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How to choose winter soup

Packaged or canned soup is a convenient comfort food. Which ones are as good as they look, nutritionally?

What’s available

There are plenty of hearty soups available in the supermarkets that, with a wholegrain roll, will make a convenient and nutritious light meal. We found soups in the chiller section as well as pouches and cans on the shelf, alongside packets of dried soups. There are even soup mixes packed with dried beans and veges. There are also an increasing number of soups that cater for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian diets. We even found a low-FODMAP option.

Sodium

Sodium levels in soup have been reducing over time, especially in dried packet soups. Most of these came in at under 300mg per 100g. However, there is still a wide range in the amount of sodium in liquid soups. We found 410mg per 100g in Hansells Mexican Chicken and Tomato soup, but only 125mg per 100g in Wattie’s Very Special Kumara and Vegetable soup. Limiting our sodium intake can help control our blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk.

We recommend choosing soup that contains 300mg or less sodium per 100g.

Saturated fat

As with sodium, the amount of saturated fat in soup varies a lot. Cream, coconut and meat can all increase the sat fat content. Thai Laksa-style soups came in highest, with between 3g and 5g saturated fat per 100g.

We recommend choosing soup that contains 1g or less saturated fat per 100g.

Fibre

Choosing soup that’s at least 50 per cent veges or high in fibre will help turn your soup into a healthy, filling meal. Fibre in soup tends to come from veges, pulses or beans, so they can be a great source of gut-friendly fibres. However, if you are sensitive to the fructan-FODMAP group, many soups contain onion or garlic, making them not a good option. In that case, check the ingredient list or try the Fodmapped For You range of soups.

We recommend choosing soup that contains 1.5g or more of fibre per 100g.

How to choose

Use this criteria to choose winter soups.

Some hearty soups we found

Any product examples given here were correct at time of publication. However, remember to check the ingredients and nutrition information every so often, as these can change over time.

Wattie’s Very Special Italian Minestrone
$3.89 per 530g can
Per 100g: 175kJ, 255mg
sodium, 0g saturated fat,
1.6g fibre, $0.73

Good hearty flavour

Campbell’s Café Chicken, Mushroom, Wild Rice
$2.50 per 495g can
Per 100g: 225kJ, 270mg
sodium, 0.3g saturated fat,
1.5g fibre, $0.51

Nice texture and chunky

Countdown Home Style Vegetable
$2.20 per 505g can
Per 100g: 180kJ, 268mg
sodium, <1g saturated fat,
1.5g fibre. $0.44

Very thick and hearty

Naked Kitchen New Orleans Jambalaya
$5.50 per 500g packet
Per 100g: 260kJ, 270mg
sodium, 0.5g saturated fat,
2.1g fibre, $1.10

Tasty and full of veges

Naked Locals Franklin Hearty Vegetable
$5.50 per 500g packet
Per 100g: 216kJ, 241mg
sodium, 0.4g saturated fat,
3.4g fibre, $1.10

Great flavour and packed with fibre

La Zuppa Tuscan Chicken & Vegetable
$3.50 per 540g packet
Per 100g: 155kJ, 257mg
sodium, 0.2g saturated fat,
2.1g fibre, $0.65

Delicious – tastes like homemade

FODMAPPED for you Roasted Pumpkin + A Hint of Sage
$9.29 per 500g packet
Per 100g: 151kJ, 217mg
sodium, 0.1g saturated fat,
1.4g fibre, $1.86

Creamy texture and flavour

PITANGO Organic Pumpkin & Ginger Soup
$4.50 per 500g packet
Per 100g: 113kJ, 214mg
sodium, 0g saturated fat,
1.1g fibre, $0.90

Classic taste with a hint of ginger

First published: Sep 2018



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