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What do you think is the best widely available prepared chicken noodle soup? (canned or packaged)

First of all, please please please don't tell me how easy it is to make your own. I'm sick and I'm not making anything.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather and craving chicken noodle soup. I just tucked into my daughter's Campbells, and can't even finish it, it's so foul. So, what do you think is the best chicken noodle soup that I can have my husband pick up for me at the grocery store?

Much thanks in advance.

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  1. dagwood, i feel your pain. i'm just recovering from a nasty cold, and when i was craving chicken soup a few days ago i didn't have the energy to make my own either!

    i don't know about their chicken soup, but Tabatchnik frozen vegetable soups aren't bad, and i certainly prefer the plastic pouches to aluminum cans.

    there are a lot of new options on the shelves these days, most in tetra-paks and glass jars instead of cans. when i was browsing the soup aisle i noticed that Wolfgang Puck, Imagine Foods, and Pacific all have higher-end or "gourmet" lines now. i didn't buy any because i eat a lower sodium diet and they're all loaded with salt, but if that's not an issue for you tell your husband to check them out.

    in all honesty, you'd be much better off having him pick up a quart from a local deli if you have one nearby. it's bound to be better than anything from a can.

    feel better!

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Yes, I'm down for the Tabatchnik stuff too, even their crazy cabbage soup has healing properties. Quite like "homemade."

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        A third for Tabatchnik soups. I love their split pea, vegetable, and cabbage soups. The vegetables in the latter two actually still have texture! And sense it's kosher, their split pea soup has no ham, and is subsequently vegetarian!

    2. Soup Supreme's Frozen Chicken Noodle soup - it's found at your restaurant supply style stores.

      1. Progresso. All three varieties are pretty good, regular, reduced sodium and light.

        13 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I use to think Prgresso was the best but the chicken soups have gone way downhill or my taste buds have changed. I use to theink their Italian Wedding soup was phenomenal but now it has a weird after taste.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            KT - do you have a preferred alternative?

            I usu. doctor up my Progresso chicken soup with additional water, veggies, ground pepper.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I sadly do not have an alternative. I still have some cans of the Progresso Chicken soups in my cabinet for emergencies. Having said that I still think the Pasta E Fagioli is pretty good.

            2. re: KTinNYC

              I also think Progresso has the best canned chicken noodle soup. I still like the Italian wedding soup too. I find a little grated pecorino and a shake of red pepper flakes makes both taste even better. I have also been adding a dash of balsamic vinegar to them and also to my homemade chicken noodle.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                I agree, used to love them can't stand any of them now and I don't care for the ingredients list at all. I tried Wolfgang Puck and it was disgustingly bad. I keep stock in the house and some dried noodles and some cans of Walnut Acres soup ready made.

                1. re: mcf

                  Progresso removed the MSG, there went the flavor.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    MSG isn't what changed. I use MSG in my cooking and it won't make something that taste bad magically taste good.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      My point was that MSG will make something that has little flavor have more flavor.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Trust me, if it was simply a case of missing MSG I would happily add it back to the soup. The flavor is just very different then it use t be.

                        1. re: KTinNYC

                          I used to really like the Lentil, before I "learned" how to make it. Haven't had the Progresso version in years, what a shame, their soups were once good.

                    2. re: bushwickgirl

                      I was glad to see it was gone, and horrified by how much of the taste didn't come from real food!

                      1. re: mcf

                        How is MSG not real food? Do you also consider salt not real food?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I don't consider salt to be food, either. If a dish tastes bad or not at all without msg or a lot of salt, then something is wrong with the dish, in my opinion.
                          I like salt, though, and have no ill health effects from it, which I can't say about MSG.

              2. Costco's house-made chicken noodle soup, in half-gallon container. Fairly salty.

                I used to think the dehydrated packets made a pretty good one but that was ages ago when I ate very salty food. Don't even remember the brand - maybe Wyler's?

                1. Tabatchnik is fantastic but rarely available in my neck of the woods. (Jews aren't heavy on the ground in West Texas.) Failing that, I confess to loving Lipton's.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    Lipton's - that's the one I meant, not Wyler's. My mother used to like the Cream of Chicken Instant Cup-o-Soup.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      Perilagu, keep your eyes peeled for Tabatchnik - it turns up in unexpected places. you could count the number of Jews in my neighborhood on one hand (and might not even use all 5 fingers), but i found it at the local Vons.

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Do you have a Kroger supermarket in your neck of the woods? They carry Tabatchnik.

                        I'm a fan of Progresso on the rare occasions I eat canned soup.

                        1. re: MandalayVA

                          Thanks everyone for your replies! I'm in the northeast, in Rhode Island. We don't have Kroger, but we have Stop & Shop, Shaw's, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's. We also have a decent sized Jewish population and I'm 99.9% sure I've seen Tabatchnik in the market. I'll def. check it out.

                          1. re: dagwood

                            I'm going into my second week with this #$@ 'cold'...what is this?
                            Three days in bed and the only thing that sounded remotely okay was either the pho in my area or Tabatchnik.
                            Keep lots around when you find it....

                          2. re: MandalayVA

                            No Krogers in these parts. I used to be able to score Tabatch in a store called Albertson's, but it has since gone under. Nevertheless, I'll certainly keep my eyes peeled, as Tabatch is clearly, IMO, the best storebought soup money can buy.

                        2. Dagwood, I hope you start feeling better! I have never had his chicken soup, but Wolfgang Puck makes some soups I really love, so maybe his chicken is worth a try.
                          http://www.wolfgangpucksoup.com/my-soups

                          Whole Paycheck has some awesome hot soups at their salad bar (their lentil and eggplant are both delicious), I bet their chicken isn't half bad.

                          1. I had some Alessi Sicilian Chicken Noodle Soup two weeks ago, which I remember as being pretty good. I believe I couldn't resist adding some extra veggies to the dry mix. I think I found it at Stop&Shop.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: DonShirer

                              Most stop & shops carry the Alessi Sicilian Chicken Noodle soup, I know the ones in my area (SE CT) do for sure. Also most carry Tabachnik too :-) And I love soup, so I make sure to stock up on soups I like when they go on sale and/or I find ones I love.

                            2. Sometimes nothing else will do but Mrs. Grass soup in a box. The little egg of chicken fat just makes the dish, plus a lot of noodles.

                              1. The Mom's chicken soup at whole foods is pretty good and so is the chicken soup at Dave's market

                                1. We just went through this last week. Kitchen Basics chicken stock with pastina (I think last week I did one cup stock to two tablespoons pastina). Oh, and I dump some dried herbs into the stock as it is coming to a boil. it hits the spot every time.

                                  1. Here's what we keep on hand when home-made isn't possible:
                                    Lipton Noodle Soup
                                    http://www.liptonnoodlesoup.com/AllAb...

                                    It is quite salty, but there are times when it's worth it.

                                    Depending on energy levels, we do a variety of things to it. We usually have chopped onions in the freezer left over from an oversize onion, and so we put them in the water as it is coming to a boil. Then after the soup mix is added and cooked for 5 minutes, if rotisserie chicken is on hand, we add some chopped up chicken and frozen corn.

                                    If sinuses are stuffed up, chinese hot pepper oil is drizzled on top.

                                    Hope you feel better soon! (oops- just realized this post started a couple of weeks ago. I really hope you are all better by now).