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FITNESS Healthy Food Awards: The Best Soups

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    Souper Stars

    What Makes a Winner

    Companies submitted 59 new soups to FITNESS. Our experts — Anar Allidina, RD, a dietitian in private practice in Toronto; Keri Gans, RD, the author of The Small Change Diet; and Marissa Lippert, RD, the author of The Cheater's Diet — analyzed the ingredients and nutrition facts to help us determine which deserved to move to the next round. Those finalists were sampled and voted on by FITNESS staffers.

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    365 Everyday Value Organic Minestrone Soup

    Three kinds of beans — kidney, garbanzo, and green — plus pasta make this veggie medley hearty but not heavy. "It filled me up without weighing me down," one staffer said. (140 calories per cup)

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    Panera Low-Fat Chicken Noodle Soup

    "Chicken chunks in soup can be rubbery, but these all-white-meat ones were tender," a reviewer said. Testers also liked the plump egg noodles in this "homemade-tasting" classic, which has more protein — 14 grams — than any of our other winners. (140 calories per cup)

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    Campbell's 100% Natural Butternut Squash Bisque

    Pureed squash is naturally creamy, so this has a velvety texture despite being low in fat. A touch of apple juice gives it a "fall-in-a-can flavor I could see myself craving year-round," a staffer said. (110 calories per cup)

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    Dr. McDougall's Organic Black Bean Soup

    Thanks to lime juice and poblano chilies, testers' taste buds were "flooded with flavor, not salt." Also on point: the balance of broth, fiber-packed beans, brown rice, and bell peppers. (150 calories per cup)

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    Imagine Italian-Style Wedding Soup

    "With its white beans, garlic, meatballs, pasta, and spinach, this chunky soup really seemed like a meal instead of a starter," one editor declared. Others commented on the "rich, not watery, broth." (140 calories per cup)

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    O Organics Organic Tomato Basil Soup

    This "thick and creamy" pick had the lowest calorie count of any of our contenders. Good thing, because testers thought it would pair perfectly with a gooey grilled cheese. (90 calories per cup)

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    Pacific Organic Cashew-Carrot-Ginger Bisque

    This spicy-sweet bisque, thickened with coconut and cashews in place of cream, delivers a "currylike kick" plus 90 percent of the vitamin A you need daily. (130 calories per cup)

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2013.