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Best soups at Trader Joe's?

I usually love TJ's but their soups have been sometime fabulous and sometimes downright terrible. And as a random sidenote: why are some in cans and others in boxes? Anyway, I need some recommendations, hounds! Thanks in advance!

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  1. Roasted red pepper and tomato soup in the box.

    7 Replies
    1. re: shaebones

      I second this recommendation. This soup is delicious!

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          I am on the red pepper and tomato soup diet. Honest. A cup of that and the garlic naan for dinner, every night. Clocks in about 350 calories and is very satisfying. And I love it, which is the best part.

          1. re: Snackish

            I love this soup. I also love the butternut squash soup in the refrigerator section, not the one in the box.

      1. re: shaebones

        A grilled cheese sandwich, or quesadilla or tacos go wonderfully well with this.

        1. re: shaebones

          Funny, I just bought this soup for the first time and think it's great. Didn't realize there were so many fans. There is also a refrigerated tomato soup that comes in a small plastic container. I think it's like a tomato cream, with chunks of tomato, it's really good but only a couple of servings (vs what, 4 or 5 from the boxed tomato/red pepper?) and has a lot more fat.

          Anyway, just chiming in to say I like the tomato & red pepper soup too.

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            I have only ever had the tomato bisque, the one I think you're describing, from the Trade Joe's in Maryland, but unfortunately I haven't seen it out here in Los Angeles.

            On everyone here's rec, I went out and bought the tomato and red pepper. Can't wait to try it.

        2. Great recs, hounds! Thanks!

          What about the creamy corn soup - anybody try that?

          1 Reply
          1. re: taylor_blair

            I love the corn soup too. I spice it up with a bit of adobo from a can of chipotles. So good and low-cal.

          2. The corn and roasted pepper soup -- yes, I love that one.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kittyfood

              Ditto the corn and roasted pepper soup. A hint of sweetness, a hint of spice. Soo good.

              1. re: Amuse Bouches

                I like the tomato and roasted pepper soup, but I thought that the corn and roasted pepper soup was awful. It had no flavor except for the sweetness (there was a little bit of spice, but it still tasted like peppered melted ice cream). I ended up throwing it away.

                1. re: Humbucker

                  Same here...I think the corn/roasted pepper is vile!

            2. I'm a fan of the bottled Hot and Sour soup. It takes some getting used to and is certainly no replacement for homemade, however, in all it's sesame-oil overabundance and forthright tanginess it's one of those weird products I know I shouldn't enjoy, but somehow I just do.
              It's a plus that theirs contains an authentic variety of fungus and tofu. I can typically get two bowls-full out of a single jar.

              Also, the roasted red pepper/tomato ain't bad(as opined upthread)...I'm not a fan of roasted bell peppers, but their inclusion here adds an intriguing complexity to run-of-the-mill tomato.

              11 Replies
              1. re: aelph

                Where are you located? I'm in LA and go to 5 different TJ's and have not noticed the hot and sour soup. TJ used to carry two types of Thai soups in cans, but flavors may have been too strong for some people.

                1. re: slacker

                  They've had it on the Chicago shelves for quite awhile. Caveat: I really like it, but...it's not gramma's hot n sour...it's very sesame-y. I'm usually not that into overt sesame-ness(ala too much tahini in hummus)...but this soup...it ain't bad.

                  1. re: slacker

                    I think I've seen the hot and sour soup in L.A....make sure to look for a jar, not a can.
                    Last winter I was on a big carrot soup kick and I remember their refrigerated carrot ginger soup from the deli dept. being pretty good.

                    1. re: slacker

                      I just picked some up, it is definitely in a jar.. (not frozen or refridgerated....), but in the 'canned' soup section...

                      1. re: slacker

                        it's not in a can, it's in a jar that looks more like it would contain gravy or sauce than a soup. I like it too. And the roasted red pepper tomato soup (good with rye crisps and cream cheese!). Their frozen french onion is pretty good too.

                        1. re: CulinaryKate

                          Thanks for the suggestion on the Tomato/Roasted Red Pepper soup...had it last night with Grilled Cheese and it was delish!

                          Now, I've tried the frozen French Onion Soup and thought it was pretty good (not great, but good). I have some of the frozen Creamy Mushroom soup, too.....is that any good??? Anyone?

                          1. re: stacylyn

                            I've had them both . . . they are convenience items to keep in the freezer at home or at work for when you don't have time to do anything else, but not great substitutes for the real thing.

                            1. re: stacylyn

                              i had the creamy mushroom. i think it was called madeira mushroom. not bad for packaged soup. it was in the fridge section, not frozen. a bit salty and it was a little thick. i prefer it thinner.

                              1. re: magfitz

                                It makes a good base for a quick stroganoff though. Just add some noodles and beef cubes.

                              2. re: stacylyn

                                I personally didn't care for the mushroom...but I like the French onion very much....however I feel there is a BIG difference when you prepare it NOT in the microwave!!! But in the oven... The texture is much improved...!!!

                                1. re: stacylyn

                                  That French Onion Soup (in the two-pack) is a different label but the same exact item as I buy at Costco, for about $9 as a six pack. I think it is imported from Canada? Plats du Chef or somesuch is the brand at Costco. I like it - will put two individual portions in a pyrex bowl plus some beef bullion, into the oven for an hour, and it makes a pretty tasty hot meal.

                          2. I didn't even know that TJ sells frozen soups. Great to know!

                            I had the salmon chowder a couple of days ago - not worth it, folks. The chicken noodle soup is good, but not fabulous, and the black bean soup is flavorful but a bit too watery for my taste.

                            1. I like the Roasted Corn Tortilla soup. Throw in a handful of ingredients and serve over tortilla chips for a quick chilaquiles.

                              Recently picked up a Portuguese sausage and bean soup but haven't tried it yet.

                              I steer clear of their canned soups....blech!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Dee S

                                Is the sausage and bean...frozen or in a jar?
                                Thanks

                                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                  In a jar. I can check the label for more details; I'm pretty sure it's a TJ soup!

                                  I've never tried the refrigerated or frozen soups from TJ.

                              2. big fan of the refrigerated clam chowder.

                                1. I didn't like the clam chowder or corn chowder in a can. The Indian sambhar in a jar is good, but I wasn't crazy about the Spanish soup in a jar (I forget which one it is, but same line).

                                  1. The canned turkey chili couldn't have been worse. Too much chili powder overpowered everything.

                                    1. The three-bean chili in the glass jar is really good. Canned chilis, not so much.

                                      1. The refrigerated lobster bisque is awesome! I only wish it came in bigger containers than single-serving.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: little audrey

                                          The vegetarian lentil stew (soup aisle, glass jar) is incredible. Serve w/TJ brown rice for a very filling meal.