Low sodium soups are a work in progress. The food industry has bounced around with lowering and then adding back salt to their products (such as the Campbell's soup line) as health experts and researchers remain divided on the longterm benefit of eating a low sodium diet. That said, I know that I feel instant bloat after eating a high salt meal, so I try to limit foods like canned soups. The problem is that I love soup! Especially now when temperatures drop and it's dark by 4:30pm so that I don't feel much like cooking after work. We all know that low sodium soups (less than 140 mg sodium per serving) are pretty much lumpy, colored water—bleh.
One tip I've given to patients on sodium-restricted diets who love soup is to add extra water when heating the soup and to not drink all the broth. Thankfully I've discovered better-tasting soups such as Trader Joe's Low Sodium Butternut Squash and Creamy Tomato. Two Guys in Vermont, a company started by Jeff Weinstein and Doug Barg, has also been added to my approved lower sodium soup list!
Two Guys in Vermont soups come in three flavors, prepared in small batches using fresh ingredients. The Hearty Curried Apple and Butternut Squash soup is low sodium and the other two flavors are "reduced sodium" with 280 mg per serving. They're low in calories, ranging from 60-130 calories per 8 oz. serving, with 5 grams or less of fat. Each jar contains two servings, but even if you polished off the whole jar you'd be fine. The website says there are three servings of fruits/veggies in each jar, and you can taste it! There is so much natural fresh flavor of tomatoes, apples, curry, and more. This is the secret to making reduced sodium soups taste good: focus on tart, tangy and sweet to distract your taste buds from realizing the lack of salt.
I enjoyed these soups two different ways. Pairing a cup of the Apple Butternut Squash soup with grilled cheese; below is Ezekiel bread with Trader Joe's Light Mozzarella (this is the best-tasting light cheese out there and melts beautifully) heated in a George Foreman Grill.
Or my favorite way to use reduced sodium soups—doctored up with extra ingredients and liquid to make a large batch that will last a few days. Below I heated one whole jar of the Chunky Garden Tomato with a cup of skim milk, frozen broccoli and edamame, and whole wheat couscous. I combined all the ingredients in a pan and let it simmer until the couscous and vegetables softened.
Two easy flavorful super healthful meals for a cold winter night! You can find Two Guys in Vermont soups at the Whole Foods Markets in Cambridge or online.
Disclosure: I received soup samples for my honest review of the product.