Mediterranean-inspired Chunky Tomato Soup is a hearty vegan meal featuring creamy white beans in a smoky tomato-based broth. It's easy to make and perfect for meal prep and freezer meals.
I received a complimentary copy of Vegan Comfort Cooking to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.
If you enjoy flavorful tomato-based soups like Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup and Vegan Vegetable Soup, this Chunky Tomato Soup recipe is for you. It's easy to make with pantry ingredients and is ready to eat in under and hour.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's made with ingredients you may already have on hand.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and lots of garlic make it incredibly flavorful.
- The leftovers taste amazing, plus they are freezer friendly.
This tomato and bean soup recipe is by Melanie McDonald, the creator of A Virtual Vegan, from her popular cookbook, Vegan Comfort Cooking. In the book, it goes by the name Smoky Tomato and White Bean Soup.
Vegan Comfort Cooking: 75 Plant-Based Recipes to Satisfy Cravings and Warm Your Soul By Melanie McDonald
- First, We Brunch: Includes Rustic Skillet Potatoes, Full English Fritatta, and Blueberry Healthy Coffee Cake.
- Indulge Yourself: Includes Vegan Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce with Fettucine, Next-Level Mushroom Lasagna, and Shepherdless Pie with Root Veg Mash.
- The Munchies: Includes Easy Smashed Salt and Vinegar Potatoes and Quick and Gluten Free Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Crema.
- Sweet Talk: Includes Drool-worthy Cinnamon Donuts, Dreamy Baked Berry Cheesecake, and Peanut Butter Nutter Chocolate Cake.
- Bits & Bobs: Here you'll find recipes you'll use on a regular basis like Cheesy Brazil Nut "Parm" and Easy Garlic Ranch Dressing.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Olive oil: This is the most commonly used oil in the Mediterranean diet.
- Onion: A great base for any soup!
- Celery: I love the green color and bit of crunch.
- Fresh garlic: You can never have too much, in my opinion!
- Smoked paprika: Or you can substitute chipotle powder for a spicier soup.
- Ground cumin: This is another common ingredient you'll find in Mediterranean cooking as well as dishes from around the world. It's a staple in my kitchen since just a little but adds a depth of flavor.
- Tomato paste: This concentrated tomato product adds a plant-based source of umami flavor.
- Canned fire-roasted tomatoes: Rather than using regular diced tomatoes, the fire-roasted ones add to the rich and smoky flavor of the soup.
- Vegetable stock: Or you can use water with Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base.
- Sugar: You only need a tablespoon to balance out the tartness of the tomatoes.
- Canned white beans: Look for white kidney beans or cannellini beans.
- Saute the onion and celery in olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until soft and golden brown.
- Add the garlic and seasonings and saute for a minute or two more.
- Then add the tomatoes, liquid, and beans to the pot.
- Simmer until the soup is thick enough for your liking.
If you are following a low-sodium diet, choose reduced or no salt added vegetable stock, or use water instead. Taste and add salt as needed rather than using the 2 teaspoons suggested in the recipe.
This soup is easy to customize to suit your tastes. Try adding any of these ingredients for even more flavor:
- Top with grated vegan parmesan cheese.
- Finish with fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or oregano.
- Blend a portion of the soup and add it back to the pot for a smoother texture.
- Drizzle a little cashew cream on top.
- Serve it with warm sliced baguette or a vegan grilled cheese sandwich for dunking.
Chunky Tomato Soup is a complete meal on its own. I like to enjoy it with some warm crusty bread.
Or try it with a starter or salad like one of the following:
Storing and freezing
Leftover tomato and bean soup will last covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. It will thicken up quite a bit. If you prefer a thinner soup, add a little water or vegetable stock to the soup before reheating.
To freeze, divide the cooled soup into individual portions and place in glass containers. Leave at least ½ inch of space at the top, then cover with a lid and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat before serving.
Refer to the FDA Food Storage Guidelines for more information.
Both smoked paprika and sweet paprika are made from crushed dried chili peppers. However, in the smoked version, the chilies are dried over a fire, resulting in a rich, smoky flavor.
If canned fire roasted tomatoes are unavailable, canned diced tomatoes can be used instead. And you can add a little smoked paprika to them for extra flavor.
Since both beans have a meaty texture and hold up well in soups and stews, you can substitute chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in place of the cannellini beans.
More recipes with cannellini beans
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Chunky Tomato Soup with Cannellini Beans
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil, (or water for an oil-free version)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes, (14.5 ounces each)
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 Tablespoon organic sugar, (cane or granulated white sugar)
- 3 cans cannellini beans, (14.5 ounces each) or white kidney beans (4½ cups), drained and rinsed
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil or water (for oil-free cooking) over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion and celery for about 10 minutes, until they are starting to go golden brown. If you are using water to sauté, you will need to add a little more water every few minutes to prevent the onion and celery from sticking.
- Add the garlic, smoked paprika and cumin and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Then add all the other ingredients. Stir well to combine, allow to come to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Add a little water to adjust the consistency to your liking, check the seasoning and adjust to taste, then serve.
- Refrigerated soup will last covered for up to 3 days. It will thicken up quite a bit. If you prefer a thinner soup, add a little water or vegetable stock to the soup before reheating.
- To freeze, divide the cooled soup into individual portions and place in glass containers. Leave at least ½ inch of space at the top, then cover with a lid and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat before serving.
- If you are following a low-sodium diet, choose reduced or no salt added vegetable stock, or use water instead. Taste and add salt as needed rather than using the 2 teaspoons suggested in the recipe.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
I found this recipe while looking up ways to use up an opened can of tomato paste. It was so good! I also added some chopped spinach to mine because I like to get those greens into my diet.
Great idea, Elizabeth! I'm so happy you enjoyed the soup.
Can I omit the sugar?
Yes, you can. The sugar helps if the tomatoes taste too acidic.
Great soup! Thanks for all the recipes! I wanted to add some roasted red peppers but didn't have any, so I steamed a red bell pepper and used my immersion blender after adding it and before adding the beans. It didn't really change the flavor, just added a bit more nutrition - but the soup is already super healthy. If you have some leftover brown rice, that's good in it too!
Love those suggestions, Tina! So happy you enjoyed the soup.
Can you use chicken stock?
I don't see why not!
I'm looking forward to trying this. I make a variation of this recipe fairly often, the main difference is, after cooking, I use a blender to blend the (undrained) beans and tomatoes. It's creamy without the cream.
Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!
I hope you enjoy it, Susan! Blending the beans is a great idea.
Been waiting for this recipe to come into my life. I always go to my favorite Israeli restaurant to get white bean soup but theirs has oil and is spicier. This is PERFECT and I am in heaven!! Thank you.
That's fantastic to hear, Jenn!
This soup was amazing!!!!!! I’ll double the recipe next time as it didn’t make enough.
That's fantastic to hear!