Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

$2.62 recipe / $0.66 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.86 from 41 votes
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I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’m a little bit of a tomato soup fanatic. I’ve made several tomato soup recipes for Budget Bytes over the past ten years, but this week I tried something a little different. This Secret Ingredient tomato soup has not one, but two secret ingredients that make it ultra rich, without using any dairy, or animal products at all, in fact. This super luscious, warm and comforting, thick and delicious Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup is 100% vegan.

Five different white bowls of Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup with whole grain croutons and fresh thyme garnishes

Shown garnished with Easy Baked Homemade Croutons and fresh tyme.

What are the Secret Ingredients??

After the success of my Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup, which uses puréed cannellini beans to thicken and make the soup extra creamy, I wondered how puréed beans would work in other soups. The cannellini beans did a great job giving this tomato soup body and richness, without having to use butter or cream.

The second secret ingredient is nutritional yeast. If you’ve never had nutritional yeast before, it’s a flakey dehydrated powder that has a slightly nutty or cheesy flavor (it also happens to be high in B vitamins!). The slight cheesy flavor of the nutritional yeast was the final magic touch that took the flavor of this soup over the top. The flavor is super subtle, but rounds out the base notes to keep the flavor deep and rich.

Can I Use a Different Type of Bean?

While I haven’t tried other varieties, I will say that cannellini are particularly smooth and creamy. I wouldn’t expect other beans to give quite as good results.

Can I Freeze This Tomato Soup?

Yes, this tomato soup should freeze beautifully. Just as a reminder, make sure to cool the soup completely in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer. It’s always a good idea to divide the soup into smaller portions for faster cooling.

A hand holding a white mug full of secret ingredient tomato soup, garnished with croutons and thyme
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Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

4.86 from 41 votes
This super thick, warm, and comforting tomato soup has two secret ingredients that make it rich and delicious without any dairy. 100% vegan!
Overhead view of secret ingredient tomato soup in a white bowl with black rim, and a black spoon.
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary ($0.03)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste ($0.27)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.04)
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes ($0.89)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth ($0.26)
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans ($0.49)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast ($0.06)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste ($0.01)


  • Add the olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill) to a soup pot. Cook and stir the herbs and oil over medium heat for about one minute, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste and brown sugar. Continue to stir and cook the tomato paste mixture over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth into the pot and stir to combine. As the soup begins to heat through, add a can of cannellini beans (with the liquid from the can) to a blender and purée until completely smooth. Pour the pouréed beans into the soup and stir to combine again.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow it to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  • After simmering for 20 minutes, add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Taste the soup and add salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp). Serve hot.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1.25CupsCalories: 278.48kcalCarbohydrates: 44.33gProtein: 10.13gFat: 7.25gSodium: 1254.33mgFiber: 10.78g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a bowl of secret ingredient tomato soup with whole grain croutons and a black spoon lifting a bite

How to Make Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup – Step by Step Photos

Garlic, herbs and olive oil in a soup pot

Start by adding 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper to a pot. Cook and stir over medium heat for about one minute, or just until it begins to sizzle and the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add tomato paste and brown sugar to the soup pot with oil and herbs

Next, add 3 oz. tomato paste (just eyeball 1/2 of a 6 oz. can, or about 5 Tbsp) and 1 Tbsp brown sugar to the soup pot with the oil and herbs. Continue to cook and stir for 2-3 more minutes.

Cooked tomato paste with oil and herbs

The tomato paste and oil mixture looks weird, and won’t really mix together, but don’t worry, you’re doing it right.

Crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth added to soup pot

After cooking the tomato paste for a few minutes, add 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and two cups of vegetable broth. Stir to combine and let it begin to heat through, still over medium heat.

Pureed white beans in a blender, from above.

Pour one 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, with the liquid in the can, into a blender and purée until completely smooth.

Pureed cannellini beans being stirred into tomato soup

Pour the puréed cannellini beans into the pot with the tomato soup and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmered soup, with nutritional yeast added

After simmering for 20 minutes, add 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Taste the soup and add salt to your liking (I added 1/4 tsp). You can also add more nutritional yeast for extra cheesy goodness, if you like!

Five different bowls full of tomato soup with the soup pot and ladle at the top

It’s sooooo rich and delicious!!

Overhead view of secret ingredient tomato soup in a white bowl with black rim, and a black spoon.


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  1. This was DIVINE! I didn’t have yeast so used parmesan cheese but otherwise followed it exactly. So healthy, inexpensive and tasty! WOW! Thank you SO much for the step by step instructions with measurements. It’s a huge pain to have to scroll up and down while trying a new recipe. You’re my HERO! I’m shopped to try a new recipe of yours every day this week. I cannot wait for the next one!

  2. Do you think it would work to add the beans to the pot whole, then puree the entire soup with a stick blender? Trying to make this in a camper van without a full blender!

  3. Fantastic! We have been trying to eat more plant based and this is great option. We enjoy the creaminess without the cream. Yum.

  4. Soup was just “ok” in our minds. Prepared exactly to published specs, it was too “spaghetti sauce” like to be a “soup”, although the pureed beans were the saving grace. This probably could be improved by eliminating the tomato paste. Too heavy. Edible, and tasty enough, but nowhere near the top of my list of tomato soups.