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the soup! I bet fresh tomatoes made for the most delicious flavor. I have similar feelings about cauliflower; it’s fantastic for so many reasons and so easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment with your feedback :)

  13. So happy to have found this blog. Every recipe I have tried so far has been delicious, including this one! Tomato soup is my favourite comfort food, so this will be a regular on the menu :)

    • Amy, thanks so much for taking the time to comment with such sweet feedback! It makes me so happy to hear that you’re enjoying the blog and recipes so much. I’m right there with you on tomato soup being the best comfort food; there’s something so cozy about a big bowl of it! Glad that this recipe will be a regular for you :)

  14. I just made this recipe – it´s an amazing soup!!

  15. Had a hankering for some grilled cheeze sandwiches and tomato soup today and this recipe really hit the spot! My non-veg partner was super impressed ;) I’ve made a couple of your recipes now and they’re all amazing. Thanks!!

    • Hi, Jaine! I’m so glad you gave the tomato soup a try and that you and your non-veg partner enjoyed it! Also, thanks for the sweet and supportive feedback; it really means a lot to me.

  16. Love this soup…I wanted even more taste of Basil, so added 1/4 cup basil during the final 10-15 minute simmer. Super! Wish I would have made a double batch…I ladled some into a quart jar and put it in the freezer for a lunchtime treat in the near future. I plan to send my family this recipe. Made a batch of vegan corn bread to go with it. Yum!

    • Hi, Cathy! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the soup so much. I love the idea of adding basil at the end, and that cornbread pairing sounds amazing. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback!

  17. I love this soup. I do wish I had the nutritional information though. I used my tomatoes I froze from last year and grated some cheese on the soup. I didn’t have any nutritional yeast but I think it is delicious without it and I also don’t like garlic so left it out. This recipe is a keeper.

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying the soup so much, Ralphi. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback and adjustments; I really appreciate it!

  18. Christopher Beard says:

    Made this today for the family and oh my was it delicious! We are not vegetarians or vegan but look for great tasting and nutritional recipes to add to our menu and well this one is a home run!

    • Christopher Beard says:

      Also we paired it with a nice whole wheat crusty bread that was sliced with sharp cheddar grilled into it, awesome combo.

    • I’m so glad this soup was a hit with your family, Christopher! Thanks for taking the time to comment with your feedback and kind words.

  19. Thoughts on using gram flour in substitute for the yeast? just an idea – will try and let you know.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure. I would probably omit it altogether if you don’t have it as I’m not sure chickpea flour would lend a cheesy flavor like nutritional yeast. I’d love to know how it goes if you try it though!

  20. I actually do see a link between the mantra and the tomato soup. You see, how you feel when you are making a meal is exactly what is going into the food. If you are feeling blissful, that’s what the soup will taste like. If you are sad, or upset don’t event bother cooking. Always do a mantra through the entire cooking process and you will see just how much better the soup will be.
    I cant wait to do my mantra and try this recipe. It looks great!

  21. This vegan tomato soup looks “dreamy”, thank you!! Can you tell me about the bread used to make the grilled cheese sandwich? It looks very similar to a type of bread I eat and love in Latvia, but haven’t found in the states. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!!!

    • Hi, Paula! Thanks for the kind words about the soup. The bread is a sunflower seed bread that I buy at a local bakery in Chicago; it’s richly seeded and hearty!

  22. I made this last night and it was so yummy! I have an immersion blender but I wasn’t too keen on blending for 10-15 minutes, so I blended it in batches in my Vitamix instead. I blended each batch for about a 1 minute, which resulted in a perfectly creamy soup. I dumped it back in the pot to stir in the nutritional yeast and salt, (skipped the reheating step) and dinner was done! My soup was not quite as red & pretty as yours, but that may be because I used fire roasted tomatoes and/or because I added a bunch of frozen basil from my garden. Regardless, we loved this and I can see myself making it often this winter. :)

  23. I am very excited to try out this recipe tonight. Have a quick question though about nutritional yeast, I realize it’s a necessary ingredient but does it have to be flakes? I have nutritional yeast packets but I believe its more powder-like similar to flour rather than flakes. Is that ok?

  24. chef ricky says:

    when people read these, they’re just looking for the recipe, not your life’s history. could have did with out all that. thank you for the recipe, will try it this weekend

    • I’m rarely one to reply with any sort of opposition, but there is a person, a woman in fact, that sits on the receiving end of your words. And sometimes at the end of a complicated week, the thing we hope for more than anything is a little bit of empathy and compassion.

      • Chef Ricky, did you make the soup? If not, what is your rating for? No one really cares how you feel about the post–it’s Ashely’s blog and she can post whatever the heck she wants. If you don’t want to read it, don’t. And don’t artificially deflate a recipe rating by giving a recipe you haven’t made a low rating. Like the person above who made the soup but changed up the ingredients, if you don’t make the recipe as it’s written, you shouldn’t be rating it. If you work in a restaurant, how would you like it if someone who’d never eaten at your place gave you a low rating because they didn’t like the font on your menu?

  25. Hello Ashley! You know Ashley, this time my mouth is watering to see the bowl of tomato soup. I am very excited to try out this recipe in evening today. Let’s see how it will make. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  26. Hey Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will definitely try it at home in free time. Thank you so much once again.

  27. Brian McLafferty says:

    Love that story, it’s just great! And this recipe has given me some great ideas for homemade tomato soup to enjoy on this snowy late Spring Colorado day. Thank you!!

  28. Michelle says:

    This soup tastes crap sorry. I had to add dates to sweeten. Bland and sour yuk!

    • Hi, Michelle! I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the soup. We all have different tastes, and I do tend to prefer brighter, tangier flavors in tomato soup as opposed to sweet.

  29. I would like to use this recipe for a baby shower I’m hosting, but I want to serve it chilled. Have you tried it chilled and would you recommend it?

    • Hi, Allison! I haven’t tried serving this soup chilled myself, so I can’t say for sure but I have a feeling it would work well. I would recommend thinning it out a bit more with water or plant-based milk as it’s a bit thick after chilling. For a brighter, fresher, more summery take on it, it would be lovely with lots of fresh basil (and perhaps other herbs), a drizzle of olive oil, and maybe even a garnish of diced fresh tomatoes. p.s. I’m so sorry for my incredibly slow response time—I was out of the country on vacation for the last three weeks and just returned last night.

  30. Thank you so much for sharing the most delicious tomato soup recipe!
    My boyfriend loves tomato soup, so I thought I d give it a go.
    Your recipe says it is for 6 ..well it was so delicious that we ate it all in one sitting 😋😝
    Love that you are sharing your story. So nice to have an insight of who the writer is.
    I love your writing and the lovely reminders.
    Looking forward to making more of your delicious recipes!
    I used my vitamix after the 25 minutes and didn’t actually put the soup back to simmer for 15 minutes as we were too eager to eat it and it still worked perfectly :)
    It was a bit thick so I added some coconut milk and a bit of vegetable liquid stock and looooots of basil on top! Yum
    So it s a big 5 stars for me ✨✨✨✨✨

  31. Never thought to use cauliflower to thicken a soup. Doubled the recipe for my family of five (plenty of leftovers)! Steamed the cauliflower in the microwave and then Vitamixed it in batches. Cooked it on the stovetop until warm. Tasted amazing and didn’t take long to prepare! THANKS!

    • So happy you and your family are enjoying the soup, Summer! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your feedback and adjustments. Hope you have a beautiful weekend!


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