Leftovers and home-cooked foods are great, but sometimes you need to rely on Mama Grocery Store to provide something to round out your lunch.
I think boxed soups are great to keep around for lunches. Boxed soups, for whatever reason, tend to taste better than canned ones. And they don't require a can opener, which is a bonus for work or school meals. I often rely on them to boost the vegetable count in my lunches between grocery trips.
Due to BPA in can linings, there's been a recent explosion in boxed soups. And a surprising number of the new soups are vegan. I've been keeping a score sheet for every boxed soup I try. Here are my favorites.
Pacific Natural Foods Cashew Carrot Ginger My soup rating system is 1-4 soup spoons. When I tried this soup for the first time, it made me wish that it went to 5, at least. It's creamy, flavorful, and doesn't need any doctoring. This is the soup I'd serve to anyone who thought vegans eat twigs and berries.
Dr. McDougall Roasted Red Pepper Tomato This is my other hands-down favorite. This brand is marketed as healthy convenience food. (You can read about Dr. McDougall's diet here.) They're a little harder to find than the Pacific Natural brand. Locally, I buy them at Whole Foods or Fiesta supermarkets. You can also get them in bulk from Amazon. The Roasted Red Pepper Tomato soup is the perfect balance of tomato-y acid and red pepper sweetness, and there are nice chunks of tomatoes, too.
Honorable mentions: Imagine Foods Potato Leek, Imagine Foods Corn and Lemongrass, and Pacific Natural Foods Thai Sweet Potato.
The Fig and Colavita soups also pictured above are so new, I haven't had a chance to try them.