Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Think Outside the Can

By Allison Burch, October 23, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Burch
I love making soup! I get my big pot out and start peeling and chopping, sautéing and pouring, stirring and simmering. It’s a long slow process and I love it. But you know what? I also love eating soup and there are some days I just don’t have the time or the energy to make my own. On those days, though, I still want a soup made with care – using organic ingredients, when possible, loaded with veggies or beans, considerate of salt and sugar content and other special dietary needs. So, this season, I plan on stocking my pantry with some of these soups. Besides being full of quality ingredients, they all come in easy-to-store, aseptic packaging. While we may be used to cans, my bet is that these great soups are going to change our minds! Pacific Natural Foods is a really cool, family-owned company based in Tualatin, Oregon. They can trace all the ingredients in their products back to their origins through their Certified to the Source® program. They support sustainable farming and have relationships with local farms, ensuring that the quality ingredients are harvested in their prime. In fact, some of their ingredients come from the founder’s very own farms. They have a line of USDA-certified organic condensed soup with no added flavors or sugar. The three varieties - Cream of Celery, Cream of Mushroom, and Cream of Chicken – are perfect for holiday casseroles, sauces or as a base for a great soup. Pacific also has some really delicious sounding ready-to-eat vegetarian soups and chowders: Vegetable Lentil and Roasted Red Pepper, Roasted Garlic Mushroom Lentil Soup, Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup, Thai Sweet Potato Soup, Rosemary Potato Chowder, and Poblano Pepper and Corn Chowder. Fig Foods is a new company, formed in 2009. Their mission is to improve health through plant-based food, to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by sourcing exclusively from North American organic farms and to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging plant-based diets, instead of the emissions heavy animal agricultural models. Their soups are USDA certified organic, certified kosher, and 100% plant-based. All seven varieties - Tuscan White Bean, Yucatan Black Bean, Umbrian Lentil, Gran Faro e Fagioli, Condensed Wheatberry, Condensed Split Pea and Condensed Tomato – are lightly salted. Fig Foods believes the saltshaker should rest firmly in your hands, not theirs. The name Dr. McDougall might ring a bell. That’s because for more than 20 years Dr. John McDougall, M.D. has been studying and “speaking out” about the effects of nutrition on health. Now he has a line of soups that meet his healthy food standards. Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods ready-to-eat soups are vegan (meaning they use no animal products) and are light on the salt. There are even five gluten-free options out of the seven varieties: Lentil, Vegetable, Black Bean, Chunky Tomato, Split Pea, Minestrone, and Roasted Pepper Tomato. So you see, even when you don’t have time to cook it yourself, there are so many delicious, healthy soup options. You just have to think outside the can. What kind of soup warms you up on chilly evenings?
Category: Food & Recipes, Grocery




Joe @ Eden Kitchen says ...
My favorite soup is this autumn minestrone recipe. It’s got plenty of goodies in it like french green lentils, basmati brown rice (instead of pasta), fennel, leek, chard and even sweetcorn! http://edenkitchen.com/early-autumn-minestrone/
10/23/2010 3:30:01 PM CDT
Pam says ...
These all look fantastic, but I am bothered by the fact that aseptic packaging is not recyclable. Any thoughts on that?
10/23/2010 3:31:40 PM CDT
SusieBee says ...
I do like the Pacific brand. Here's a recent favorite of ours: http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/09/rich-and-creamy-carrot-soup.html
10/24/2010 3:06:31 PM CDT
Marla C. says ...
I've only tried the Rosemary Potato variety, and it is EXCELLENT. I look forward to trying some of the others as the weather cools.
10/24/2010 7:31:00 PM CDT
Celena says ...
Reply to Pam: It depends on the area you live in. Where I live they do recycle aseptic packaging.
10/28/2010 2:28:29 PM CDT
Heather Uhl says ...
Two Guys in Vermont soups are outstanding as well. They are sold in glass jars (no BPA, recyclable AND reusable!)and source their products from regional family farms. They are pretty popular in this part of VT. The two flavors I have tried are addicting - Curried Apple Butternut and Tomato Fennel. They taste homemade - give them a try. I wholeheartedly recommend them!
10/30/2010 1:45:56 PM CDT
Elizabeth Murphy says ...
My current favorite soup (in a glass jar) is Tomato fennel from the company Two Guys in Vermont. It is delicious, super healthy, and my whole family loves it. Whole Foods NEEDS this product! Heres to great, fast, delicious and heathy soup made from the best ingredients! And in Glass bottles!!!!!!!!!
10/30/2010 7:47:27 PM CDT
claudia stauber says ...
I have recently tried the soups of "Two Guys in Vermont" and they are so delicious! Told all my friends about it on FB and some of them are looking for them in Boston and DC. Hope they will find them there soon:) Love your stores!!! Claudia
10/30/2010 9:20:28 PM CDT
Chuck says ...
I love the Captn's Pack shrimp wonton soup that I get in your seafood freezer.
11/02/2010 4:46:06 PM CDT
Jim Frey says ...
For Celena and Pam - these soup cartons are recyclable and carton recycling may be available in your community or one nearby right now. You can go to www.recyclecartons.com to see if your community is one of over 1,200 US communities and 30 million households that have access to carton recycling. The campaign to recycle juice and milk (and soup!) cartons is actively working to add communities to this list, adding cartons at recycling facilities and paper mills across the Country each month. Contact the Carton Council via the web site for more information.
11/05/2010 1:23:10 PM CDT
Jeff says ...
This is intended for Jim, Celena and Pam, on the subject of aseptic carton recyclability. I too love the convenience of canned soups but feel awkward buying cans (BPA) and aseptics (recyclability). There's an insightful post today on the subject of 'what is really being recycled and what is ending up in our landfills'. Aseptic cartons are not being recycled even when collected in the 20% of municipalities that do accept these because it's almost impossible to separate the external layers of paper from the internal layers of wax or plastic. Curious?: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/what-not-to-recycle-2
11/10/2010 1:03:04 PM CST
Black and White Wedding says ...
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08/07/2011 4:42:09 PM CDT
Eunice Alderman says ...
Question: Are the Pacific cream of celery, crm. chic. and crm. mshrm. soups wheat free; wheat free?
05/20/2015 2:44:47 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@EUNICE - If you're inquiring about a particular product, I would suggest reaching out to the vendor directly to see what ingredients they use. Your local store might have gluten free options since most cream based soups typically contain gluten or wheat.
05/22/2015 4:03:36 PM CDT
Tish says ...
Are the FIG and pacific natural foods soups packaged in BPA free containers? Thank you!
06/26/2015 10:25:55 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@TISH - Since we don't produce this product, I would suggest reaching out to the two vendors directly to find out if their contains contain BPA.
07/21/2015 11:08:24 AM CDT
Carole Fulmer says ...
Your Redwood City CA store does not have organic, condensed cream of chicken soup. Does your San Mateo store have this product by Pacific Natural Foods?
01/04/2016 5:03:49 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CAROLE - Our exact options will differ between stores. I would suggest checking with the San Mateo store directly at 650.358.6900 before you head over to see if they have this in stock.
01/07/2016 11:37:58 AM CST