Soup is a great comfort meal, and packaged soup is a convenient option when we are short on time or need a base to build a meal from.
There is a wide selection of soups available. Some are lower in energy, making them a good snack option. Alternatively, adding some extra protein and vegetables, and serving with a grainy bread roll can turn them into a more satisfying meal.
Soups with meat, chicken, or fish tend to be higher in energy and protein, making them a good lunch or light supper choice. Some of the soups analysed here may need to have the vegetable content boosted, which will also increase the fibre.
The amount of sodium in soups varies enormously from less than 2mg per 100g (made up) in McKenzie’s Superblend Fibre Freekeh, Lentils & Beans, to 410mg per 100g in Hansells All Natural Mexican Chicken & Tomato Soup. It is important to read the nutrition information panel. Limiting our sodium intake is recommended as better for blood pressure and cardiovascular health. So choose a soup with 300mg sodium or less per 100g.
Soups with legumes and vegetables will be higher in fibre. Fibre is important for bowel and gut health. We recommend choosing soups with 1.5g fibre or more per 100g.
Some of the more gourmet-style soups sound healthy, but may have cream or coconut milk added which increases the saturated fat content. For example, Naked Locals Bay of Plenty Asparagus & Spinach Soup contains 11 per cent cream and has a saturated fat content of 3g per 100g. We recommend choosing soups with 1g saturated fat or less per 100g.
NOTE: Most of the traditional soup mixes available are low in sodium, high in fibre and a great base for a hearty winter soup.
How to choose
Use these criteria to compare packaged soups.
More than 100 delicious soup recipes – make a big batch and freeze some for later!
Some healthier choices we found
(Serve sizes vary from 200g to 350g)
$6.99 per 350g pack (7 serves)
Nutrition per 100g (made up): 286kJ, 4g protein, <1g saturated fat, 2mg sodium, 3.2g fibre, $0.40
A great base for a hearty soup. Good texture.
$7.39 per 600g pouch (2 serves)
Nutrition per 100g: 145kJ, 3.7g protein, 0.2g saturated fat, 235mg sodium, 1.9g fibre, $1.23
Great flavour. Delicious!
$3.50 per 495g tin (2 serves)
Nutrition per 100g: 162kJ, 2g protein, <0.1g saturated fat, 271mg sodium, 1.6g fibre, $0.70
Yum! Love this – it tastes healthy.
$3.89 per 530g pottle (2 serves)
Nutrition per 100g: 275kJ, 3.2g protein, 0g saturated fat, 290mg sodium, 2g fibre, $0.73
Good flavour and texture.
$5.50 per 500g pouch (2 serves)
Nutrition per 100g: 218kJ, 1.7g protein, 0.4g saturated fat, 226mg sodium, 2.8g fibre. $1.10
Delicious! Thick and creamy tasting.
$5.00 per 350g pottle (1 serve)
Nutrition per 100g: 296kJ, 3.8g protein, 0.3g saturated fat, 218mg sodium, 3g fibre, $1.43
A substantial soup. Perfect for a winter’s day.
$4.99 per 600g pouch (2 serves)
Nutrition per 100g: 230kJ, 1.5g protein, 0.6g saturated fat, 205mg sodium, 1.6g fibre $0.83
Sweet and tangy. Yum!
$5.00 per 350g pottle (1 serve)
Nutrition per 100g: 194kJ, 1.6g protein, 0.8g saturated fat, 177mg sodium, 1.3g fibre, $1.43
Smooth texture and great taste. A winner.