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Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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PRODUCT: Bertolli Premium Meal Soups For Two

Beefy goodness: our favorite from the new
Bertolli Premium Meal Soups. Photo courtesy


Have you seen the “soup opera” chefs in TV commercials, extolling the virtues of Bertolli Premium Hearty Soups?

The soups look just as good in person as they do on TV, and live up to the advertising claims that they’re chock full of fresh-tasting ingredients.

Indeed, the large chunks of mushrooms and zucchini we bit into tasted just-cooked and were full of flavor. All frozen foods included in the soups are flash-frozen to “maintain peak freshness.” As Bertolli has proved, when the ingredients going into the flash freezer taste great, they taste just as good when cooked.

Cooking is simple: Add the contents of the bag into a cup of boiling water and simmer. Five minutes later, you’ve got a pot of hearty soup.

We recently went to a tasting of the new line of soups, introduced by one of our favorite Top Chef contestants, Fabio Viviani. Having added professional spokesperson to his résumé, Fabio said that he’s now on the road 300 days a year.


Yet despite the unenviable travel schedule, Fabio was as energetic and charming as he was on Top Chef (or even more so, since he wasn’t battling other cheftestants and facing panels of judges).

Here’s the soup menu (garnish with fresh herbs and/or a spoonful of grated Parmesan cheese):

  • Chicken Minestrone: Roasted white meat chicken, beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, tomatoes and pasta in a hearty vegetable broth.
  • Roasted Chicken & Rotini Pasta: Roasted white meat chicken, pasta, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and celery in a chicken broth.
  • Tomato Florentine & Tortellini with Chicken: Cheese tortellini, large chunks of white meat chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a rich tomato bisque with a hint of basil (basil freak that we are, we topped it with a chiffonade of fresh basil).
  • Tuscan-Style Beef with Vegetables: Large chunks of beef, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots and celery with bowtie pasta in a beefy broth.
    We happily consumed them all. The two we’ll buy again are the velvety Tomato Florentine & Tortellini with Chicken and the hearty Tuscan-Style Beef & Vegetables.

    Why not the chicken soups? We make a large pot of chicken soup every other Sunday and prefer our own. But those who buy chicken noodle soup now have a more sophisticated option.

    Three points about the soups:

  • “Meal” Soups: The 24-ounce packages, with the addition of one cup of water, yield 32 ounces of soup—enough for two adults. But unless you’re a light eater, you’ll need more to fill up on: a large salad, for starters. Bertolli paired the soups with different artisan breads, a nice touch.
  • Price: The soups aren’t inexpensive: The bag will cost $8.59 or so. But the price is justified by the quantity and quality of the ingredients you’ll be digging into.
  • Sodium: As with almost all prepared foods, there’s a ton of salt—mostly hidden, as the soups taste just fine. But one serving comprises 45% of your DV of sodium.
    Still, with the cold days of winter approaching, you know that you can walk into the house, open the freezer and enjoy hot and hearty soup in about 10 minutes. Start boiling the water before you hang up your coat.

    Learn more at

    Find more of our favorite soups and recipes in our Gourmet Soup Section.

    How many types of soup have you had? Check out our photo-filled Soup Glossary.


  • Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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