Is La Madeleine tomato soup gluten free?

For those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, dining out can be tricky. With so many items on most restaurant menus containing gluten, it can be hard to find safe options. One restaurant that offers several gluten-free choices is the French-inspired chain La Madeleine. But when it comes to one of their most popular items, La Madeleine tomato soup, many wonder – is it gluten free?

What is Gluten?

Before diving into whether La Madeleine’s tomato soup contains gluten, it helps to understand what exactly gluten is. Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. It helps give elasticity and shape to dough, which is why it’s found in so many bread and baked goods. Gluten is also often used as a stabilizing or thickening agent in sauces, soups, and other foods.

For most people, consuming gluten is not a problem. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten causes issues. In individuals with celiac disease, gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, and more. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes similar gastrointestinal symptoms when gluten is consumed.

The only treatment for celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity is following a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding any foods containing wheat, rye, barley, and often oats. Following a gluten-free diet allows the digestive system to heal and symptoms to resolve. But it requires diligence, as even small amounts of gluten can cause issues.

Is Tomato Soup Typically Gluten-Free?

In its most basic form, tomato soup consists of tomatoes, vegetable or chicken broth, cream or milk, and seasonings. None of these ingredients naturally contain gluten. So plain tomato soup is typically gluten-free. However, many restaurants add thickening agents like wheat flour or enrich their soup with bread crumbs or pasta. These ingredients would introduce gluten into the tomato soup.

Some examples of tomato soup that is normally gluten-free include:

  • Homemade tomato soup made with simple ingredients
  • Canned plain tomato soup
  • Restaurant tomato soup made without thickeners or wheat-based ingredients

Types of tomato soup that often contain gluten include:

  • Tomato soup thickened with wheat flour
  • Tomato basil soup with bread crumbs or croutons
  • Tomato soup served with bread or crackers containing gluten

So whether tomato soup is gluten-free depends largely on the specific ingredients used. Plain tomato soup tends to be safe, while enhanced or thickened tomato soups are more likely to include gluten.

What Ingredients Are in La Madeleine’s Tomato Soup?

To determine if La Madeleine’s tomato soup is gluten-free, we need to look at its specific ingredients. According to the company’s online menu, here is what is contained in their tomato soup:

  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Heavy cream
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Noticeably absent from the list are any thickeners like wheat flour or bread-based ingredients. La Madeleine’s tomato soup seems to be made simply from tomatoes and cream, without any gluten-containing add-ins. This is our first clue that it is likely gluten-free.

Does La Madeleine Claim Their Tomato Soup is Gluten-Free?

In addition to reviewing the soup’s ingredients, we can also look to the restaurant itself to provide guidance on whether the tomato soup contains gluten. La Madeleine identifies many menu items as either gluten-free or containing gluten. They also have a gluten-friendly menu that highlights items that are naturally gluten-free.

According to La Madeleine’s online nutrition information, their tomato soup is labeled as “gluten-free.” The soup is also included in their gluten-friendly menu. This provides us with direct confirmation from the restaurant that their tomato soup does not contain any wheat, rye, barley or gluten ingredients.

What Do Customer Reviews Say?

In addition to examining the soup’s ingredients and La Madeleine’s own labeling, we can also turn to customer reviews to help determine if the tomato soup is gluten-free. Here’s what some diners with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities are saying about the soup:

“I was so happy to be able to enjoy a bowl of tomato soup here without getting sick. It’s usually one of the only soups I can eat at restaurants so I was glad La Madeleine’s version is celiac friendly.”

“The tomato basil soup is my favorite! I’m very sensitive to cross-contamination with gluten and have never had an issue when ordering it.”

“So far I haven’t had any bad reactions from the tomato soup here. Seems like a safe bet when I’m craving soup.”

The reviews from those avoiding gluten all seem to indicate that La Madeleine’s tomato soup is a reliably gluten-free option. No reviews mentioned becoming ill or symptomatic after eating the soup due to gluten exposure. Customer experiences support the ingredients and labeling in suggesting the soup is gluten-free.

Is There Risk of Gluten Cross-Contact?

Even if a menu item itself is gluten-free, cross-contact during preparation and service is still a risk. Cross-contact refers to gluten inadvertently getting into gluten-free food through shared cooking surfaces, utensils, and equipment. Even small amounts can make those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities sick.

To evaluate the cross-contact risk with their tomato soup, we can again turn to La Madeleine’s own procedures. According to their website, they take several steps to reduce cross-contact of gluten:

  • Gluten-free items are prepared first thing in the morning before gluten-containing foods are made
  • Separate pots, utensils, and workspaces are used for gluten-free dishes
  • Employees change gloves and thoroughly wash hands when switching between gluten and gluten-free food prep

With these measures in place, the risk of gluten cross-contact with the tomato soup appears low. However, it can never be completely eliminated in restaurant kitchens. So those with severe celiac disease should still use caution and check directly with their local La Madeleine about their protocols.

Does La Madeleine Offer Gluten-Free Bread or Crackers with the Soup?

While La Madeleine’s tomato soup may be gluten-free, accompanying bread or crackers served with the soup likely are not. Their bread options include French baguettes, brioche, and sweets like pecan twists, all of which contain gluten.

