Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 800 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
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP has counseled thousands of his patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Now he's compiled his best tips and recipes into a six-week plan for you to learn how to eat great food that just happens to be great for you - and if losing weight is your goal, you can do that, too.
Get the prescription for better health as well as healthy weight loss, including:
I look around grocery stores a lot. Not just to find items for us to review on Fridays but just to keep up with what's going on. I pass by the soup aisle all the time, stop, look a bit and always move on. The main reason is the sodium. There's just too much salt in packaged foods and soups are the worst offenders. They are generally inedible because a cup will often contain over 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
For some time I have been seeing a move from canned soups to those packaged in cartons and, while interesting, there's still been far too much sodium for us to consider testing them. This time, however, I stumbled across new low sodium versions from a company who has been making stocks for some time: Imagine Foods. It was hotter than heck when I walked to the market, so I decided to choose two that would work well both as chilled and hot soups.
The Harvest Corn was up first and it did not disappoint. Tasters tried the soup chilled first and this had a great fresh corn flavor. It was rather surprising just how good this was for soup from a carton. The texture is creamy, the soup is just salty enough and the flavor just right. One tester said, "I keep expecting to taste little bits of corn."
When foods are chilled they will often not have as much flavor, and we wondered if heating the soup would change our opinion. The answer was no. This 100 calorie cup of corn soup was just as good hot as cold. Best of all there's 3 grams of fiber and only 190 mg of sodium.
Second up was the Garden Tomato. This was good also. Not as good as the corn, but by far the best packaged tomato soup on the market. It doesn't have that sweet ketchup flavor found in most canned versions. The tomato flavor is bright, slightly sweet but not cloying. This one comes in at only 80 calories but does have 300 mg of sodium per cup (still amazing for any packaged soup). It was equally good hot.
These are great soups and perfect to keep on hand for a quick meal in the evenings of soup and salad. Even better, there's great research showing that if you have soup as a first course you will eat 20% less of your main course. This can be a great strategy if you are working at losing weight.