Food & Drinks

14 Best Canned and Boxed Soups, According to Chefs

Photo-Illustration: retailers

Good soup has always been able to instantly alter my perspective, turning a depressing workday into a cozy scene from a Nancy Meyers movie. It’s right up there with bubble baths, fresh-cut flowers, linen sheets, and any other form of self-care. And since medicine still can’t actually cure a cold, I turn to soup for that, too. But if you’re like me, you may not always have time to make it from scratch, especially if you’re sick, leaving you with two real choices: call your mom or pull something prepackaged from the pantry. The latter option is where the challenge comes in.

Not all canned and boxed soups are created equal. Like other packaged foods, many store-bought soups contain high amounts of salt and sugar, which are antithetical to the nutritious benefits many people associate with soup. “Ingredients are listed from highest quantity to lowest, so if you see salt toward the top of the list, be wary of it,” advises chef Max Zumwalt of Hachi Maki. Quality soup should have minimal preservatives and real ingredients. “You want to avoid things that you cannot pronounce,” he says. To help you find the ones worth stocking up on, we asked 13 chefs and food experts to tell us about their favorite ready-to-serve soups — from the best tomato soup to pair with grilled cheese to the tastiest bone-broth-based one you can find online.

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