However, La Madeleine does offer some gluten-free sides that can be paired with the tomato soup, such as:

  • Cornichons (mini pickles)
  • Kalamata or Sicilian olives
  • Mixed greens salad with oil and vinegar
  • Fresh fruit

When ordering the tomato soup, be sure to request no bread, croutons, or crackers and double check that any sides or salads are prepared gluten-free. This helps ensure the meal is completely gluten-free.

Key Takeaways on La Madeleine’s Tomato Soup

Here are the key points on whether La Madeleine’s tomato soup contains gluten:

  • The soup contains simple ingredients like tomatoes, cream, and seasonings without common gluten-containing thickeners or flour.
  • La Madeleine identifies the tomato soup as gluten-free online and in their gluten-friendly menu.
  • Reviews from gluten-free diners indicate the soup is well tolerated without reactions.
  • While risk can’t be eliminated fully, La Madeleine reports taking steps to reduce cross-contact during prep.
  • Avoid bread or crackers served alongside the soup and verify gluten-free status of any sides.

Based on the available information, La Madeleine’s tomato soup appears to be a reliable gluten-free option for those following a gluten-free diet. As with any restaurant meal, individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should still use caution and check with their local restaurant for the latest preparation procedures. But the tomato soup looks like a reasonably safe menu choice.

Other Soup Options at La Madeleine

In addition to their popular tomato soup, La Madeleine offers a few other soups that are good gluten-free choices:

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Bisque

Like the classic tomato soup, La Madeleine’s eggplant and tomato bisque contains no typical gluten ingredients. The company confirms that it is gluten-free on their nutrition information.

Lentil Soup

Made simply with lentils, carrots, onions, and seasonings, La Madeleine’s lentil soup is another naturally gluten-free option. It is labeled gluten-free online.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasting gives this butternut squash soup rich flavor. Without any glutenous thickeners, La Madeleine’s gluten-free menu lists this soup as safe for diners avoiding gluten.

Other Gluten-Free Menu Items

Beyond their soups, La Madeleine also offers a variety of other nutritious and tasty gluten-free menu options:


Their mixed greens, spinach, and Caesar without croutons are all gluten-free. Just request no bread on the side.


Try gluten-free oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, smoked salmon platter, plain croissant, or eggs without biscuits or toast.


Gluten-free sandwiches feature sides like salad or fruit instead of bread. The turkey & Havarti with cucumbers on ficelle bread is a gluten-free customer favorite.


Roasted salmon or herb roasted chicken served over fresh vegetables or salad are tasty and gluten-free dinner entrees.


While many desserts like muffins contain gluten, La Madeleine’s flourless chocolate cake and macarons are decadent gluten-free treats.

Gluten-Free Dining Tips

When dining at La Madeleine, keep these tips in mind to ensure your meal is 100% gluten-free:

  • Review the gluten-friendly menu in advance and identify gluten-free items
  • Tell your server you need to avoid gluten; ask them to change gloves and prep your meal away from gluten
  • Request sauces and dressings on the side to confirm gluten-free status
  • Ask about shared cooking equipment, utensils, and prep areas for your meal
  • Skip the bread basket and clarify gluten-free status of any sides or substitutions
  • Check that common allergens like wheat are not listed as “may contain” for your menu items

Finding Gluten-Free Soup at Other Chains

In addition to La Madeleine, other popular restaurant chains also offer gluten-free soups:

Panera Bread

All of Panera’s soups are labeled gluten-free except for the cream of chicken and wild rice. The broccoli cheddar and cream of tomato are customer favorites.


Chili’s chicken tortilla, fire roasted tomato bisque, and salsa verde chicken soups are all prepared gluten-free.


Look for corn sopa and chicken tortilla soup marked gluten-free on Chipotle’s online menu. Just skip the tortilla strips on top.

First Watch

This breakfast-focused chain labels many soups gluten-free, like their loaded potato and seasonal squash bisque.

Panera Bread

Stick to chicken noodle, black bean, and lentil soup marked gluten-free at Noodles & Company. Avoid cream and curry noodle soups.

Making Gluten-Free Tomato Soup at Home

While La Madeleine’s tomato soup appears to be a safe gluten-free option, homemade soup is always the best guarantee. Here is a simple recipe to make tomato soup from scratch at home:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Remove soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender or regular countertop blender until smooth.
  4. Return soup to pot and stir in heavy cream. Heat through but do not boil.
  5. Ladle tomato soup into bowls and top with fresh basil leaves.

Be sure to use certified gluten-free broth and cream when making this recipe. With simple whole food ingredients, you can be assured it’s completely gluten-free. Homemade tomato soup also allows you to customize flavors to your taste and control the ingredients fully.


In summary, based on available ingredient information, restaurant statements, and consumer reviews, La Madeleine’s tomato soup appears to be gluten-free. Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should still verify preparation procedures with their local restaurant. But the widely available soup looks to be a reasonably safe option when gluten-free choices are limited. As with any dining out, pay close attention to accompanying menu items and sides to ensure they are also gluten-free. With proper precautions, tomato soup from La Madeleine can be an option for those avoiding gluten.

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