Watch Out for Salt in Stock-Based Soups - dummies

Watch Out for Salt in Stock-Based Soups

By Alan L. Rubin, Cait James

Most markets carry various brands of chicken and beef broth that offer good flavor. These products are adequate for making everyday soups and are well worth keeping on hand. Always choose the low-sodium versions to use as stock and then add more salt to your soup as necessary.

If your physician or dietitian has given you any instructions at all about watching your salt, you’ve probably been told about the high sodium content of canned soup. You may be on a standard 3,000-milligrams-a-day regimen, recommended for most individuals, or a 2,000-milligrams-a-day sodium-restricted diet.

The table shows some sample amounts of the milligrams of sodium in a single serving of some common soups.

Canned Soups and Sodium
Soups Serving Size Sodium in Milligrams
Low Sodium Tomato (Campbell’s) 10-1/2 ounces 60
Low Sodium Chicken Broth (Campbell’s) 10-1/2 ounces 140
Chicken Broth (Health Valley) 8 ounces 150
Onion Soup Mix (Lipton) 8 ounces (or 1 tablespoon mix) 610
Lentil (Progresso) 8 ounces 750
Tomato (Campbell’s) 4 ounces (condensed soup) 760
Chicken Broth (Campbell’s) 4 ounces (condensed soup) 770
Vegetable Beef (Campbell’s) 4 ounces (condensed soup) 890
Chicken Noodle Instant Soup (Knorr) 8 ounces 910
Clam Chowder (Campbell’s) 4 ounces (condensed soup) 960
Chunky Beef (Campbell’s) 10-3/4 ounces 1,130

For another low-salt stock alternative, you can make a basic vegetable stock by simmering together aromatic vegetables like onion and celery with carrots, which add sweetness, plus some parsley and a bay leaf. You need to cook this mixture for only about 20 minutes.

The classical combination of vegetables (onions, celery, and carrots) is called mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwa). It’s a basic beginning for many soups and stocks. When you’re chopping mirepoix for stocks, you can roughly chop the vegetables and even skip the peeling if you prefer. But when getting the veggies ready for soups, take the time to prep them as the recipe suggests.