Canned soup for lunch or dinner! When you don’t have time to cook, try one of these 6 delicious meal ideas which include a serving of lower sodium soup and a healthy accompaniment.
In my household I’m the only one who likes soup. I don’t know what my husband and kids have against it, but because of this, I rarely bother to make a big batch of homemade soup. Instead, when I’m craving a warm bowl of soup, I simply open up a can, heat, and enjoy (all by myself)!
Benefits of Soup
- Warming: Soup warms you up on a cold day (which for me is anything below 60 degrees Fahrenheit here in Florida!).
- Inexpensive: Most cans of soup include 2 servings, so they’re a great value. Share or have leftovers! Watch for sales and stock up.
- Hydrating: The broth in soup counts toward your water intake for the day.
- Filling: Because of the water content, soup can be quite filling compared to other types of meals. As a result, you’ll feel full before you consume too many calories!
- Veggie Vehicle: Soup can be a great way to add veggies to your diet.
- Nutritious: The right soups are full of nutrients that help boost your immune system.
- Healing: If you’re not feeling well the warm liquid can be soothing, especially to a sore throat.
- Easy: Whether you open up a can, or make it yourself, soup is one of the easiest meals to prepare.
- Sodium: A benefit of homemade soup is you can control the sodium. When you enjoy soup from a can, or a restaurant, you may get more sodium than you want. This drives me nuts… not only do I hate the taste of salty soup, I also know excessive sodium is not good for me. Therefore, I usually buy Low Sodium, Light Sodium, or Reduced Sodium canned soup.
- Creamy Soups: If you’re enjoying a Bisque soup, or a Cream of ____ soup, most likely there will be more calories and fat compared to a broth based soup. Cream-based soups are an indulgence that I enjoy only once in a while (like Lobster Bisque… yum).
6 Canned Soup Meals
A serving of soup on its own is okay. However, I find it more satisfying to round out my soup with a complimentary side. Take a look at 6 of my favorite canned soups (I’m a big fan of Amy’s Organic and Campbell’s Well Yes!) with suggestions for easy sides.
Add these groceries to your shopping list and you’ll have several meals covered!
1. Campbell’s Well Yes! Lightly Salted Tomato Basil Bisque OR Amy’s Organic Light In Sodium Chunky Tomato Bisque + Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Whether you prefer Smooth or Chunky, both soups are great choices! Both include a touch of cream (Campbell’s adds butternut squash puree for extra creaminess), but are still low in calories (under 140 calories per 1 cup, or 230 calories for the entire can).
Per 1 cup: 4g Total Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, under 15 mg Cholesterol, Under 290 mg Sodium, under 22g Total Carb., 2g Fiber, under 15g Total Sugars, 3g Protein. Great source of Potassium (500 mg).
Of course, it’s a no-brainer to pair a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup! You can prepare the sandwich in the time it takes you to heat the soup! Get creative with your grilled cheese or keep it simple. Kerrygold Cheddar Slices are awesome melted between two slices of whole-grain bread.
2. Amy’s Hearty Organic Reduced Sodium French Country Vegetable Soup + Whole Grain Roll
This hearty soup is packed with lot’s of organic veggies: tomatoes, onions, white beans, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Plus, long-grain red rice, evoo, sea salt, garlic, spices, and black pepper. The serving size suggests the entire can! Consider splitting the can for a lighter meal.
Per can: 340 Calories, 15g Total Fat, 2.5g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 760 mg Sodium, 42g Total Carbs, 10g Fiber, 7g Total Sugars, 9g Protein, 900 mg Potassium.
A small multi-grain roll is a great accompaniment to this hearty soup. Find Pepperidge Farm Multi-Grain Dinner Rolls in the freezer section of your grocery store. Their convenient to have on hand. Just pop them in the oven for a few minutes and you’ll have a warm, crusty roll to dip in your soup! Any wholesome roll or slice of bread will work!
3. Campbell’s Well Yes! Lightly Salted Vegetable Noodle Soup + Crackers and Cheese
Campbell’s Well Yes! Vegetable Noodle Soup is a healthy alternative to Chicken Noodle Soup. This vegetarian soup, with egg noodles, is packed with lots of nutritious ingredients like zucchini, sweet corn, tomatoes, carrots, and kale. I always feel good when I eat this soup!
Per 1 cup (2 servings per can): 90 Calories, 1.5g Total Fat, 0g Saturated Fat, 10 mg Cholesterol, 290 mg Sodium, 15g Total Carb., 3g Fiber, 4g Total Sugars, 3 g Protein.
