In my mind, chilly days signal the start of soup season. It’s time to get the soup pot out and fill it to the brim with winter vegetables, tasty stock and other goodies that make soup so delicious and warming. Once you have made this magical soup – it is a super easy and quick lunch, dinner and sometimes a snack too.
As additional benefit – the beauty of soup is that it can be a truly effective way of getting a ton of vitamins, minerals, fluid and fibre into your daily intake.
The thing is, although soup is an easy meal to prepare, the fact is that time does not always allow us to make a batch every week. Enter the ready to eat options.
Have you been down the soup aisle of the supermarket lately?? It has most certainly grown over the past few years. No longer is this section stacked with can after can of reheat and eat. The packaging is now rather glossy and sleek and although packets and cans of soups still adorn the shelves, the newest kid on the block is the soup pouch.
During my most recent supermarket tour (ask me for more information on these if you are interested in the next one), I was actually really surprised at the sheer volume of variety. Given all this choice, it seemed incumbent upon me to review some of these soups because lets face it – ‘ready to go’ can be vital on some days, especially if no-one wants to get hurt in the process.
All of the soups I tested are available on the shelf and do not require refrigeration – hence the perfect meal to store in the pantry or desk drawer at work. Heating time was on average 2.5 minutes, so they are definitely classed as fast food – in a good kind of way.
When looking at food products in general, it is important to check the fat, sugar, salt and fibre content of the food. Try and choose food that includes the following:
Fat – less than 8g per 100g serve
Sugar – less than 10g per 100g serve
Sodium (salt) – less than 400mg per 100g serve
Fibre more than – 5g per 100g serve
As you can see from the summary below, the four varieties that I tasted all fit the criteria for fat, sugar and salt but all are lowish in fibre. The soup that you prepare at home is likely to be much higher in fibre due to the quantity of vegetables that you are most likely to add but you could bump up the fibre of these sou
p pouches by adding a slice of grainy toast or bread.
La Zuppa is particularly low in calories for a meal – it is more of a clear soup, so in this case adding some bread would round things out a little.
My favourite was the Split Pea, Carrot and Kale soup by the Australian Organic Co. – it was super tasty and filling and the texture was pleasant. I thought the Heinz soup had an overwhelmingly tomato flavour, although the La Zuppa was very tasty and did actually contain chicken. The Coconut and Pumpkin soup by Hart and Soul had a lovely flavour but sligh
tly bizarre long stringy pieces of coconut and (and perhaps onion) throughout the soup.
Of course, the one I enjoyed the most was the most expensive! A bit like clothes really.
I have noticed that many of these soups are discounted on a regular basis across most supermarkets and are often available at around the $2 – $2.50 mark per pouch. This means that packaged soup in pouches can be a super cheap meal, especially in comparison to buying lunch.
And what about you – have you tried some of these or is there a packaged soup that you enjoy and would like me to take a look at?