For health reasons I try to eat organic food most of the time. Given that I also have an allergy to corn and sensitivity to gluten my soup choices can be very limited, even when shopping at a natural food store.
On a recent shopping trip I found “Amy’s” Organic Tuscan Bean & Rice Soup. Advertised as a “delicious” stew-like soup that is “substantial and nourishing like the ‘pranzo’ (midday meal) eaten in Tuscany, Italy. Not only is it corn and gluten free but it has no trans fat, no added MSG (which I avoid wholeheartedly), no preservatives, no GMOs, no bioengineered ingredients and it’s vegan (free of all animal products). What it does have (ingredients) I’ll list towards the end of this review.
The directions said “Heat and serve. Please do not overcook.” Hmmm seems to me like they could have been more specific there (perhaps including estimated cooking times for both stove top and microwave). In the upper right hand corner (not part of the directions) the label advised “Do not add water”. Personally I think that should also have been in the directions as not everyone reads the whole label. Either way, I figured that this would be a fast and easy lunch. I decided to heat it in the microwave so I emptied the can’s contents into a microwave safe stoneware bowl and heated for 55 seconds, stirred and heated for another 45 seconds. The temperature was just fine for me but on a cold winter day I might give it an extra 10 seconds or so. In less than two minutes my lunch was ready.
Even before I tasted it the savory smell sold me. It smelled delicious! Oyster crackers would be great with this soup, but as I don’t eat them anymore I opted for a teaspoon of slivered almonds (on the side). The soup’s texture is indeed more stew like than soupy but as I expected that based on the label information, that was just fine. It tasted just as great as it smelled. The spices were perfectly blended (neither too strong or weak) for my preference. The beans were a nice texture and the brown rice went surprisingly well with the rest of the soup’s ingredients. The soup was different enough from my previous canned soup experiences that I felt like I was eating lunch in an Italian trattoria instead of eating soup from a can. I love that this very filling and tasty soup has only 25% of its calories from fat and 5 grams of fiber and protein per serving.
If you’re counting calories or grams of sodium be aware that the can contains two servings. So you could either have a big lunch/dinner or two approximately seven ounce meal servings of this hearty soup. It is really filling. One serving was just fine for me for lunch, although for dinner I would probably add a big salad to complement it.
I will be purchasing this soup again… and again. It will probably be an occasional summer meal and a fall and winter staple. I also plan to try all the other “Amy’s Organic” soup flavors that are corn and gluten free.
(vegan) filtered water, organic brown rice, organic onions, organic borlotti beans, organic celery, organic spinach, organic carrots, organic tomato puree, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic garlic, organic spices*, sea salt, organic high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic black pepper. *100% pure herbs & spices (no hidden ingredients