Crackers and Cheese are a fun side to add to soup! The crackers are dippable and crunchy. The cheddar cheese adds a little extra protein and calcium. Really, any excuse I can have to eat crackers and cheese. The variety of options is endless! Of course, you could skip the cheese and just enjoy a serving of your favorite cracker.
4. Progresso Reduced Sodium Savory Chicken & Wild Rice Soup + Salad
Progresso offers a few reduced sodium soups that are tasty and satisfying. Savory Chicken & Wild Rice is one of my favorites, mostly because I love wild rice (a great source of fiber). This soup also includes carrots, tomatoes, celery, a generous amount of white meat chicken, and some brown rice.
Per 1 cup (2 servings per can): 90 Calories, 0.5g Total Fat, 0g Saturated Fat, 5 mg Cholesterol, 480 mg Sodium, 16g Total Carbs., 2g Fiber, 2g Total Sugars, 5g Protein, 530 mg Potassium
Soup and Salad is a classic combo for a meal… especially lunch. Since this Progresso soup is lower in vegetables, adding a salad helps increase the overall satiety of the meal while increasing your daily veggie quota.
Keeping in line with the “easy” theme of these meals… just go ahead and pick up a pre-made salad from the grocery store! This yummy, 290 calorie salad from my local Publix was on sale for less than $3.
Or, it really isn’t that much effort to just make your own small salad. Replicate this Spinach Dijon Salad: spinach, shredded monterey jack cheese, hard-boiled egg, slivered almonds and dried cranberries (skip the chow mein noodles that this store-bought salad includes.) Add your favorite vinaigrette and enjoy!
This could be your lunch…
5. Campbell’s Well Yes! Harvest Carrot & Ginger Soup + A Vegetable Egg Roll or Spring Roll
This tasty soup is a nice option when your’e in the mood for something different. I only wish it was offered with less sodium. The vegetarian-friendly ingredient list includes water, carrots, sweet potatoes, carrot juice concentrate, modified food starch (a thickener), sugar, salt, cabbage, celery, onions, spices, ginger extract, and turmeric. A little bit of coconut cream adds to the creamy texture.
*Due to the high sodium level (1020 mg per can), I will only eat 1 cup, or 1/2 the can, at a time.
Per 1 cup: 100 Calories, 1.5g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 540 mg Sodium, 20g Total Carbs., 2g Fiber, 9g Total Sugars, 1g Protein. Great source of Vitamin A (650 mcg, 70% daily value)
An Egg Roll may not be the healthiest side ever, but it definitely works great with this soup… perfect for dipping. A Spring Roll or Sushi are also great options and you can find them made fresh at most grocery stores.
Amy’s Light In Sodium Organic Chili + Cornbread Crackers
I know… this one is not technically soup. Actually it’s not anything like soup… it’s Chili! But, I wanted to add it to the list because Chili is an excellent option for a quick heat-and-serve meal. Amy’s version is Vegan (using organic tofu) and has a little kick to it from the jalapeño peppers. Don’t forget to sprinkle some shredded cheese on top.
*The serving suggestion is 1 can, which makes for a hearty meal at 510 Calories. I prefer just 1/2 a can (or 1 cup) at a time.
Per 1 cup: 320 Calories, 10g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 310 mg Sodium, 40g Total Carbs., 9g Fiber, 4g Total Sugars, 18g Protein, 790 mg Potassium.
Another classic combo… Chile and Corn Bread. Instead of cornbread (which you could make at home or buy from the store), try Cornbread Crisps. This cracker is the perfect vehicle for scooping! I absolutely love Trader Joe’s version, but I’ve seen them at my local grocery store too.
A second simple meal idea is to top a baked potato with 1 cup of warm Chili and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Add a small salad on the side and you have a nutritious, comforting meal!
Bonus On-The-Go Soup: Tuscan Vegetable Bone Broth Soup
Although you can pack-ahead any can of soup in a microwaveable container to enjoy away from home, sometimes it’s more convenient to just pick up a soup that you can nuke in it’s original container. Although, it’s not so easy to find one that’s low in sodium. I found this healthy Bone Broth Vegetable Soup at Whole Foods.
This 1 cup serving of soup delivers 110 Calories, 0g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 390 mg Sodium, 10g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 4g Total Sugars and a whopping 20g of Protein (from the Bone Broth).
Pair this low-calorie soup with half a sandwich, which you could pick up from the grocery store deli.