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About a year ago we reviewed two soups from Imagine Natural Foods: Harvest Corn Soup and Garden Tomato Soup. Both soups were labeled "Light in Sodium" and contained less than 200 milligrams of sodium per cup. They were great soups, and as I mentioned at the time, there's good research to suggest that if you have soup as a first course you're likely to eat 20% less of your main course. It's been quite a while since we've reviewed any soups, and with Fall coming on, this seemed a good time to hit the soup aisle again.
This time around, however, there were no "Light in Sodium" options on the shelf (that we had not yet reviewed). Still, today's soups contain far less sodium than other soups in the same section: some contained as much as 800 milligrams of sodium per cup. These are much more reasonable at 440 milligrams of sodium in the Creamy Broccoli Soup and 420 milligrams in the Creamy Potato and Leek Soup. Once again this is an issue of portion size: take a look at your average can of ready-to-serve soup. While the package will state that a serving size is one cup, the package contains two servings - and who is only going to eat half a can of soup? Nobody, that's who. Which is why these 800-milligram-per-cup soups are so very appalling. Practically speaking, Imagine Foods' soups have half the sodium of many other soups. (I believe my wife would call that "Damned with faint praise.")
Apart from the sodium, the good news is that these soups are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and organic. Even better, they taste great.
We tasted the Creamy Potato Leek Soup first, which has clean, clear flavors of potato and leek, with a light undertone of roasted garlic. This is so creamy that we had to check the label again to see if it really was dairy-free: some of our tasters thought for sure this had to have milk in it. Not so: just smoothly-textured potato soup that tastes not the least bit salty.
The same is true of the Creamy Broccoli Soup. In addtion to the delicate broccoli flavor sweetened with a hint of garlic, the celery adds a flowery note. Once again the potato added to this soup makes it very creamy and the rich mouth feel makes it satisfying.
Both soups would make a great light Fall meal with a side salad. You could dress these up with bits of bacon, chunks of steamed potato, a tablespoon of shredded cheese or a simple handful of croutons, or just eat them plain as a delicious lunch. Two thumbs way up for these soups - as long as you're not watching your sodium intake.