One of my long time favorites, this is a thick & hearty version of minestrone, and it tastes great. Just don’t look at it…
Not to be confused with their “Restaurant Style” minestrone, this Riviera soup is very thick, with big chunks of pasta and beans. I’ve been eating it for years, and absolutely love it. It’s also a bargain when you can find it on sale. Unfortunately it looks nothing like the picture. In fact, the closest thing it resembles is, well… let’s just say it looks like it didn’t stay down. But don’t let that stop you – it may look horrific, but it tastes wonderful.
Nutrition is a little bit of a mixed bag. The primary ingredients are all fine, but further down in the list is Corn Syrup and the dreaded Free Glutamates, including MSG. The can I had was 15oz (I think they only make 19oz now), but they called it “about” two servings, which isn’t really right – although it’s hearty, it would make pretty small portions for 2. But the calories are surprisingly low – 150 per serving (255/can). As usual for soups, the sodium is too high (38%DV, 65% for the can), but fiber is really high (28%/45%DV) and fat is reasonable. Note that this is *not* vegetarian – there are egg whites and chicken fat in it.
Preparation is tricky, in a microwave. The primary issue is that the top of the can will have a big “plug,” made up of the pasta and beans, and then the soup will be at the bottom. I recommend opening from the top, turning it upside down over a bowl, making a single hole in the can bottom, then blow hard into the hole – everything will come out in a rush. Sounds strange, but it works. Once it’s in the bowl, you’ll want to break up the plug, because in the microwave there won’t be enough time for it to break apart while cooking. Just use a spoon and have at it, and mix it up as thoroughly as you can. Last, be sure to put a cover on the soup when you cook it – it commonly will explode while cooking. Follow the directions – it should definitely be stirred half way through, and although it doesn’t say it, you should let it sit for a couple of minutes – it really helps the flavor come out. Oh, and a little black pepper goes well with it.
← You be the judge – does that look the same to you??
Calories: 150/serving, 255/can (Caloric Density: 0.6 – good!)