Growing up I ate a lot of condensed tomato soup and grilled cheese. To this day it is such a comfort food to me. My mom always made it with a combination of milk and water and I love the creamy counterpart to the acidity of the tomatoes. What I didn’t realize was how much sugar was in there.

Most tomato soup recipes I have found call for sugar. I just can’t bring myself to put sugar into a warm pot of soup. That being said, my taste buds distinctly remember the sweetness found in that old bowl of comfort. My solution: balsamic vinegar. Yes, it’s acidic, but also sweet. The result is not the tomato soup you grew up on, but perhaps a more sophisticated and definitely more nourishing version. It is also really simple to make and easy on the budget. And it’s still ultra comforting.

Tomato Soup with Balsamic Vinegar

Recipe notes: I stir creme fraiche into individual bowls for the creamy flavor. You could easily substitute a bit of cream, preferably raw of course :).


6 cups water
2 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper to taste
5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
creme fraiche, sour cream or cream for serving


In a medium sauce pan bring water to a simmer. Whisk tomato paste in until smooth. Turn heat to medium-low. Season with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your taste.

To serve, fill bowls and add a tablespoon of creme fraiche, sour cream or cream and stir through. Enjoy while piping hot.