Creamy Vegan Tomato Bisque for Under $1 a Serving

|Updated Mar 31, 2022
Broke Bank Vegan

This plant-based tomato bisque is the more sophisticated cousin of the classic tomato soup we all grew up on. Perfectly ripened San Marzano tomatoes come together with flavorful vegetables like celery, onions, and garlic before a cashew cream is added to the mix for richness.

The end result is a soup recipe that merges comfort, childhood nostalgia, and fine dining all-in-one. Oh, and don’t forget about the crispy, crunchy, and garlicky croutons! They add just the right amount of texture to each bite.

If you haven't already jumped up to start cooking, you’ll be happy to know this tomato bisque is packed with omega-3s, plant-based protein, and potassium, which are all part of a well-balanced diet. Fill up your new year with more plants to reap benefits like reducing cancer and heart disease risk.

Cost: $6.18 recipe | $1.00 serving

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Creamy Vegan Tomato Bisque

Serves 6


For the cashew cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight ($1.72)
  • ½ lime, juiced ($0.05)
  • ½ teaspoon salt ($0.01)
  • ¾ cup water ($0.01)

For the homemade croutons

  • ½ baguette or loaf cut into ¾-inch cubes ($0.24)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil ($0.22)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder ($0.02)
  • A generous pinch of salt & pepper ($0.01)

For the bisque

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced ($0.23)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced ($0.05)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced ($0.12)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne ($0.02)
  • 3 tablespoons dry white rice ($0.02)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth ($0.19)
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes* ($3.13)
  • 1-2 teaspoons cane sugar ($0.01)
  • Salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)


For the Cashew Cream

  1. Add soaked and drained cashews, lime juice, salt, and water to a blender and mix on high until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Transfer to a container and keep in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

For the Croutons

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, evenly drizzle the olive oil over the cubes of bread. Sprinkle the garlic powder, salt, and pepper in and toss to evenly coat.
  3. Spread the bread out in an even layer on a baking pan. Bake 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden brown and crispy. Keep a close eye on them for the last 5 minutes to prevent burning.

For the Bisque

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium. Sauté the onion and celery until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add in the garlic and cayenne. Combine and continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes, then mix in the vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, and rice.
  3. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer for 30-35 minutes. Taste and add in cane sugar, salt, and pepper to your liking. Transfer to a blender and mix until smooth, or use an immersion blender in the pot.
  4. Transfer back to the pot and mix in ½ cup cashew cream. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more cane sugar for sweetness, cayenne for more heat, or salt to enhance the other flavors.
  5. Serve immediately while warm with extra cashew cream on top, croutons, and fresh basil. Enjoy!

You can use crushed or diced tomatoes. If you can’t find San Marzano tomatoes or want a more budget-friendly option, use regular canned tomatoes with a little more cane sugar.
Soak the cashews for at least 6-8 hours in room temperature water or 1-2 hours in boiling water.

Nutrition: 1 of 6 servings

Calories 328 | Total Fat 17.7g | Saturated Fat 2.8g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 634.4mg | Total Carbohydrates 35.8g | Dietary Fiber 3.1g | Total Sugars 8.0g | Protein 9.3g | Calcium 63.9mg | Iron 3.4mg | Potassium 303.8mg |