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Soup Starters for the Cold Season Ahead & A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 5. November 2012 5:25

By adding a handful of ingredients, I made my own tom yum soup in the time it took to heat up the broth.

Is it me or is everyone pretty much coughing up a lung these days?

Cold and flu season is definitely here, unfortunately.

Thank goodness for hot, steaming bowls of soup to make us all feel better. I know it sure did the trick when I was felled by a cold a couple of weeks ago.

Luckily, I had just received samples of new Pacific Organic Soup Starters to test out from the Oregon-based company.

They’re soup bases packaged in shelf-stable cartons for easy use. Last year, the company debuted its beef, chicken and vegetarian Vietnamese pho Soup Starters. This year, it added two more varieties: Tom Yum and Tortilla.

The new organic soup bases.

With my stuffy nose leaving me talking like the Snuffleupagus, I reached for the Thai-style Tom Yum for relief.

It couldn’t be easier. You just empty the broth base into a pot and heat. Instructions on the back of the box give advice on what other herbs or protein are good additions. I added chunks of chicken breast, sliced shiitakes, a chopped tomato, broccolini, cilantro and slivers of jalapeno. The instructions recommended cooked rice as an accompaniment, but I went with rice noodles instead.

The soup came together in mere minutes. The chicken broth-based soup starter was flavorful with a faint tang from lime oil. I like my tom yum a little more assertive, so I squirted in more fresh lime juice to kick it up.

A half-cup portion of the soup base has 10 calories and 330mg of sodium. The package says it serves eight. But really, if you’re indulging in a ramen bowl-size portion, one carton serves more like two.

Of course, you could doctor up your own chicken broth to make tom yum. But it’s pretty convenient to have a starter already in your cupboard much like you would canned chicken or beef broth at the ready.

The Pacific Organic Soup Starters are about $3.49 each for a 32-ounce carton at Whole Foods, Sprouts, New Leaf, and select Save Mart stores.

Contest: Five lucky Food Gal readers will each win a trio of Pacific Organic Soup Starters, one each of Vegetarian Pho, Tortilla, and Tom Yum. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Nov. 10. Winners will be announced Nov. 12.

How to win?

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