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Souper soups: fiber in a cup.

Instant soups used to be predictably high in sodium and fat, and many tasted more or less like heavily salted water. But the new generation of soups--single servings of dehydrated ingredients in cardboard containers--are more flavorful, and some are also low in fat and calories. Sodium is usually still a problem (the ramen-type noodle soups, in particular, are among the saltiest foods you can get, and most are high in fat), but there are a few with relatively low levels of sodium.

Though not as economical as homemade soups, the instant soups are reasonably priced (about $1 to $1.50 a serving) compared to eating in a restaurant, and conveniently portable for brown-baggers, campers, and anyone with access to hot water. You add boiling water, stir, and steep for a few minutes. Be careful: most containers are not insulated, and you may need an improvised pot holder. We particularly recommend soups with beans, lentils, or peas: they not only tend to taste better, but also offer lots of fiber--6 to 10 grams in a single serving. That goes a long way toward the 20 to 30 grams of fiber recommended daily.

In the chart below, we've highlighted soups with lots of fiber (6 grams or more per cup).

Soup, portable soup: a sampler

SOUP (one container,                CALORIES  FAT   FIBER  SODIUM
6 to 10 ounces)                           (g)     (g)         (mg)
Perfect Recipe Organics,              130       0      2     410
   Tomato Basil
Perfect Recipe Organics,              140       0      6     390
   Salsa Black Bean
Perfect Recipe Organics,              150       0      2     320
   Corn Chowder
Nile Spice, Couscous                  200       2      1     530
   Chicken Almondine
Nile Spice, Pasta 'n Sauce            210       4      1     430
Nile Spice, Potato Romano             140       5      3     550
Nile Spice, Carrot Dill               100       2      2     550
Nile Spice, Chili 'n Beans            150       2      6     720
Nile Spice, Couscous Lentil Curry     200       1      4     720
Casbah, Cheddar Broccoli              130       2      1     470
Casbah, Jambalaya                     130       0      2     490
Casbah, La Fiesta                     170       1      4     400
Fantastic Foods, Only a Pinch,        210       1      8    140
   Spicy Beans
Fantastic Foods, Minestrone           150       1      4     480
Fantastic Foods, Creamy               150       2      3     600
   Broccoli & Cheddar
Fantastic Foods, Rice & Beans         210       2      9     480
Fantastic Foods, Five Bean            230       1      10    480
Fantastic Foods, Split Pea            190       1      8     470
Nissin Cup Noodles,                   290       12     1     1510
   Pork Flavor (ramen)
Lipton Cup-a-Soup, Cream               60       2      1     610
   of Mushroom
Lipton Cup-a-Soup, Green Pea          110       4      1     660
Knorr, Tomato with Basil               90       3      0     840
Knorr, Spring Vegetable                30       1      0     640

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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Buying Guide
Publication:The University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter
Date:Feb 1, 1995
Words:420
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