Soup under test: Soup in the chilled section is convincing.

Warm up and enjoy. Well, every second soup in the test tasted like home made. © Your PHOTO TODAY / Burger (M)

The soup market has changed unobtrusively. Today’s instant soup is in the refrigerator. They have a fresh, modern and healthy look. Stiftung Warentest tested 15 soups, including tomato and lentil soup, with prices ranging from 2.89 euros to 4 euros. Many were surprised by the tasting.

New soup – stylish design, attractive name

Sales of cold soups and stews increased by around 11% in 2019. It brings fresh air to this food sector. They are often cups with modern designs and up-and-coming names such as “Premium Organic Tomato Soup with Orange & Star Anise.” Stiftung Warentest analyzed 8 tomato soups and 7 lentil soups. Both are types that are often sold.

This is what Stiftung Warentest’s “Fresh Soup” test provides.

Test result.
The table shows ratings for 15 fresh tomato or lentil-based soups. All are vegetarians and many are vegetarians. They are served in the refrigerated section. Providers include Lena’s Kitchen, Kitchen Brothers, Rewe, Convency and Kuhlmann’s Hof.
Find a taste winner.
We say which soup tastes the best and which soup is high or low in calories. Contaminants and bacteria were also identified. And studied the ecological balance of various packaging materials.
magazine article.
Unlocking the topic gives you access to a PDF of the January 2020 test report.

Soup from mainly small vendors

Most of the providers of this new kind of soup are small, lesser-known companies like Convency or Hofküche. Exception: Hamburg gourmet. Lena’s kitchen supplier has been majority-owned by Erasco manufacturer Continental Foods since 2019.

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Taste – the greatest benefit of fresh soup

Test surprises: Some tomato and lentil soups taste surprisingly good and have received a Rare rating in tastings. They offer many aromas and original recipes. The soup designers generously added spices like turmeric and coriander to almost every dish, as well as spices like ginger and chili. Both soups drew attention due to slight sensory errors.

ease of use

Good to know: Almost all the soups used in the tests can be heated in the microwave at 600 to 800 watts for a few minutes. So they are quick and easy to prepare – for singles, seniors or people working in the office. And all packs are resealable. However, they only last a few weeks if kept refrigerated as they are moderately heated and not sterilized.

Plasticizers in packaging – is there any problem?

Contaminants can travel from packaging to food. Especially when heating is required. Testers checked this on all the soups that were heated, but luckily they found nothing, including emollients. Taste is also not negatively affected by packaging.

Both sides of coconut milk

There is a big difference in terms of calories. Some tomato soup is too thin to be considered a light snack. On the other hand, lentil soup always provides enough energy for a main meal, including bread. Beware of soups with coconut milk. They usually taste good, but they have so much fat that they can reach your butt in no time.

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