We love soup. A lot. But many canned soups are sky-high in sodium. So we decided to take some of the new, reduced sodium versions out for a spin. Here's what we think...
Amy's Organic Light in Sodium Chunky Tomato Bisque
(1 cup: 130 calories, 3.5g fat, 340mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 14g sugars, 3g protein = PointsPlus® value 3*)
What it is: Tender chunks of vine-ripened tomatoes in a smooth, creamy tomato base.
Sodium count: 340mg vs. 680 mg
What we think of it: Holy moly! This is, without a doubt, our new favorite soup. Sweet and rich, with chunky hunks of tomato in it, this still will make your head spin! You won't even notice that there's less sodium in this soup. We promise. It's almost too good to be true. So much so, that we immediately ran out and stocked the HG pantry with dozens of cans of the stuff, because we know it'll sell out once this review runs. WOWOWOWOW!
Overall score: 10 plus!!!!
Progresso 50% Less Sodium Garden Vegetable
(1 cup: 100 calories, 0g fat, 450mg sodium, 22g carbs, 3g fiber, 4g sugars, 3g protein = PointsPlus® value 2*)
What it is: Garden veggie soup...with half the sodium of the regular kind.
Sodium count: 450mg vs. 940mg
What we think of it: This soup is great and doesn't really taste different from Progresso's regular, sodium-packed version. There are tons of veggies (that manage to not get mushy!) floating in a thick, flavorful broth. Yum. We'd eat it even if it wasn't low in calories and fat and high in fiber. But we're glad it is!
(1 cup: 120 calories, 2.5g fat, 480mg sodium, 15g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 7g protein = PointsPlus® value 3*)
What it is: We're taking this quote straight from the Campbell's website: "A triumphant soup with perfectly wedded flavors in the loving Italian tradition. Savory meatballs swim in richly seasoned chicken broth along with vibrant spinach and tiny, pearl-shaped pasta called acini di pepe, meaning peppercorns in Italian, all adding up to a sensational soup experience. You'll fall in love when you taste our chef's Italian-Style Wedding soup. Amore!"
Sodium count: 480mg vs. 840mg
What we think of it: Well, as much as we want this one to live up to that flowery copy we found on the company website, it simply doesn't. It's actually pretty boring and tastes like it needs more salt. And with 480mg of sodium per cup, it is probably not a great idea to add more. We "get" the whole idea of Italian Wedding soup, and we are SO on board with it. This one just misses the mark.
Overall score: 6
Progresso 50% Less Sodium Minestrone
(1 cup: 120 calories, 2g fat, 470mg sodium, 24g carbs, 4g fiber, 4g sugars, 5g protein = PointsPlus® value 3*)
What it is: Progresso's classic minestrone, with half the salt.
Sodium count: 470mg vs. 980mg
What we think of it: We LOVE Progresso soups to death. And we're huge fans of their 50% Less Sodium Garden Vegetable soup, but we really are NOT crazy about this stuff. The veggies and pasta are super-mushy and the broth lacks flavor. It also tastes like it needs salt -- and lots of it. Sorry, Progresso. This isn't your best soup effort.
Overall score: 6.5
Amy's Organic Light in Sodium Lentil Vegetable
(1 cup: 150 calories, 4g fat, 340mg sodium, 23g carbs, 6g fiber, 5g sugars, 7g protein = PointsPlus® value 4*
What it is: Lentil-based soup, full of vegetables including organic green beans, tomatoes and spinach.
Sodium count: 340mg vs. 680mg
What we think of it: This one looks pretty and hearty, with all those lentils and veggies. And the highish-for-soup nutritionals had us thinking this would be super-tasty! But, no. This soup is actually the blandest of all...and unfortunately, the lack of sodium is apparent and the salt is sorely missed. In all fairness, we didn't try to make it more interesting by adding hot sauce or other spices, but we're not fans and we won't be buying it again. Sorry, Amy. (We still love you!)
(1 cup: 140 calories, 2.5g fat, 480mg sodium, 22g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g sugars, 8g protein = PointsPlus® value 4*)
What it is: Gumbo loaded with chunks of grilled chicken, sausage and vegetables -- plus lots of rice.
Sodium count: 480mg vs. 850mg
What we think of it: This one is pretty spicy, which (oddly) makes us notice the lack of salt even more. It is definitely on the dull side, and sadly, it tastes like it needs salt. The chunks of chicken and sausage are good, though.
Overall score: 6.5
HG Observation: We have found that, clearly, it's hit or miss when it comes to reduced sodium soups. We did find some we loved, but we did miss the salt in quite a few of these soups. And in case you're wondering, there's about 600mg of sodium in 1/4 TEASPOON of regular salt! So if you're gonna end up adding it anyway, these soups may not be the way to go if you are trying to limit your sodium intake. Just something to think about. If you watch your salt intake, we would recommend trying these for yourself to see how you like 'em...
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*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.