The Only Store-Bought Soup This Nutritionist Will Buy

published Jan 13, 2021
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Credit: Danielle Centoni

When I was a kid, one classic dinner combo that was consistently on rotation this time of year was tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. On the chilliest days, my mom used to heat up a can of tomato soup (the kind loaded with salt, sugar, and preservatives) and serve it alongside a gooey grilled cheese sandwich (the kind made with plastic-wrapped cheese squares). It was the absolute best.

Fast forward to Grown-Up Me, a registered dietitian, and you’d find me on an endless pursuit for a recipe that mimicked the flavor of the canned tomato soup of my childhood. I could never quite nail it, so I made it my mission to test out every tomato soup I could find on grocery store shelves. I wanted a close match in flavor with a better-for-me nutritional makeup. After searching high and low, I finally landed on Pacific Foods Organic Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup as the best option.

Credit: Pacific Foods

Buy: Pacific Foods Organic Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup, $27 for twelve 8-ounce cartons

After one bite of this soup, I felt like I was a kid again, sitting in my mom’s kitchen. It is creamy, slightly sweet, and full of tomato flavor, yet comes in BPA-free packaging, is made from organic ingredients, and is free from fillers. So what makes this taste so familiar? The slow-roasted red peppers give this soup that nostalgic sweetness in a natural way, which means there’s no need for additional sugar or syrups.

I usually heat up this soup in the microwave for a cozy accompaniment to a sandwich (just like the good old days) or simply enjoy it as an afternoon snack, sipped from a mug. Basically, this soup is a perfect go-to for busy days when I am working from home, chasing after my child, and am looking for a quick but nourishing meal full of flavor. And maybe when my daughter is grown-up, this soup will remind her of me.

What’s your favorite store-bought soup?