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Best canned soups?

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We quit using canned goods some years back due to the BPA issue. Now, about the only canned soups I buy are Amy's, as they are organic and have BPA-free can liners. I love them, but my little guy isn't crazy about them. My son is just shy of 5 and I promise you is not a picky eater, he is a true chowhound, but his taste buds haven't yet evolved to flavors as complex as Amy's lentil soup or french country vegetable, and a lot of soup I've made him has gotten thrown out (that i've sent in his lunch to school).

I grew up loving my thermos full of Campbell's soups. Chicken and stars, chicken noodle, chicken gumbo, tomato and rice, beef alphabet. My Mom was a great cook but working FT and raising a family, she didn't make a lot of homemade soup and this was a nice way to have something warm and hearty, a change from the cold sandwich.

I am pretty against Campbell's now as I don't eat crap like that. Heavily processed, full of MSG and chemicals, corn syrup, etc. which has been another reason why I liked transitioning to amy's. But they are also all vegetarian, and I would like soups with meat, if possible.

I'm looking for a happy medium, if there is one. I can deal with the minor amount of BPA exposure from a canned soup if he only has maybe a can a week, two cans max, but I can't deal with the corn syrup and MSG. There are so many canned soups now out there, I don't have the $ for a trial and error to find some that taste decent - something halfway between my beloved chicken and stars from childhood and amy's offerings.

What do you all like?

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  1. Just checked out their soups. I see there's not many that aren't pea/bean/lentil based.
    I think you are going to have to go into your local grocery store and buy some different brands and try them.
    IMO your best hope for your kid enjoying his soup is to take him along and get him to tell you want 'flavors' of soups he likes. Then look for that 'flavor' hoping to find it in an organic product. "Here's a chicken noodle soup. Do you want to try it?" If he's had some input he may be more willing to give it a try.
    (As to what is and what isn't truly organic that's for another thread).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Puffin3

      Sure. I'm not necessarily looking for organic either. The bulk of his diet is organic foods and I can bend a little. I'm just kind of looking for "best of the rest" suggestions. Thx for your thoughts.

      1. re: Puffin3

        The butternut squash one (by Amys) is my favourite.. they were halfprice at my grocery store in December.

      2. Not Trader Joe's. All of the ones I've tried are AWFUL. Maybe Progresso?

        2 Replies
        1. re: quirkydeb

          I've had that, though it's been years ago, and never liked it. Too herb-y.

          1. re: quirkydeb

            I disagree about TJ's. The canned lentil soup is quite good. The tetrapak tomato and roasted red bell pepper soup is terrific, as is the plain tomato tetrapak. I haven't tried any of their other soups, though.

          2. I don't buy a lot of canned soup, but when Progresso is on sale, will get some. I like their tomatoe soup(s)... chunky, "zesty" (I think that's what they call it?) and with some kinda curly pasta. Found a can of their onion sup that NEEDED to be used... a bit past best by dat, but that was NOT a concern for me... was nice addition to beef barley soup I made last weekend. Found some of their "meal starter" things at the Dollar Tree... FAR for being near BB date, so I bought 2 cans of something called tomato/basil... it was HORRIBLE!!

            1. As a rule, I'll stick with MOST Progresso varieties as national brands go. Some of the smaller, lesser known ones are pretty good, but with so many to choose from it's hit and miss.

              1. Is boxed soup an option?

                I know my SO is crazy about Pacific brand red pepper/tomato soup. Very simple/limited ingredient list.

                I know they offer chicken noodle soup (although we are vegetarian and have not tried it).

                When we buy canned it's either Amy's or Progresso.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pedalfaster

                  I was going to suggest boxed soups, too. I like Trader Joe's, too. They're much better than canned and easy to store what you don't use.

                2. Imagine foods makes great soups, BPA free in tetrapacks and organic. They go on sale with some regularity and have $1off on their website.
                  I love the tomato, potato leek, and butternut squash. No funky junk ingredients. Add your own pasta/meat/etc...
                  http://www.imaginefoods.com/products/...

                  1. Wolfgang Puck has a line of organic soups, many whose flavors beat out Campbell's and Progresso, although at a steeper price. I like some Progresso soups, but most are too watery for me. I loved Campbell's Chunky Fajita soup, but a couple of years ago it disappeared from the shelves of every grocery in the vicinity. I still haven't found a canned Clam Chowder that's as good as what you can find in the local seafood restaurants.

                    1. I was at Fresh and Easy and found Crosse & Blackwell's French Onion soup in a can. It said it was suitable for vegetarians. I bought a can and thought it was pretty good. Easier than making my own FOS!

                      1. I think your best option is to start making soup, so you can control all of the ingredients. Beef barley, for example, is pretty easy. To save time, make a big pot and freeze it in suitable quantities. I eat canned soup and don't worry about the ingredients (except too much sodium) or BPA, but homemade soup is better.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: GH1618

                          I was going to suggest this as well. Make a couple of batches and freeze then in small portions. The crock pot is a great tool for this. I can't stand any canned soups.

                        2. Wolfgang Puck's organic soups are hard to beat. I like the corn chowder and potato varieties.

                          1. Why not just make up a bunch of chicken rice or noodle and freeze? Adding a TBL of peanut butter to each serving makes it velvety, and a nice taste your guy might like

                            1. Thanks all, for the suggestions. I will look into wolfgang puck and some of the boxed soups.

                              I do cook a lot at home, but I'm looking for the convenience and variety that grabbing a can in the morning brings, that I just can't get with frozen, homemade soup.

                              1. I know it's pretty junky, but I still like Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup. It was a childhood favorite.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Tripeler

                                  "Yankee bean! Yankee bean! We love our..Yan...kee...bean!" what show was that from?

                                  1. re: njmarshall55

                                    I have no idea -- I'm originally from Northern California.

                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                      A memorable Seinfeld scene with Elaine feeding soup to an invalid.

                                      1. re: njmarshall55

                                        You know, it had to be something like that. Never saw the show much.

                                2. Have you tried Pacific brand in tetrapacks? I've enjoyed their roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Very clean ingredient list.

                                  1. I highly recommend Bar Harbor brand soups for seafood bisques and chowders. Their ingredients lists are short and simple, and the flavors really come through.