Typically, I only purchase the broths from Imagine. I am a big fan of them, and can always get those sizable aseptic packages of organic broth for less than $2 a piece at a local grocer. However, one day, I bought a bad one. It was rancid, seriously rancid. I contacted the company with the lot number to give them the full scoop, and in response, they sent me a free product coupon to recoup my losses. The coupon was for any of their soups or broths, so I decided to try something new.
While I often find Imagine's dairy-free creamy soup line enticing, many of the selections contain sweetener (both my husband and I gag at sweetened soups) or soymilk (gives my husband a stomachache). However, I was pleased that this soup was both soy-free and unsweetened!
I took a quick sip just after pouring it into the pot to heat. I was immediately concerned as it tasted quite sweet (likely from the sweet corn and coconut cream). Luckily, once heated to a nice toasty level, the sweetness mellowed, and a nice spice kicked up. It wasn't hot and spicy, but there was a mild black pepper-like heat that complimented the various flavors. I was actually quite pleased with the fact that I could really taste the lemongrass, and that each of the other flavors made themselves known without overpowering. Overall, it was a surprisingly pleasant soup.
The one drawback is how light it is. At only 110 calories per serving (3g) of fat, downing the entire box (4 servings) is still only a light meal, and probably more sodium than I should intake in one sitting. I split the box, pouring two servings for each of us, and served spring rolls on the side to help round out the meal. In the future I would use this soup as either a side dish or as the base for a meal-soup. It would go really well with chicken or tofu, and most vegetables would suit nicely. A few that come to mind right away are bean sprouts, spinach, and carrots.
Also, Imagine Soups are a bit spendy at full price. They top $4 at my local Whole Foods. If you can catch them on sale for $2 or $2.50 then i say worth it for a quick meal.
Regarding the ingredients, unless the package is lying, the ingredients listed on the Imagine Foods website for this soup are incorrect, or at least they were when I wrote this. Or, one version is being phased out. The ingredients on the soup I had (purchased in April of 2009) included coconut cream, but did not contain soymilk, nor any other major allergens (aside from coconut, which has to be listed as a tree nut). I believe the coconut cream version is the new one. Since they aren't listed elsewhere, I will include the ingredients here:
Ingredients – Filtered water, organic sweet corn, organic onions, organic potatoes, organic coconut cream, organic tapioca starch, organic expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, organic lemongrass, sea salt, natural flavors, organic spices.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook. For more information on this product, or to contact the company, visit the Imagine Foods website. If you can't find the soups in your local area for a good price, it looks like most or all of the Imagine Soup line is available on Amazon with free shipping.