There’s nothing more comforting or crave-worthy than a warm bowl of tomato soup—and that’s why it’s so disappointing when the canned stuff doesn’t live up to your expectations. It’s often too sweet, artificial-tasting, or just otherwise unpleasant.
But, when you’re in a rush or when you’re not in the mood to cook, cracking open a can of ready-to-heat tomato-y goodness is pretty darn appealing. We tried 10 cans of tomato soup (all widely available in the soup aisle at regular grocery stores) to discover which were the cream of the crop. And don’t worry: We had grilled cheese sandwiches to help us along—we’re not animals.
Here’s what we found.
Amy’s Cream of Tomato ($2.25)
You could 100 percent get away with throwing this on the stove, hiding the can deep in the trash, and claiming it as your own secret family recipe. The ingredient list is simple—tomato purée, water, cream, cane sugar, onions, sea salt, and black pepper—and the flavor is wonderfully balanced.
Progresso Tomato Basil ($2.50)
Another authentic-tasting option. The ingredients aren’t quite as wholesome as Amy’s, but this can never claimed to be organic and preservative-free. We love the smooth and hearty texture, as well as the recognizable basil flavor.
Progresso Organic Tomato Basil ($2.50)
Progresso’s organic version of its tomato soup weirdly tastes more "canned" than its non-organic counterpart. In fact, this tastes exactly like the base of our favorite Chef Boyardee classics like Beefaroni and Ravioli—and we definitely don’t hate it.
Progresso Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper ($2.50)
Most of us were big fans of the intense red pepper flavor, but others thought it was a bit too sweetly bold. Regardless, we unanimously agreed that it delivered exactly what it promised.
Eh, These Are OK:
Campbell’s Condensed Tomato, Campbell’s Homestyle Harvest Tomato With Basil, Wolfgang Puck Basil Bisque, and Amy’s Vegan Tomato Bisque
These four cans tasted like we expected canned tomato soup to taste: not terrible, but not great. Cambell’s Condensed Tomato (which gets points for being an O.G.) and Amy’s Vegan Tomato Bisque were excessively sweet.
Campbell’s Homestyle Harvest Tomato With Basil had a nice texture, but the herbs tasted stale.
As for Wolfgang Puck: We’re not really sure what was going on there. We loved the light, herbal flavors, but were put off by its bizarre texture and lack of saltiness.
Don’t Waste Your Time:
Amy’s Chunky Tomato Bisque and Campbell’s Well Yes! Tomato Carrot Bisque
Well Yes! straight-up tasted like melted Play-Doh. It was weird and we didn’t like it one bit.
Amy’s, meanwhile, was confusingly metallic. Perhaps we got a bad batch, but we couldn’t recommend it.