Real Food Whole Life

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup (Dairy-Free)

RecipesRobyn Downs16 Comments

What's better than a warm bowl of creamy tomato soup? A warm bowl of creamy tomato soup that can be made ahead in a slow cooker and is rich and creamy without any dairy! Simple, tasty, and comforting this one will fast become your new favorite.

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup, a simple, tasty make-ahead soup that's naturally dairy-free and gluten-free.

In college Tuesday was tomato soup day. You see, I lived in a sorority my freshman and sophomore years and on weekdays our house cook prepared lunch. Lunch usually consisted of a salad bar and some kind of canned soup heated in a slow cooker. Not particularly exciting. I can't say I ever loved the whole sorority lunch experience, so I rarely rushed back to the house for meals. That is of course, unless it was Tuesday. Tomato soup and grilled cheese day. There was just something about a steaming bowl of tomato soup and a melty grilled cheese sandwich that was just so darn comforting in the middle of a school week. And I'm not the only one. Ask any other girl (now grown woman) what Tuesday meant in the house and they'll tell you: Tomato Soup Day.

The rainy Oregon weather certainly contributed to our mutual love for the warm soup and sammie combo. It rarely rains hard in Oregon, but it does have a way of drizzling just enough to get you wet, cold, and water-logged. It starts with the bottom hem of your jeans getting wet, and ends with water slowly wicking up your pant legs to your knees. Fun. These conditions demand changing into cozy clothes, curling up on the couch, and digging into a warm bowl of soup.

Many years have past since those college days, but I still crave a creamy bowl of tomato soup on cool days. It seems, too, that I've passed the preference on to Elle, as she is always asking me to make her tomato soup. I set out to create a simple, flavor-packed tomato soup recipe that can be made ahead in a slow cooker and that is naturally dairy-free so our whole family can enjoy it often. After some experimenting I'm happy to share our new favorite dairy-free Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup.

It's packed with tomato flavor from canned and dried tomatoes, plus tomato paste. Cashews are blended in at the end to provide a luscious creamy flavor without the cream. If you want a nut-free alternative, though, feel free to add a half cup of heavy cream in place of the cashews. I find this recipe is easiest and has minimal clean up with the use of a hand-held immersion blender, though a regular blender also works. As written the recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

Kid-friendly notes. This creamy tomato soup is a great way to get kids eating their veggies. Here are some options for resistant eaters:

  • Let them help dump the ingredients in the slow cooker base and stir everything together (before it's on and heated up).
  • Skip the basil and green onion topping.
  • Soup can be hard for little hands to handle. Offer the warm soup in a mug for sipping instead of spooning.

Now, on to the recipe!

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup, a simple, tasty make-ahead soup that's naturally dairy-free and gluten-free.

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup (Dairy-Free)


½ cup raw, unsalted cashews

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated

4 cups vegetable stock

1 28-oz can crushed or diced tomatoes

⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes 

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

2 scallions, chopped (optional)

1/4 cup chopped basil (optional)


1. Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with water. Set aside.

2. Place the onions, garlic, vegetable stock, crushed tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt, and honey (if using) into the base of a slow cooker, stirring to combine.

3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

4. When the soup is finished cooking, drain and rinse the cashews. Place into the slow cooker, stirring to combine.

5. Using an immersion blender, blend the tomato mixture until well combined and very smooth, about 2 minutes. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully ladle the cooked tomato mixture into a blender, working in batches. Make sure the lid is on tightly, cover with a towel, and blend until well combined and very smooth.

6. Serve hot, topping with scallions and basil if you like.

Serves 4-6

This Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup was inspired by Cream of Tomato Soup in Angela Liddon's The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Making this recipe? Let me know what you think and any adaptations you make in the comments. I really love hearing from you!

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