The soup market has changed – quite unobtrusively. Today’s instant soups are in the refrigerated section. They present themselves as fresh, modern and healthy. Stiftung Warentest tested 15 soups – tomato and lentil soups at prices from 2.89 euros to 4 euros. Many were surprised by the tasting.
New soups – chic designs, attractive names
Sales of chilled soups and stews increased by about 11 percent in 2019. They bring a breath of fresh air to this food segment. They are often cups with a modern design and promising names such as “Premium Organic Tomato Soup with Orange & Star Anise”. Stiftung Warentest analyzed eight tomato soups and seven lentil soups – both types that are often sold.
This is what Stiftung Warentest’s “Fresh Soups” test offers
- test results.
- The table shows estimates for 15 fresh tomato or lentil based soups. All are vegetarian and many are vegan. They are offered in the refrigerated section. Suppliers include Lena’s kitchen, kitchen brothers, Rewe, Convency and Kuhlmann’s Hof.
- Find flavor winners.
- We say which soups offer the most flavor and which are high or low in calories. We also checked for contaminants and germs. And we explored the ecological balance of the various types of packaging.
- magazine article.
- If you unlock the theme, you will get access to the PDF for the test report of test 1/2020.
Soups mostly from small suppliers
Suppliers of this new range of soups are mostly small, little-known companies such as Convency or Hofküche. Exception: Hamburg Gourmet. Lena’s kitchen supplier is majority owned by Continental Foods, the maker of Erasco, since 2019.
Tip: If you sometimes want to cook larger quantities yourself, we recommend our book Soups – Recipes from around the world. Please browse our shop. There are many more supper cookbooks.
Taste – the great advantage of fresh soups
The surprise in the test: Several of the tomato and lentil soups tasted surprisingly well and received the rare rating of very good in the tasting. They offer many aromas and original recipes. The top designers generously added spices like turmeric or coriander to almost all of them, as well as spices like ginger and chili pepper. Two soups attracted attention due to minor sensory errors.
Convenient to use
Good to know: Almost all soups in the test can be heated in the microwave at 600 to 800 watts for a few minutes. So they can be prepared quickly and easily – whether for single people, the elderly or working people in the office. And all packages are reversible. However, they last only a few weeks if kept refrigerated, as they are only moderately heated and not sterilized.
Plasticizers in the package – no problem?
Contaminants can migrate from packaging into food, especially when heating comes into play. The testers checked all the heated soups for that – and luckily found nothing, including no softeners. The taste is also not negatively affected by the packaging.
The two sides of coconut milk
There are big differences in calories: Some of the tomato soups are so lean that they can be considered a light snack. The lentil soups, on the other hand, always provide enough energy for a main meal, including some bread. Beware of soups with coconut milk: They are usually delicious, but they contain so much fat that they can quickly hit your hips.