Although sodium is essential in any diet, you only need a small amount per day. Food manufacturers rely on sodium as a flavor modifier, ingredient binder, color enhancer, stabilizer and preservative in processed foods. Canned soup contains a lot of sodium. For example, a serving of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup contains 910 mg of sodium, and your body only needs about 500 mg a day. However, you don’t have to swear off canned soup if you want to reduce the sodium in your diet. There are several things you can do to lower the sodium content in canned soup.
Dilute the soup with water or low-sodium broth. Most canned soups are condensed and require the addition of water when you prepare them. If you add more water than is recommended, you’ll decrease the amount of sodium per serving. If adding water dilutes too much of the flavor, add a low-sodium broth instead.
Add fresh vegetables to the soup. You can use canned soup as a base and then add fresh vegetables and water to the canned soup. A combination of celery, onions and carrots called “mirepoix” imparts a lot of flavor when it’s added to soups. You can also use whatever vegetables are in season in your area.
Peel and quarter a potato and add it to the soup. Remove the potato when it is tender and fully cooked. As it cooks, the potato absorbs liquid and sodium from the canned soup. Add water, let the soup simmer for a moment and serve.
Certain varieties of soups contain more sodium than others. Look for the word “healthy” on the label. Canned soups must have 480 mg of sodium or less per serving to be able to use the word “healthy” on their labels.
References and ResourcesAmerican Heart Association: Sodium
Center for Science in the Public Interest: Soups – The Middle Ground
Salon: Mirepoix Recipe
Prepared Pantry: A Handful of Kitchen Tips