Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed some common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

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Mmm, mmm, good?

Chicken Noodle
Mediterranean Shrimp
Chicken and Rice
Chicken with Noodles

Mmm, mmm, good. Part of the English language. Most everyone would recognize it as the Campbell’s soup slogan. Their soups are, generally speaking, just that — good and not great. This is true with some of their Healthy Request soups that we tested (but not all).

By far the best of the four chosen for review was the Chunky Healthy Request Chicken Noodle. This has a pretty good and not too salty chicken soup flavor with lots of broad egg noodles, chunks of chicken, celery and carrots. The chicken is not too dry (something that the other soups can’t claim).

A can makes two servings, but realistically for most folks it would be a single dinner serving of soup. That makes it 960 mg of sodium (for the two cups). That’s still a fair amount of salt. It is, however, very low calorie at 240 for the “two” servings. Unless you’re on a very sodium restricted diet, this is a pretty good choice.

The Healthy Request Tomato soup is also pretty good, with a sweet tomato flavor. It has about the same amount of salt as the Chunky Chicken Noodle at 470 mg per cup. Interestingly, this one does call for mixing the concentrate with 1% milk, but the milk is not included in the Nutrition Facts — keep that in mind when reading the label.

The Chicken Rice soup (also in the Healthy Request line) is Mmm, mmm, edible, but barely. Like the tomato, it is also a condensed soup, but using water makes it thin and the overall effect is bland, bland, bland. While this soup claims to use “lower sodium sea salt,” the salty flavor comes from potassium chloride and that is immediately obvious in the metallic taste. The rice is white, the broth thin, the chicken sparse with a texture of dried up little bullets and there’s almost no veggies. Leave this one on the shelf.

Dead last is the Chicken With Noodles Low Sodium Soup. This is the type of product that people think of when they think of how bad “healthy” food is. Campbell’s should quite simply take this off the market. If I were president of the company, I would be embarrassed at how bad this product is.

One serving is the whole can and has only 140 mg of sodium, but the potassium flavor is so strong as to make this completely inedible. But that combines with gummy noodles, dried out stringy bits of chicken and a greasy flavor. Mmm, mmm, awful.