Dr McDougall Split Pea Soup
To Dr. McDougall, healthy soup means no fat and no allergens, such as gluten and dairy.




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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



September 2010

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Soups & Stocks

Dr. McDougall Healthy Soup

Less Salt, Less Sugar, No Fat, Gluten-Free & Vegan


CAPSULE REPORT:  Dr. John McDougall is a well-known physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine. He has developed a number of packaged foods that are healthier versions of most of what’s out there. We liked the soups in cartons very much; but found the low-sodium soups in cups to be bland. Alas, it’s true that salt adds flavor.


What could be a better find than a healthy soup that you just heat and eat? That’s what we found at Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods.

The soups are all-natural, vegan, gluten-free and hearty. All of the soups are packaged with nutritious vegetables and whole grain brown rice, with a minimal amount of liquid (some are almost like eating a vegetable dish). We especially liked the legume-based soups: Black Bean, Lentil and Split Pea.

The sodium content ranges from 420mg to 460mg per serving. While it’s not a low-sodium food (defined as 140mg or less salt per serving), it is low compared to the amount per serving of most packaged soups. We tried Dr. McDougall’s low-sodium soups, but found them very bland.

As with almost anything, the soups get better with a sprinkling of fresh herbs. There are about two one-cup portions per carton.

Flavors Of Dr. McDougall Soups

We enjoyed all of the soups, wishing only that the added sweetness (organic evaporated cane juice) were reduced in the tomato soups. We wish that manufacturers would test their products on healthy eaters instead of folks who have grown accustomed to all the sweeteners placed in their savory foods.

  • Black Bean Soup is a thick and textured soup that  pairs brown rice and vegetables (bell pepper, celery, carrots and onions) with the black beans. Add some fresh cilantro and cayenne to turn it into a healthy Mexican delight.
    Nutrition: calories/cup 120, fat 1g, cholesterol 0g, sodium 460mg, total carbohydrate 23g, dietary fibers 5g, sugars 1g, protein 6g.
  • Chunky Tomato Soup is a puree of tomato soup with chunks of tomatoes. It’s a bit too sweet, as the sugar content will testify. You can turn it into a cream of tomato by adding milk, which cuts the sweetness, as does a garnish of fresh basil and/or parsley.
  Nutrition: calories/cup 90, fat 0g, cholesterol 0g, sodium 440mg, total carbohydrate 20g, dietary fibers 3g, sugars 8g, protein 2g.
  • Lentil Soup has a lovely, thick texture of whole lentils, brown rice, carrots and celery. But since these soups are vegan, a layer of flavor often provided by chicken stock or a ham hock is missing. Rather than adding more salt, a chiffonade of basil or some chopped fresh parsley does the trick. We also added a drop of liquid smoke to replace the smoky ham flavor. Legumes deliver more calories, but also more fiber and protein.
    Nutrition: calories/cup 115, fat 0.5g, cholesterol 0g, sodium 480mg, total carbohydrate 14g, dietary fibers 4g, sugars 2g, protein 3g.
  • Minestrone is a lighter style of soup—more liquid than stuffing—and also the least caloric of the group. We enjoyed it with a sprinkling of fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.
    Nutrition: calories/cup 70, fat 0.5g, cholesterol 0g, sodium 480mg, total carbohydrate 21g, dietary fibers 8g, sugars 1g, protein 7g.
  • Roasted Pepper Tomato Soup contains more tomato than red bell pepper, and tomato is the dominant flavor. This purée of tomato soup, with chunks of tomatoes, is sweet and comforting; we prefer it to the Chunky Tomato Soup. You can turn it into a cream of tomato by adding milk or half-and-half.
    Nutrition: calories/cup 80, fat 0g, cholesterol 0g, sodium 440 mg, total carbohydrate 19g, dietary fibers 7g, sugars 8g, protein 2g.
  • Split Pea Soup is a purée of peas layered with whole peas, plus bits of carrot for color. Like the Lentil Soup, it is thick and comforting, packed with fiber and protein and is hearty comfort food. However, it is lacking only in seasoning. Fresh thyme, oregano or a few grinds of pepper do the job.
    Nutrition: calories/cup 130, fat 0g, cholesterol 0g, sodium 440mg, total carbohydrate 19g, dietary fibers 9g, sugars 1g, protein 9g.
  • Vegetable Soup is packed with all of the familiar veggies: carrots, celery, onions, peas, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini; plus lentils and brown rice. It’s nicely seasoned with garlic. We added some fresh parsley to complement the herbs in the soup.
    Nutrition: calories/cup 75, fat 0.5g, cholesterol 0g, sodium 440mg, total carbohydrate 14g, dietary fibers 4g, sugars 2g, protein 3g.


7 Flavors Of Ready-To-Eat Vegan Soup

  • 18.2-Ounce Boxes
    Pack of 6 Boxes
    $16.25* at Amazon.com


Available in individual units in health and natural food stores nationwide.

*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them.

  Dr McDougall Lentil Soup

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