Why is there sugar in my tomato soup?

January 30, 2012

So I have been trying low sodium soups. When I have time, I love to make soup from scratch. But I often don’t have time. So, enter the effort to find canned soups that taste good and are good for me. My favorite when I was growing up was tomato soup. It was the simple can of Campbells. I didn’t know there was any other kind. My mom made it with milk. Probably whole milk. I have no idea when all the low fat and skim varieties of milk became available. When they did, she started to use them.

And grilled cheese. Recently, I have started to put a sliced fresh tomato on my grilled cheese sandwich before grilling it. Yummm. But I digress.

The amount of sodium in Campbell’s tomato soup sent me on a search for something healthier. 530 mg of sodium in a half cup. Sorry but I usually have a cup of soup and so — half the day’s salt for a cup of coup. Yikes. [http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-campbells-tomato-soup-i81752]

I tried a couple of different kinds of reduced sodium canned tomato soup. I didn’t like them. I tried tomato basil reduced sodium hoping that the basil would help. I didn’t like them. Until yesterday. Progresso vegetable classics tomato basil soup. 580 mg sodium in one cup compared to 1,60 in one cup of the Campbells. There was just one problem.

When I took the first bite, I knew there was sugar added. I could taste it. I got up and flipped the can over and sure enough — under the Ingredients list — sugar is the 3rd ingredient. Why? You have to be kidding me. So I went on a search of the other soups. You guessed it. Sugar. High fructose corn syrup. It’s there. You just have to look for it.

So back on the hunt I went for a homemade recipe. I found one I like. But it has V-8 juice in it. And v-8 juice, well, it has a lot of salt in it… Sigh. There is a low sodium version [http://www.v8juice.com/FAQ.aspx]

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12 Responses to “Why is there sugar in my tomato soup?”

  1. Saras Bellur says:

    I am not sure if you have tried Amy’s Organic soups? http://www.amys.com/products/product-detail/soups/000581
    They have Low Sodium options (340mg). Instead of sugar, I see “organic evaporated cane juice”! Not sure if that is any better for the body or not…
    I find this brand of soup at Wegman’s organic aisle.

  2. Steve says:

    I was recently looking up tomato soups and having checked out the calorie content on a couple of sites like http://www.calories-in-foods.com/calories-in-tomato-soup.php I hunted down Campbell’s healthy request range. There was me thinking tomato soup was tomato soup from brand to brand….

  3. 10 Foods with Huge Amounts of Hidden Sugar | Care2 Causes says:

    […] childhood. Too bad there are 10 grams (over 3 teaspoons) of sugar in the average 1/2 cup serving of canned tomato soup (usually high fructose corn syrup). Not to mention 400 mg of sodium. […]

  4. Instant Tomato Soup | Healthee Life says:

    […] canned soups are full of surprise ingredients (the same amount of sugar as a Snicker’s bar! Half the recommended sodium for an entire day in one cup! Cans with BPA lining!). As delicious as homemade soup is, not everyone has a crockpot or the list […]

  5. Elizabeth says:

    i also found the campbells tomato soup way high in sugar. i figured it out that i was feeling more hungry after cosuming a small bowl of the soup and the reason is the sugar that spiked my blood sugar.

  6. Michelle says:

    I personally don’t understand why any of the canned or boxed soup companies use any type of sweetener at all in tomato soup? Jaime Oliver has a great recipe for Tomato Basil soup, and you taste the wonderful fresh taste of the tomatoes, and the basil… not sugar. I have since become a vegetarian, but when I used to eat beef, I stumbled into a lot of beef stews/soups that had sugar in them as well-gross! I love sugar… in desserts, but not in soups (unless maybe in a squash soup). Maybe its a mid-west pallet thing?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’ve searched high and low for canned (or boxed) tomato soup without sugar, but in vain. I’m afraid our only option is to start with stock (homemade or otherwise) and add tomato paste and your choice of a cream to mellow the flavor. “Evaporated cane sugar” is bogus…it’s just sugar. Cane sugar, no less. And isn’t all sugar “evaporated?” This is nothing more than a manufacturer’s attempt at deception.

  8. nooyi says:

    thanks for sharing the informatio

  9. Danielle says:

    All of Annie’s Soups are high in sugar–even the tomato–it’s all sugar.

  10. JD says:

    Covent Garden Soups. I am diabetic and thought i was eating a nice healthy vegetable soup. Until I checked the sugar levels and got a big shock. I done some additional research and can confirm the following –

    Typical vegetable soup 600 ml 1-2 grams sugar,
    90 ml of single cream 1 gram of sugar (as used in Covent garden soup)
    Therefore, a standard soup using 1/7th single cream should have approx. 2.5g of sugar per 600ml

    Covent garden soup 18 grams of sugar, or equal to 1.5 cans of energy juice (Tesco Blue Spark)

  11. Leah Rainey says:

    Do you have a health condition that needs a low-salt diet?


  12. c says:

    yeah… not ALL Amy’s soups have added sugar but the tomato one does. Tomatoes and milk have some sugar content but all the tomato soups add sugar and it does not even taste good to me. Wish some one would make a slightly spicy one without added sugar. I keep reading labels and looking. 🙁

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