When the urge for a spoonful of warm soup hits, no one wants to stand over the stove stirring for hours. To determine the best organic canned varieties on the shelves today, we enlisted several tasters (and a few boxes of crackers) to sample 17 kinds of tomato, minestrone, and lentil soups. Big on taste, these winners proved themselves the next best thing to homemade.
Best Tomato: Wolfgang Puck Organic Classic Tomato with Basil
With scads of green herbs, sizeable tomato chunks, and a touch of creamy organic butter, Wolfgang's version beats thinner types by a mile. It's silky, rich, and not overly sweet -- a fitting complement to another classic: a grilled cheese sandwich. wolfgangpucksoup.com
Best Minestrone: Muir Glen Organic Classic Minestrone
A combination of chickpeas, kidney beans, potatoes, carrots, and penne makes this minestrone a stand-alone meal. The veggies are firm (not mushy), and fennel seed, bay leaf, oregano, and black pepper provide a pleasant spiciness. muirglen.com
Best Lentil: Health Valley Organic Lentil
Cumin, onions, and garlic give Health Valley's lentil soup a slight curry flavor. Small pieces of organic celery, carrots, and spinach add texture without overwhelming the abundant lentils. healthvalley.com