Vegan grilled cheese sandwich next to a bowl of tomato white bean soup

Is there ever such a thing as too much tomato soup? The answer is no. And most definitely not when there are grilled cheese sandwiches around.

This super garlicky version has coconut milk for dairy-free creaminess, red pepper flakes for a little kick, and smashed white beans for fiber and satisfaction. It’s balanced, warming, and comes together in just 30 minutes with 1 pot and 10 ingredients. Let’s make soup!

Salt, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, and maple syrup around bowl of beans


We’ve previously shared versions of tomato soup with basil, roasted red peppers, and spicy chipotle peppers, but this latest recipe has a new twist: white beans and LOTS of garlic! The inspiration came from a highly-rated New York Times recipe that we adjusted to make dairy-free, a little spicy, thicker, and super balanced.

How to Make White Bean Tomato Soup

It all starts with smashing TEN cloves of garlic (using the bottom of a heavy pan, which releases their flavor). This method is way faster than chopping, meaning more garlic, less work — that’s our jam!

Smashed garlic, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste in olive oil

We sauté the garlic in olive oil to soften it and infuse the oil with flavor. Then we add red pepper flakes for a little heat and tomato paste for richness, sautéing to enhance its natural sweetness.

Adding white beans to a pot

Next come the white beans for fiber and protein, plus crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth (or water), and salt.

Maple syrup and salt next to a pot of white bean tomato soup

We let it simmer for 15-20 minutes for the flavors to develop, then smash just some of the white beans to thicken the soup and create textural variability.

Using a potato masher to mash some of the beans for textural variability

The remaining ingredients are maple syrup for balancing the acidity of the tomatoes and coconut milk for a creamy finish. We also love garnishing with vegan parmesan cheese for a rich and salty touch.

Using a wooden spoon to stir white bean tomato soup

We hope you LOVE this white bean tomato soup! It’s:

A little spicy
Quick & easy
& SO comforting!

While a filling meal on its own, this soup is the perfect companion for (vegan) grilled cheese sandwiches or garlic bread.

It would also pair nicely with a salad or roasted vegetables. Try it with our Perfect Roasted Asparagus, 5-Minute Green Salad with No-Mix Tahini Dressing, or Vegan Ricotta & Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Salad.

More Comforting Soup Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into a bowl of tomato and white bean soup

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 (generous bowls)

Course Entree, Soup

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 2 Months

Does it keep? 4-5 Days

  • 10 medium-large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (omit or reduce for less heat)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (we prefer Bionaturae brand)
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, slightly drained (we prefer cannellini // or ~3 ½ cups cooked homemade beans)
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes (organic when possible)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
  • 1 (14-oz.) can light coconut milk*, well shaken (DIVIDED // use full-fat for richer flavor)
  • On a cutting board, smash the peeled cloves of garlic using the bottom of a heavy skillet or pan until flat and slightly broken apart.
  • To a large saucepan or pot over medium-low heat, add the olive oil then add the smashed garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden brown. Then add the red pepper flakes and tomato paste and stir. Cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add the (slightly drained) white beans, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth or water, and salt. Bring to a low boil, then partly cover, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thickened and fragrant — about 15-20 minutes. The longer it simmers and reduces, the richer the flavor will become.

  • Use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon to smash some of the beans (roughly half). Add the maple syrup and one quarter of the coconut milk (reserving the rest for serving) and stir.

  • Season to taste, adding more maple syrup for sweetness / to balance acidity, salt to taste, red pepper flakes for heat, or coconut milk for subtle sweetness / creaminess.

  • Serve hot. Garnish with remaining coconut milk and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Vegan parmesan cheese is also a nice optional touch. Delicious on its own, but elevated when paired with a (vegan) grilled cheese.
  • Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Serving: 1 bowl Calories: 529 Carbohydrates: 52.9 g Protein: 15.9 g Fat: 29.9 g Saturated Fat: 17.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.3 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 897 mg Potassium: 1290 mg Fiber: 13.3 g Sugar: 14.5 g Vitamin A: 688 IU Vitamin C: 22 mg Calcium: 162 mg Iron: 6.9 mg


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