I can't think of anyone that doesn't like a gooey grilled cheese paired with a comforting soup! Well, anyone besides my 14 year old. He hates soup and cheese. I know. Don't worry though, I thankfully kept him out of my soup tasting of these delicious and surprising varieties from 18 Chestnuts.
I wasn't surprised to learn this company is based in Asheville, NC. My family spent time there last summer, and it's a beautiful place full of incredible vegan food!
Not only are there some great combinations, 18 Chestnuts sources their food from local farmers when possible and everything is non-gmo. The ingredient list is incredibly "clean" - that means real food without lots of additives or stabilizers. All of the soups are low calorie, low fat, and gluten free. That is a plus for me; my husband is celiac and I follow a lower fat style of eating.
I didn't receive a sample of the carrot ginger dill and I am admittedly a little bummed about that, but I still haven't tried the asparagus shiitake which I'm very excited about. Don't tell anyone...I purposefully did not include that jar in my family taste testing because I want it all to myself! I love both asparagus and mushrooms! After tasting the other soups, I already know that was a good call. I'm certain it's going to be amazing.
I feel like a genius for creating this little setup for heating the soups we tried. I hate washing dishes too, so I didn't want to clean three pots. Fill your crock pot half way with water, fill jars with soup, place in the crock pot until heated through! It only took a few hours on high heat. I kept it classy by using little paper cups for all three soups we tried. And of course paired them with gooey grilled cheese and tofu sandwiches! This crazy Texas weather also just happened to be chilly that day, so it was a wonderful cozy night in.
I had to look up exactly what is defined as "succotash" because that was my favorite! Lima beans and corn. I love limas, but not corn so I was surprised how much I enjoyed Southern Succotash.
My mom and Charlie (my 11 year old) loved the Butternut Squash Pear. That one was a touch too sweet for me, but I could still appreciate all the good, whole food flavors coming through. Ryan, my husband, enjoyed the Red Pepper Pomodoro and Charlie even admitted to liking it as well - girl loves to loathe red pepper.
Each soup had a generous assortment of healthy vegetables. This would easily fill my need for a quick and nutritious meal for my family. You can't get much simpler than heating a jar of soup!
Another win for these soups is the eco-friendly containers and packaging. I know shipping costs are nuts these days (they do offer flat rate shipping!), so I am impressed with the commitment of glass over plastic. Everything seems to be rising in costs now, so I personally feel that it's important to focus on what's best for us all in the long run. Choosing glass over plastic, using recyclable/compostable packaging and shipping products shows a commitment to what matters. 18 Chestnuts also composts any extra food to reduce waste.
In an effort to keep myself in the same eco-friendly mindset as well, I used the little bit of leftover soup to cook rice for my next dinner. It worked perfectly! I did have to guess a bit on the water and soup ratio, but I got a wonderful addition of flavorful, roasted red pepper rice.
The 18 Chestnuts website is beautifully designed with an incredible amount of information on their story, local charitable contributions, the creators behind their brand, and more. I learned that Ilona, the owner, has two English bulldogs....I'm a. sucker for cute dogs so I'm going to have to request that these dogs make an appearance on their social media! Do you live near Asheville? Meet the entire 18 Chestnuts team at their next in person event!
It might not feel like "soup weather", but I would not pass on these. The flavor and flavor variety is unique and impressive. Get your own sampling of all the varieties or choose from their discounted subscription plan to be shipped directly to your door. You can get 18% off your first order using code Plantbased18. Please share which soup is your favorite!