Tomato soup is one of those foods that carry a heavy dose of nostalgia. This warming soup is often served in childhood, after a snowy day outside with a side of simple grilled cheese. Piping hot, it warms the insides like no other soup. When you want tomato soup, there’s no substitute for the smooth, red elixir—and this is one of those soups that most people don’t make at home.
There are so many great tomato soups on grocery store shelves, the difficulty is choosing one that fits your unique tastes. Are you someone who wants the classic, smooth flavor from childhood, or do you want something with satisfying, tomatoey chunks or even a touch of cream? Well, we tasted 9 tomato soups so you don’t have to guess which one you’ll like best.
We had two people of two different generations conduct a blind tasting of nine widely available tomato soups. The soups were all warmed in the microwave and then served alongside grilled cheese bites to mimic a true tomato soup-eating experience (and because a tomato soup needs to be dippable). We rated the soups on appearance, texture, and, of course, taste.
Read on for the absolute best, the ones we’d leave behind, and some notes on flavor in case you’re looking for a specific tomato soup experience. If you’re in the mood to make your own, we’ve got 20 Slow Cooker Soup Recipes you should try.
Kettle & Fire – Tomato Bone Broth Soup
If you are strolling down the aisle looking for a different, but comforting tomato soup, this isn’t it. While some people might like the bold flavor of this brick red soup, we did not think it stacked up. It was very acidic, watery, and “aggressive” on the palate. On the plus side, everything is organic and it contains lots of nutritious ingredients.
Sign up for our newsletter for more food news and healthy eating tips.
Campbell’s Well Yes! Tomato & Sweet Basil
This sippable soup from Campbell’s was only a half-point better than the last-placed soup. We found this soup to have an off-putting orange color, a thin, watery texture, and an overall lack of tomato flavor.
Health Valley Organic Tomato Soup
This soup was fine, but not memorable. It has little chunks of tomato but was too acidic on its own.
Campbell’s Homestyle Harvest Tomato with Basil
We were thoroughly divided on this soup. One taster praised the thick texture and rich tomato flavor, the other thought it tasted like “old soup” and nothing like a tomato. It landed in the middle of the pack because of the discrepancy. Try it for yourself!
Campbell’s Tomato Bisque
This condensed soup fell squarely in the middle of the pack when it came to taste and texture because we were, again, divided. One taster thought the soup smelled like tomato, even though it was a bit watery. She called it simple and smooth and thought it stood up to the grilled cheese, allowing a tomato flavor to sneak through the fat of the sandwich. The other found the soup watery and bland. Be aware that this soup has the highest sodium content of all the soups we tried. If it’s not your fave, skip it.
Progresso Tomato Basil
This soup was praised for its discernible pieces of basil and its robust tomato flavor. The acidic texture stood up well to the grilled cheese. This is a good pick, but watch the sodium which can become precipitously high if you have more than one cup of this soup.
Pacific Organic Hearty Tomato Bisque
This soup tasted like homemade tomato soup. It was praised by both tasters for its strong tomato flavor and smell, wonderful texture, and pleasing chunks of tomato. This is a great pick.
Wolfgang Puck Organic Tomato Basil Bisque
When we saw this brand on the shelves, we had to try it since Wolfgang’s chicken soup won our chicken soup taste test. While this soup didn’t quite snag the top spot, it is another top pick. Its rich, mild tomato flavor mingled with fresh herbs came through in a big way. It was perfect with the buttery grilled cheese.
Amy’s Organic Chunky Tomato Basil
We didn’t have enough words of praise for this hands-down delicious tomato soup. It was a beautiful red color, that looked like red, ripe tomatoes. It tasted like ripe tomatoes that had been simmering all day. It had an almost magical ability to hold heat and thus it was the perfect partner to a grilled cheese. Stock up on this gem for winter.