Many store bought soups are full of unwanted ingredients, but Pacific Foods has set out to create a line of delicious soups with only the best ingredients. With the use of fresh herbs and spices and garden vegetables, these soups are full of flavour, while still thankfully being free of preservatives and artificial ingredients. Their Creamy line of soups are available in 6 dairy-free varieties and are perfect to cozy up with any day!
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup –
Sporting a brilliant and enticing yellow-orange hue, with a rich and silky texture, it was a shame that the Organic Butternut Squash Soup from Pacific Foods just didn’t hit the mark with my family. The other creamy dairy-free soups from Pacific will easily find their way into my shopping cart again, but this one will have to wait for the next consumer who wanders down the natural food aisle.
My husband wouldn’t even taste-test the soup as the very idea of store-bought winter squash soup sends him running to the nearest fast food restaurant. I was hesitant for a couple of reasons – I’m not a fan of soymilk based soups since we try to keep our soy consumption at a modest level, and butternut soup tends to be too sweet for my tastes. And alas, this one was. Unlike the other Pacific creamy soups, this one lacked in spice (for my tastes) but not in sugar.
After a few solo tastes, I decided to spice it up a bit with another pinch of salt (this was not the low sodium variety mind you), a good dash of ground ginger, and a few twists of the pepper grinder. I also braised some greens and added them to the soup. I thought the contrasting bitterness of the greens would be complimentary, and they were.
In the end, this lunch ended up better, pretty good in fact, but still not fantastic. Since I like my convenience ready to go, I will stick with the other creamy soups from Pacific, which I thought were awesome. If you are generally a fan of butternut squash soup, then I do recommend giving this one a try, particularly since it is organic and sports some nice easy-to-read ingredients.
Curried Red Lentil –
Since my husband isn’t a fan of Indian curry, I had this soup all to myself, and I wasn’t a bit disappointed. Though it was rather thick when poured, it thinned to a very smooth and creamy soup once heated with a wonderfully inviting warm sunshine hue …
I found the Curried Red Lentil to be more filling than your average soup, and wasn’t as tempted to throw in more ingredients – it was pretty tasty on its own.
I was surprised by how spot-on the flavor is. All of the ingredients seem to work harmoniously to create a somewhat rich curry flavor, with a nice kick of spice in the aftertaste – you know, that slightly spicy aftershock that causes you to quickly return the spoon to the bowl for another taste, and another, and another, until you have devoured the entire bowl in roughly 60 seconds.
Anyone who remotely likes curry will probably like this blend, but those who are turmeric timid, may want to stick to the other creamy, dairy-free soups from Pacific. Also, unlike so many Indian-inspired foods, this soup is not vegetarian, it does contain chicken broth in the base. Just wanted to offer a heads up!
Once again, I was a bit bummed that they do use a bit of sweetener (evaporated cane juice), as I like to keep my meals savory, but in this case, I do concur that it may be an essential ingredient to achieve flavor perfection.
Cashew Carrot Ginger –
Of all the dairy-free products from Pacific Foods, the Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup was the one I was most excited to trial. The title holds three of my favorite foods, though I had never thought to bring them all together with such intensity. The bright orange hue (much more cheerful than what you see on the box) and the bold flavors were just what my senses had been longing for.
That said … this soup is not for the ginger averse. The heat from the ginger alone is enough to warm up this soup without even placing it atop the stove! If you have ever tasted a truly intense ginger tea (like Yogi Ginger Tea … which I drink almost daily) then you can expect a similar ginger punch from this soup, but with the added compliments of the sweet carrots and cashews.
Naturally “spicy,” rich, and a touch sweet, this slightly thick yet smooth soup was a true winner in my book. If I could change one thing, it would be to take down the sweetener a notch (they add some evaporated cane juice). I felt it masked some of the natural sweetness from the cashews and carrots, and made it taste a bit more indulgent than a lunchtime meal. I think in the future I may serve this soup atop brown rice with some cooked greens mixed in for a more well-rounded meal. Other than that, it was simply perfect as is … particularly on a cold and snowy day…
Spicy Black Bean –
Pacific Foods offers a handful of thick or “creamy” soups that happen to be dairy-free, and of those, one was well-suited to my husband’s taste buds, the Spicy Black Bean Soup. It came in quite handy on a busy day when preparing lunch hadn’t even occurred to me. Fortunately, heat and serve is right up my husband’s alley when he is reaching that grumpy hunger stage, so he managed to prepare a bowl for himself in an instant. As for the taste, he certainly approved, and was in a much better mood following a nice bowl of this.
I took a little more time to prep my bowl, since I wasn’t quite as ravenous. This is a purely smooth and silky soup, not a bean or veggie chunk to be found. I loved the consistency actually; it was like a light cream rather than a starchy thick soup. But, I can never leave well enough alone. I sautéed three sweet carrots in 1 teaspoon of oil, then added the soup to heat, and served it up with some chopped avocado. The combination was delightful.
The soup on its own had a wonderful taste and just the right amount of flavor in terms of heat, spices, and salt. Nothing was over the top, and it all melded rather nicely. There was just one note that kept tasting “off” to me. It was mostly in the aftertaste, so it didn’t deter me from devouring the bowl. Nonetheless, it left me curious, so I checked the ingredients and finally spotted the culprit … cilantro paste. Yes, I am one of those cilantro supertasters who generally dislike it. Cilantro fans will find this soup spot on, but luckily, the cilantro is far enough down the ingredient list that even most “cilantro tastes like soap” people (such as me) will enjoy it.
I will purchase this soup again either for a quick lunch, or as a recipe starter … it has great potential!
The Facts on Pacific Foods Creamy Soups
Certifications: Pacific Foods Creamy Soups are Certified Kosher Parve, Certified Organic, and Non-GMO Verified.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, these Pacific Foods Creamy Soups are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. Some varieties are soy-free. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Pacific Foods website at pacificfoods.com/
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook (also available as an eBook). For more information and to purchase this product, visit the Pacific Foods website. All of the Pacific Foods Soups are also available on Amazon for a discount.