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Chicken soup for the cold

Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006

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Consumer Reports reveals which brands offer the best taste and value

Yonkers, NY — Medicine isn’t the only remedy that can provide relief for a cold this season. Research has found that chicken soup seems to reduce congestion, so Consumer Reports screened 26 varieties to determine which were the better brands to test. The Original SoupMan’s refrigerated chicken vegetable soup was the only variety to garner an excellent rating. It had a stew-like consistency and flavorful taste which was described as “lick the bowl” delicious (the brand’s creator became a household name via “Seinfeld.”) But opting for excellent quality will cost consumers around $3 per cup.

For those on a budget, Lipton’s Soup Secrets, a dry mix with bits of chicken and pasta, but no vegetables, is a good choice, costing only twenty-eight cents per cup. Although basic, this variety was rated “Very Good” for its thin, tasty broth and was the only soup in the Ratings to be named a CR Best Buy. Although it lacked chicken, Bear Creek Country Kitchens soup mix was the only other brand to receive a “Very Good” rating due to its flavorful broth, vegetables and al dente pasta. It’s also a good value at eighty cents a cup, the second least expensive after Lipton’s Soup Secrets.

Consumer Reports began its testing with a blind tasting that ruled out a number of varieties due to obvious flaws such as a tinny taste or bitter herbs. The eight contenders that remained included SoupMan’s Chicken Vegetable soup and Lipton’s Soup Secrets and varieties from Bear Creek Country Kitchens, Campbell’s, Cugino’s, Healthy Choice, Rienzi and Trader Joe’s. Consumer Reports tried dry mixes, canned, pouches and refrigerated varieties.

Aside from flavor and price, Consumer Reports checked for calories, fat and sodium content. Most of the soups are low in fat, but high in sodium. Trader Joe’s chicken soup claimed to have 160mg of sodium per cup, but CR tests showed that it actually contained 664mg. All other labels were correct.

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Chicken soup for the cold
Research has found that chicken soup seems to reduce congestion.
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