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Picture this: You’re shivering beneath the ten layers of blanket in your non-heated dorm room. Your bed by the window isn’t looking like the treasure it was in August. You will do anything to keep warm, even burning your spare magazines. Things are getting desperate, and you don’t know where to turn. What do you do? Slip on your Snuggie® and hurry down the hall to the communal microwave. Heat up some delicious Chicken Noodle or Vegetable Beef Soup, but first check out HC’s guide to everyone’s favorite winter pick-me-up.

Canned Soup

Soup doesn’t have to be homemade to taste like it. Some of the most delicious—and surprisingly low-calorie—soups can come from a can. Don’t be afraid to think “outside of the cup”—you’d be surprised how many great options you can find from cheaper generic brands, too!


Trader Joe’s Tomato Soup

Calories: 100

Total Fat: 2g

Other Flavors: Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper, Rich Onion, Corn & Roasted Pepper, Carrot Ginger, Beef Barley with Veggies

HCers say: “It comes in a box and is about $2. You just warm it up in the microwave! Even though I’m out of college, I still get it and make it in my apartment. It’s so easy to open, warm and serve.” –Divya Bahl, HC Contributing Writer, Boston University

Campbell’s Chicken Noodle

Calories: 70

Total Fat: 2g

Other Flavors: French Onion, Chicken & Stars, Beef Noodle Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Split Pea with Ham

HCers say: “I like the original Campbell’s soup recipe, you know, the one with the red label.  Delish!” –Annie Maguire, HC Intern, University of Connecticut

Campbell’s Soup at Hand Chicken & Stars

[Picture 5]

Calories: 70

Total Fat: 2g

Other Flavors: Creamy Tomato Parmesan Bisque, Chicken with Mini Noodles, Classic Tomato, Cream of Broccoli, Creamy Chicken, New England Clam Chowder, Vegetable Beef, Vegetable with Mini Round Noodles

HCers say: “My friends use them for convenience since you don’t need a spoon or bowl, you just sip it from the lid.” –HC Contributing Writer Carlene Helble, James Madison University

Campbell’s V8 Golden Butternut Squash

Calories: 90

Total Fat: 1.5g

Other Flavors: Tomato Herb, Garden Vegetable Blend, Garden Broccoli, Sweet Red Pepper, Southwestern Corn

HCers say: “My favorite soups are the V8 Garden Broccoli and Butter Nut Squash, The soups are delicious and taste just like they’re homemade. The best part is you don’t have to add water or boil it on the stove — just microwave for 2-3 minutes!” –HC Contributing Writer Heather Rinder, Syracuse University

Make It Yourself!

  • If you’re heating soup in the microwave, cover the bowl with a napkin or a paper plate to ensure it doesn’t spill over the sides of the bowl and into the microwave.
  • If you’re making your own soup, there are ways to reduce the fat content. To start, make the soup the day before, then chill it overnight, scrape off the fat that rises to the top, use a paper towel or napkin to soak up the oil from the surface, and you’ll have a healthier meal.
  • Homemade soups and stews always taste better if made a day or two in advance and reheated.
  • If your soup tastes too salty, peel a potato and place it in the soup for about 15 minutes to absorb the salt. Remove the potato, and it should eliminate excess salt.
  • Using wine in soup can add flavor and serve as a salt substitute. The ratio should be about ¼ cup of wine to 1 quart of soup.
  • Canned foods have a shelf life of at least two years from the date of purchase so unless you’re a senior who bought a particular can of soup freshman year, it should be ok to eat. 

Now that you’ve gone through this guide, head to your local drugstore or grocery store find the soup that’s right for you! Slurp your heated broth and noodles and feel your entire body heat up immediately. Save your precious magazines and conserve your hand warmers. Forget a heater, as long as you have a microwave and a can of soup you can stay toasty through February.


Divya Bahl, HC writer

Elyssa Goodman, HC writer

Carlene Helble, HC writer

Annie Maguire, HC writer

Heather Rinder, HC writer







Rachel Dozier is a senior at James Madison University in the School of Media Arts & Design. She currently serves as the Managing Editor for her on-campus newspaper, The Breeze, and last year she started JMU's only student-run magazine, Port&Main, which won first place in the Best Student Magazine category from the Region 2 Society of Professional Journalists. She is interested in design, fashion, film and theatre. In the future she hopes to either be working as an entertainment writer or as a designer with a major fashion magazine.
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