I like soup, and if you're reading this article, I'd bet you also like soup. Honestly, there are few things more exciting to me than the realization that soup season is upon us. I took it upon myself to test out five of the soups at Trader Joe's, let them fight to death, and crown the ultimate winner as Trader Joe's best soup. Here's what our lineup looked like for this wild showdown.  

Amanda Rago

Surprisingly, three out of the five soups I tried were vegan. So, if you're looking to find a new vegan or vegetarian staple to incorporate in your Meatless Mondays, you're welcome. Before things go any further, I want to mention that I did like all of these soups, but some definitely stood out more than others. They're all a good choice, but I'm here for more than that. I want to know and inform all of you as to which I think is the best one. I ranked them in order from 5 (not my ultimate favorite) to 1 (you must try immediately!!). 

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for:

5. Kettle Cooked Chicken Soup

Amanda Rago

I regretfully inform that this soup was the most expensive, $4.69, and my least favorite out of all the ones I tried. I was expecting a little bit more out of this comforting classic, but for me it just fell short. I do appreciate the solid amount of salt, as well as the good amount of chicken you get. This soup wasn’t bad, but the reason it’s at the bottom of the list is that it was just a bit boring. If you have some extra ingredients and herbs on hand, then I’d say this is a quick and easy starter to a great soup for just one to two people. Unless you plan on doctoring it up, I would probably search elsewhere for when that chicken soup craving hits. Unfortunately, this is not Trader Joe's best soup, but it is a decent one. 

4. Hearty Minestrone Soup

Amanda Rago

Woo hoo, a vegan option! This soup was only $3.99 which is a nice plus. Sadly, I was expecting a little more out of this minestrone. It was somewhat underwhelming. The broth was quite watery, and it was lacking in some flavor. I feel like it needed something more infused in the broth. Also, when I want minestrone soup, I’m expecting some nice noodles, and this one did not come through for me. I’m just not a fan of the little orzo as the pasta, I’d much have preferred a mini shell or something similar. Obviously, that doesn’t affect the flavor, but it’s just a personal preference.

What I did enjoy though was the large number of vegetables in the soup. They all worked really well together. Also, the ingredient list on this soup (and all of them honestly) is very impressive. I’m not saying this soup was bad, but I feel there was more potential for it to be a little better.  

3. Lentil Soup With Ancient Grains

Amanda Rago

Shout out to the cheapest soup, $3.49, and one of the more filling ones on this list! I think Trader Joe’s is afraid of making things even the slightest bit spicy, but other than that, this soup was delicious. The best way to describe the lentil soup is comforting. Thanks to the hearty lentils it’s really filling, and the texture is pretty thick. There wasn’t much going on besides the lentils and a sparse amount of rogue vegetables, but nonetheless, I still enjoyed it a lot. I don't really have any complaints here for this soup, but because of its milder flavor, it earned a spot right in the middle of the list. I’d recommend spicing it up with some more seasoning and topping with fresh herbs if you’ve got them on hand. When you’re looking for something quick and filling for lunch or dinner, definitely pick this up next time you’re shopping. Is this Trader Joe's best soup? No. But I would claim that it is a very good soup from Trader Joe's. 

2. Harvest Chili

Amanda Rago

Before you get all mad, yes, I consider chili to be a soup. Don’t @ me. Also, big shout out to Trader Joe’s for making this chili vegan, but still having it be filling and delicious. I honestly hadn’t even realized until I was 2/3 through my bowl, and then was reading the label again.

My only complaint about this chili is that I wish it had some more spice to it. It had basically zero heat, and I was hoping for more. This is honestly the only reason this soup has become the runner up for Trader Joe's best soup. If you don’t like spicy chili though, this would be perfect for you. If you’re like me though, just throw some of your favorite hot sauce in. My biggest thought while eating this was that I could eat the entire container in one sitting; it is that good. The other downside of this is the price given that it is only vegetables which comes in at $4.49 for the container. The texture of this chili though was amazing; it’s very hearty so it’s filling. I had this for lunch, and it was perfect. Give it a try before it’s gone!

1. Pumpkin Butternut Squash Bisque

Amanda Rago

I present to you, Trader Joe’s best soup. Believe it or not, but this is the soup that I was the most nervous to try. I’m not someone who loves an intense pumpkin and squash flavor, so eating a soup that’s completely made of that was intimidating. The only thing that convinced me to try the soup was the addition of brown butter and sage. I love both of those, so I knew that this soup had some potential, but I was not prepared for it to be my number one.

I cannot think of one thing I didn’t enjoy from this soup. I’ll be having Miriam Webster change the definition of scrumptious in the dictionary to a picture of this soup. Here’s everything that made it my number one. To start, the consistency is great for a bisque. It’s thin, but not watery in the slightest. Upon first taste, and it’s so mild and well rounded. All of the flavors balance each other out really well, the pumpkin wasn’t overpowering, and neither was the brown butter or sage, which is very hard to do. I deeply wished that I had a grilled cheese to dunk in this soup, but some good crusty bread did the trick too. I’m astonished to say that I would choose this over my favorite tomato soup to eat with a grilled cheese. Also, at just $3.99, this soup cannot be beaten. Please pick it up and also grab a loaf of French bread to go with it, and thank me later. 

All the soups from Trader Joe's were pretty good, but I'd say you definitely have to try numbers one and two from the list. I hope you all enjoy the upcoming soup season, and get cozy!