Balsamic Tomato Soup

January 30, 2015

Long days. Long week. Can I get a TGIF? There’s something about snowy, cold days that make days drag on for me. And I feel like bring out the worst in people. I’ve had more unpleasant interactions with people in the last few days than I care to recount — can we all just gather around a steaming hot bowl of tomato soup, maybe with a side of grilled cheese, and just forget our troubles?

Balsamic Tomato Soup @hiddenfruitnveg

Tomato soup is a food I just can’t resist. It’s hot, it’s creamy, and it’s surprisingly versatile. There was a time in my life when I’d make sure to have cans of tomato soup on hand for sudden cravings for fear of reliving the dreaded taco milk soup incident. One cold, rainy day in college my roommate Katherine and I just needed tomato soup but really didn’t want to go outside. Despite the fact that there was a grocery store basically in our backyard. We had a handful of tomatoes on hand, so we mashed them up and added milk in a pan and expected it to taste amazing. The result? Basically hot, slightly pink milk. For some reason our answer was to add a generous helping of taco seasoning, which really only make it taste like hot milky tacos. Not a flavor you need in your mouth, trust.

Balsamic Tomato Soup @hiddenfruitnveg

Now I’m older perpetually 22 and wiser and I know the benefits of keeping a pantry well stocked with versatile ingredients. Normally, I used canned diced tomatoes for my soup cravings but somehow found myself out of my #1 go to ingredient. I dug out a can of tomato paste, an ingredient I stock up on but never use, and now I have this recipe in my arsenal. It’s everything tomato soup should be plus a little something extra from balsamic vinegar. Happy to report it’s not the least bit taco milky, and I’ll never need to travel down that path again.


Balsamic Tomato Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4 c

  • ½ onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 – 2 tbsp agave (or honey)
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 2½ c vegetable broth or water, plus extra
  • 1 c milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic (use EVOO, nonstick spray, or a little water to prevent sticking).
  2. Add the tomato paste and vinegar. Saute until darker red, adding splashed of water as necessary to keep it slightly liquidy and to prevent burning. This took about 10 minutes for me.
  3. Stir in 2½ c water or broth, agave, and basil. Simmer until the flavors meld (I did about ten minutes, but you can cut this short if you must).
  4. Add the milk, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Optional: garnish with a little fresh basil and drizzle with olive oil.

If you don’t have balsamic vinegar on hand but want to make a tomato paste based soup, swap it out for another flavorful vinegar or a little red wine. If you don’t have those either (I feel you, college aged Kelly) add some Italian seasoning. You just need a little extra oomph to help keep the tomato paste from tasting like the metal can it came out of.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 c Calories: 70 Fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 14 Fiber: 2 Protein: 3


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    Joanne Feb 03, 2015

    Tomato soup is an ULTIMATE comfort food for me. Love the touch of balsamic you added to the mix!

    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health Feb 02, 2015

    If there’s anything that will brighten my mood on a cold day, it’s tomato soup and grilled cheese! It’s my all-time favorite of all favorites. This balsamic spin on tomato soup sounds delicious!

    Medha @ Whisk & Shout Jan 31, 2015

    I love this! Add some mozz on top and it’s like caprese in a bowl 🙂

    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl Jan 30, 2015

    Love your twist on this classic soup. I love finding new ways to make something traditional a little different!

    Julia Jan 30, 2015

    It is strange how a little bad weather can bring the grouch out in people. Fingers crossed the cold lets up for you all soon!

    This soup sounds so amazing! I never thought to put balsamic in tomato soup, and I feel like I’ve been missing out all this time! A perfect bowl of soup to warm the belly!