Tomato soup is a classic comfort food, especially when paired with a gooey grilled cheese. While there's a lot to love about tomato soup — it's high in lycopene and vitamins A and C — it can also be high in sodium if you're eating it from a can or high in saturated fat if you're following a classic recipe that calls for butter or cream.
That's why we've taken the healthy tomato base and added some unique twists to shake up your soup routine. The wholesome ingredients in these tomato soup recipe ideas not only elevate the dish so that it can stand on its own (no need for that grilled cheese) but they bring their own nutritional benefits, too.
1. Mexican Tomato, Black Bean and Corn Pasta Soup
This hearty, tomato-broth-based soup is a complete meal that combines protein and fiber-rich black beans, whole-grain corn pasta, and a source of healthy-fats from avocados. You can keep it plant-based by swapping out the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Also, to cut the sodium, look for a reduced-sodium or no-salt-added version of crushed canned tomatoes.
According to a January 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control, about 90 percent of Americans are eating more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. And 86 percent of people with high blood pressure are overdoing it on a daily basis. To further cut down on salt, give canned beans a good rinse under water before using them.
Get the Mexican Tomato, Black Bean and Corn Pasta Soup recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Homemade Tomato Soup Mascarpone Cheese Basil Soup
Mascarpone and basil is a simple yet sophisticated combo. If you're not familiar with mascarpone, it's similar to cream cheese in texture and appearance but has a slightly sweeter flavor, balanced with a bit of acidity.
Serve this tomato soup recipe as a starter that'll impress guests or just treat yourself to a more "grown-up" version of your childhood favorite. And to keep it vegetarian, use a vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth called for in the recipe.
Tomatoes are rich in carotenoids, specifically lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein. As outlined in a March 2014 Mediators of Inflammation paper, lycopene reduces the risk of some cancers and may help reduce inflammation. Lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and beta-carotene supports heart health.
Get the Homemade Tomato Soup Mascarpone Cheese Basil Soup recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Vegan Mexican Tortilla Soup
Plant-based dieters can rejoice! Finally, a tomato-based tortilla soup without the chicken. This spicy (jalapenos bring the heat!) and tangy soup is chicken-free but is not without lean protein. Shelled edamame beans are added instead; each serving has 14 grams of protein. The avocado, kidney beans and tomatoes add filling fiber.
An April 2014 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found a link between those who sip soup and a lower risk of obesity. After reviewing dietary recall data, scientists found that those who ate soup weighed less, had smaller waists, and better overall diets compared to those who did not.
The one area soup consumers' diets didn't shine? Salt content. But making your soup at home with low-sodium broths, tomato products and other canned products can help you control the amount of salt in your dish.
Get the Vegan Mexican Tortilla Soup recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Middle Eastern-Spiced Creamy Tomato Soup
Most creamy tomato soups get their thick texture from added butter or heavy cream. Our healthy hack is to use hummus. Smart, right?!
Each serving of this vegan soup includes about one-fourth cup of hummus, which provides both fiber and protein. And harissa — a North African paste that's made from dried chilies, olive oil and other seasonings — gives this soup a spicy and slightly smoky flavor that really sets it apart.
Paired with whole-grain pita chips, this could be a meal on its own. As the recipe suggests, consider sprinkling feta on top for extra flavor and an extra nutritional boost.
Get the Middle Eastern-Spiced Creamy Tomato Soup recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Mexican Turkey Soup
This tomato-based soup also features lean protein from ground turkey breast, whole grains from frozen corn and healthy fats from avocado, making this a balanced and complete meal. Double or triple this recipe for leftovers to enjoy later in the week as a filling lunch or dinner.
Each bowl has 9 grams of fiber, primarily from the corn and avocado, which is important since 95 percent of Americans don't get enough of the nutrient, according to a July 2016 report published in American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. How far are we missing the mark? Men should get a minimum of 38 grams per day and women 25 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Get the Mexican Turkey Soup recipe and nutrition info here.
- Centers for Disease Control: "Prevalence of Excess Sodium Intake in the United States — NHANES, 2009–2012"
- Mediators of Inflammation: "Enhancing the Health-Promoting Effects of Tomato Fruit for Biofortified Food"
- British Journal of Nutrition: "Soup Consumption is Associated with a Lower Dietary Energy Density and a Better Diet Quality in US Adults."
- American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: "Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap"
- Institute of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids"