Looking for High Quality Canned Soup ...

Status
Not open for further replies.
1,632
32
Joined Aug 21, 2009
We don't get Progresso here in Canada...  we have Campbell's, and Heinz and Habitant.  My dad loved Habitant pea soup.. I hated pea soup unitl I had my MIL's homemade and I make it all the time now.  
 
204
12
Joined Jan 9, 2008
I hate to say this but if I'm walking down the street and I see a more than a one on one fight, I am the guy that steps in for the underdog and I WILL walk through that mob with no more effort than walking through the air I breathe. 

  Forgive me but I'm seeing a "gang bang" here.  Rather than punches and kicks, I see "holier than thou" attitudes being aimed at a person who was asking a food related question.  You may not agree with their view or even want to tolerate it but yet you all expect them to accept and tolerate your opinion.  Shmoozer felt that he/she was being ganged up on and reacted accordingly.

 Not trying to start anything here but rather let's remember a key word here and this goes to all parties here including myself which is TOLERANCE. 

The flying spaghetti monster dictates it or you'll all parish in a flood of bland espagnole sauce

 Cheers to all and RAMEN
 
 
279
26
Joined Jan 10, 2010
I know you said you'd rather have canned than frozen, but have you tried portioning out homemade soup in the serving bowls, lined with plastic film, and freezing?  If you wrap em, once frozen, in foil and gather like soups together in large ziplocks they keep very well.  Then it's just a matter of unwrapping, popping them back into the serving bowl and nuking for about 4 minutes on high.  It has worked for me for years and keeps me from pilfering the junkfood in my store when I'm too uh, disinclined to cook.

If, like me, you find that food tastes better when prepared by someone else then perhaps you can find some fellow foodies and make a soup club.  Each of you prepare a large batch of soup and portion it in singles for freezing.  Swap 'em around... the more the merrier.


Also, if I may ask, I would really appreciate it if you could tone down the bitter.  It's kinda spoiling the flavour of this lovely forum.  I realize you are my elder, since you have been 'cooking seriously' since before I was born, but even a young punk like me understands that reacting offensively to a divergent viewpoint is beyond rude.  Had I been present and heard you speak like that I would have Gibbs-slapped you without thinking twice.  And I would not have been sorry. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif

Anywho, good luck in your quest. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif   I hope you find what you are looking for soon.
Look, I do all those things - make my own stocks, soups, freeze 'em, reheat 'em, and even eat them.  I've been cooking for more years than some in this thread have been on this earth, have taught cooking classes, and even had a small business making and selling sauces.   However, every now and then, for whatever reason, it's easy and comfortable for me to open a can or box of soup, and what's the big deal about that?  For example, it's almost 3:00am here, the neighbor's dog woke me up, it's cold and rainy, and I wanted something warm and tasty, so I opened a box of TJ's roasted red pepper and tomato soup, added a quickly diced piquillo pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a bit of organic, late harvest California olive oil, and had a quick, easy and acceptably enjoyable hot cup of soup.  Why are so many here putting me down (overtly, aggressively, or subtly) because I sometimes want a can of soup?

I know a number of chefs and restaurateurs (and people here would recognize their names) in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, and guess what - sometimes they even open a can of soup, or open a box of Oreos, or use instant rice or instant mashed potatoes.  WTF is the big deal about wanting to find a decent commercial product to enjoy when the mood strikes or circumstances dictate having something quick and easy?  Sheesh!  I've not come across such small-minded people in a long time.  Who here has never opened a can of tuna fish or dipped into a jar of peanut butter?

Sure I'm miffed - I, too, thought this was a lovely forum, but like many nice places, some of the neighbors sometimes behave like jerks.  Perhaps you can direct some of your sarcasm to those who have been rude and condescending in the first place.  So, may those who have behaved like condescending, petty adolescents, relax, chill out, and have a nice cup of soup.  For those who have actually helped with suggestions, thank you very much.

Oh, just one more small thing.  Down at the bottom of this page there's an ad for Campbell's soup.  Goodness!  In a forum "that is composed of professional chefs and other cooks with an interest in cooking?"  LOL  Perhaps you should take this travesty up with Nikko.

Well, my boxed soup from TJ's has warmed me, comforted me, saved me from defrosting or preparing something for a quick snack, and put me in a better frame of mind.  Heck, even the neighbor's dog has quieted down, the rain has stopped, my cat is curled up and purring on my lap, and all is right with the world.  Not a bad result from about 75-cents worth of prepared food. 

Oh, please point out where I said I'd rather have canned than frozen.  I don't recall saying that.
 
Last edited:
279
26
Joined Jan 10, 2010
Costco carries Boston-based Legal Seafoods' marvelous New England clam chowder, er... chowdah.     Mike.
Thanks - I'm somewhat familiar with Legal Seafoods but didn't know their products could be had outsided of their local area.  Your information is timely as I've been looking for a good NE style chowder.  Thanks!
 
279
26
Joined Jan 10, 2010
 Try the Knorr line of soups.  Some in the line are basic but well made and high quality as far as commercial soups are concerned.  A few igredients with some in the lineup make a wonderful, quick meal or snack.

Here is a link to Knorr's site: www.knorr.ca
Interesting - my experience with Knorr was many years ago, and I didn't care much for what they offered back then.  Maybe it's time to revisit their soups and see what's new.  Thanks for the suggestion.
 
279
26
Joined Jan 10, 2010
I know you already mentioned Progresso, but if you haven't tried Progresso lentil and Progresso "hearty tomato" I think they are 2 that do stand out and are worth trying and buying.        
Couldn't hurt to take a look, especially since Progresso is easy to find, although I have been using a couple of lentil-vegetable soups that are pretty satisfactory.  I've never seen a hearty tomato soup.  FWIW, CI had a reasonably good, very easy to prepare, recipe for tomato soup using canned tomatoes for the base.  Almost as easy as opening a can LOL  Thanks!
 
279
26
Joined Jan 10, 2010
I'll also mention the Knorr dry soup mixes.  Back when I was doing a lot of mountaineering stuff we almost always used Knorr for our soups when camping.  It has been quite some time since then, but I do recall them being the best tasting of those we tried.  I think oxtail was one of my favorites back then, and I think a leek mix.

mjb.

 
Dry soup mix!?  But then I'd have to add water.  Maybe I can get my neighbor to help me <LOL>

Seriously, thanks for the suggestion.  Others have suggested Knorr so it may be worth a look, although I didn't care much for the soup products many years ago when I tried them.  Nonetheless, they were nice to take backpacking and camping.
 
929
18
Joined Jul 28, 2006
Bear Creek makes a line of dry soup mixes.  All the ones I've tried are very good,  especially the potato soup mix.  That is so versatile, your imagination is the only limit.  For variety,  I've added green chile & chicken, and other times I put in a can of clams for chowder.  I used to get it at Costco,  but the one in my area doesn't carry it now.  It's available online, though. 
 
231
13
Joined Feb 3, 2010
Oh, dear, Smooz.  You are making me sad.  I was trying to offer as much help as I am able and none of it was said with sarcasm.  You seem to be looking for good canned soup, and perhaps most of us are having trouble offering suggestions specifically for canned soup because there just aren't many (any, that I know of) that can compare with scratch.  Its not condensation, its a difficulty to reconcile your request.  The forum seems geared towards cooking, and eating, better and relying on those 'in the know' to help us achieve that.  Otherwise I would have told you my quick soup of choice is an 33cent instant spicy beef raman noodle with a handful of frozen peas thrown in.  Its a quick soup, but it isn't a good soup.

I understand the desire for convenience, I truly do, and I did my best to offer what I could to adress that.  Clearly all I have done is offended you further.  So, take this as my apology for failing to help you find what you are looking for.  Truly, good luck with your search.

I will focus my attentions elswhere, hopefully where my bumbling attempts at constructive input will be accepted with more tolerance and grace.
 
929
18
Joined Jul 28, 2006
Look, I do all those things - make my own stocks, soups, freeze 'em, reheat 'em, and even eat them.  I've been cooking for more years than some in this thread have been on this earth, have taught cooking classes, and even had a small business making and selling sauces.    

I discovered this website a few years ago,  and have found the participants to be knowledgable and eager to help.  The level of respect, kindness and patience with which we treat one another continues to amaze me.  However, to my knowledge, none of the Cheftalk members can read minds (and while we can read profiles, it's not a requrement for responding to a request for help, so not everyone knows the skill levels of the others who post here -- even so,  your profile says nothing of your abilities or accomplishments).  As a new member, Schmoozer, we are still in the "getting acquainted" stage with you.  Hopefully, as you continue to visit and post, we can look forward to benefitting from your contributions.


Oh, please point out where I said I'd rather have canned than frozen.  I don't recall saying that.

While you did not specifically express a preferrance for canned soups over frozen, your subject title and subsequent questions were focused toward "High Quality Canned Soup".

 
Last edited:
11
10
Joined Nov 28, 2009
Well I must agree with FR33_MASON on this.  Reminds me of when I once asked for recommends about those pans used to "poach" eggs--they hold 4-6  round cups over simmering water.  I was sitting at a table of maybe 9 people and not one even acknowledged my question. Everybody wanted to instruct me and even offer to show me how to poach an egg. Sure, all meant well, and after 10 minutes everyone had aired their personal expertise.   But my question remained completely unanswered and ignored.   So I can see Schmoozer's point.  His subject line was "Looking for high quality canned soup".  Someone even suggested he can his own, so I guess he/she thinks it's possible for the product to exist. 
 
I'd certainly ask here about canned tomatoes/paste or packaged dried pasta even beer/ale or good oil tuna or fish sauce.  Who better to ask than people who would know best?
Still, good humor should prevail beyond reason when online.  Way too easy to take a remark the wrong way.


 
 
179
10
Joined Dec 20, 2008
Hey there, DeltaDork - whatever I said in my previous messages is applicable to you as well.
Schmoozer, I wasn't insulting you, I was agreeing with someone else, I make soup generally, and don't buy canned.  My pantry is full of processed stuff, I'm not condemnng processed anything, thats why we live in a modern world with refrigerators and microwaves and lots of canned goods.  Hell I have ate my share of Top Ramen.  Frankly I had nothing to add since I don't know what a good brand of canned soup is.  My 2 cents was to encourage someone who I haven't read here before to give making soup a try it is easy.  I certainly was not intended as an insult.

However I don't generally stoop to calling another forum member some degrading name.  Your posts in this thread have been one of the most uncivil I have read on CT, due to the adolescent name calling.  There has been many threads where people challenged or felt challenged and no one made an effort to denigrate the other member's a name or abilities.  This is a discussion forum where people add their 2cents worth of opinion, if you can't handle objectionable replies, then don't post.  
 
2,311
628
Joined Feb 8, 2009
placeAd2(commercialNode,'leaderboard',false,'')

 initSearch();

[h1]Go Ahead, Underestimate the Power of SoupWhat do you get when you taste-test 16 canned soups? A stomachache.[/h1]By Tim CarvellPosted Friday, Dec. 13, 2002, at 4:10 PM ET

With East Coasters now ankle-deep in slush, it seems safe to say that soup season has arrived. Not only is hot soup more appealing when it's 10 degrees below freezing outside; soup is also eminently stockpileable for times when you can't bear the thought of leaving the house to find supper. But if you're buying canned soup—I don't recommend stockpiling bowls of minestrone in your cupboard—be aware that what you're buying is food that's been through hell. There are plenty of differences between factory-made and homemade, but the major one is this: The food you make at home isn't reheated while being violently shaken. In order to destroy any pathogens, FDA requirements dictate that soup, once canned, be heated to 250 degrees; many manufacturers speed that process by agitating the can, thereby ensuring that the heat distributes itself more rapidly.

slate:http://www.slate.com/id/2075381/

This requirement changes the flavor of soup, which means that it changes the way the soup itself is actually made. David Gombas, the vice president of the Center for Development of Research Policy and New Technologies at the National Food Processors Association (and a former research scientist for Campbell Soup), notes that soup companies shy away from ingredients that break down in the canning process: "When you're making a soup, you might buy young, fragile carrots. You put those in a canned soup, they won't last. They'll disintegrate. So companies grow special carrots for soups. They look like tree limbs—they're like baseball bats. But once they go through the cooking process, they come out looking like the small young ones that you'd put into your soup."

placeAd2(commercialNode,'midarticleflex',false,'') Begin Interstitial Ad Template ID = 3206 Template Name = Pop-Under WP (USE THIS TEMPLATE) Copyright 2002 DoubleClick Inc., All rights reserved.

[hr][/hr]
Related on the Web

Wolfgang Puck maintains a site that offers links to all his restaurants and products. Click here for more on Progresso Soup and here for information on ShariAnn's soups. Campbell's Soups has an impressive Web site whose FAQ contains the heartbreaking question, "Can I eat Campbell's Soup right out of the can?"

Given that soup companies' chefs have to work with freakish mutant vegetables, can a canned soup exist that actually tastes as good as homemade? To find out, I undertook a bold experiment: I bought all the cans I could find of three varieties of soup (chicken noodle, tomato, vegetable beef) and cooked up a bowl of each. You may feel that this does not qualify as a bold experiment. Move along.

Chicken Noodle Soups
I evaluated each soup on its constituent ingredients: the chicken, the noodles, the broth, and the special guest stars (that is to say, any major ingredients that weren't chicken or noodles). The results, from best to worst:

Campbell's Select: Chicken With Egg Noodles ($2.99)
Campbell's Chunky: Chicken Noodle ($2.99)
Progresso Chicken Noodle ($2.69)
These three are, with minor differences, the same soup. The chicken in all three is more or less the same—small chunks of meat with a mealy, grainy texture. (The chicken in the Progresso also has an odd, smoky aftertaste; whether this has anything to do with the fact that this is the only soup that lists MSG among its ingredients, I know not.) The broth in all three is alarmingly salty; a 1-cup serving of each contains about 40 percent of your recommended daily intake of sodium—and there are two servings per can. The special guest stars in all three are carrots and celery, which, after a few soups, I came to think of as the Claude Rains and Sydney Greenstreet of chicken noodle soup: They aren't billed above the title, but they provide able support. I wouldn't call any of the soups good, but the Campbell's Select is slightly better than the other two; the carrots and noodles are a touch firmer.

Healthy Choice Chicken With Pasta ($2.39)
Since this is Healthy Choice, the amount of salt is halved. This makes the soup a tad blander, but at least it doesn't make you as thirsty as a horse. Unfortunately, while the carrots hold up nicely in the soup, the chicken is tough and the noodles are squishy, giving the soup an unappetizing mix of textures.

Wolfgang Puck's Chicken & Egg Noodles ($2.39)
The chicken bits are good—tender and identifiable as chunks of actual chicken—and the noodles are thick egg noodles that held up well in the soup. The major problem, though, is the broth: It's oddly slick, leaving a film on everything it touches (pot, bowl, spoon, inside of your mouth).

ShariAnn's Chicken Noodle Soup ($2.79)
This is not a soup. It is a crime scene. The noodles have broken down into small pieces. The chicken is macerated into tiny little shreds. The vegetables (in this case, not deserving the special-guest-star label) are tiny dots of carrot. The soup looks as if it has been pre-chewed. It has almost no taste; what taste there is is mildly salty and starchy. It is extremely unpleasant.

Health Valley 99 Percent Fat-Free Chicken Noodle Soup ($2.19)
The soup has an oddly cloudy appearance, and its broth smells and tastes strongly of garlic and onion powder. The chicken turns out to be tiny little rubbery cubes, while the rotini pasta is unnervingly squishy. The special guest stars—carrots, celery, corn, and red peppers—are all cut into such tiny pieces that they all but dissolve into the soup and have no discernible flavor. As with ShariAnn's, I couldn't eat a whole bowl of this.
http://
Tomato Soups
Tomato soup has pretty much one main ingredient: tomatoes. So, in evaluating tomato soups, I focused on texture and taste. The results, from best to worst:

Wolfgang Puck's Country Tomato With Basil ($2.79)
The soup has a lovely texture to it—it's a smooth purée of tomatoes, with some chunks of tomato throughout to give it some variety. The ingredient list contains butter, which undercuts the acid of the tomatoes and gives the soup a (slightly) more complex flavor. With the basil, this tastes like pasta sauce—but very good pasta sauce.

Progresso Classics Hearty Tomato ($2.69)
In texture and taste, this one is extremely similar to the Wolfgang Puck brand, albeit without the butter, which means it has a slightly more tart flavor. No basil, but the ingredient list includes onion and garlic, which explain why this, too, tastes like a pretty good pasta sauce.

Campbell's Tomato Soup ($1.79)
Eh. I know Campbell's tomato soup is an icon, but the stuff's watery and bland and has an artificial tang to it. If the others are pasta sauce, this one's more like thinned-out ketchup. That's not to say it's terrible: I'm a fan of ketchup; it would easily make my top three condiments. I'm just not sure I want to have it for dinner.

Health Valley No Salt Added Organic Tomato Soup ($2.49)
As one might expect, taking the salt away from tomato soup leaves you without much flavor. But the tomato taste does come through strongly; unfortunately, so does a strange sharp, acidic aftertaste. If the first two soups are pasta sauce and Campbell's is ketchup, this is tomato juice. And not good tomato juice.

ShariAnn's Organic Tomato With Roasted Garlic Soup ($2.19)
Inedible. I spat out my first spoonful, but then—in the interests of judging every soup thoroughly—swallowed a few. (Take that, Michael Kinsley!) The tomato flavor is overwhelmed by a rancid garlic flavor. This does not remind me of any tomato-based product. It reminds me of paint. I can't figure out if ShariAnn is an inveterate practical joker or is seriously mad at me.

Vegetable Beef Soups
Of the vegetable beef soups I found, three were produced by Campbell's, whose Chunky line seems to represent an unending quest to find new ways to combine beef with liquid. As with chicken noodle, I assessed headliners vegetables and beef, broth, and special guest stars. From best to worst:

Campbell's Select Vegetable Beef ($2.69)
The little meat gobbets look unappealing—they're an odd shade of reddish brown and raggedly shaped like they've been chewed on—but they taste fine, like tiny cuts of a pot roast. The special guest stars—carrots, celery, and a new player, green beans—all hold up fine in the broth, which is, in keeping with the Campbell's method, incredibly salty.

Campbell's Chunky Beef With Country Vegetables ($2.99)
The soup slides out of the can in a solid lump, bearing a striking resemblance to high-end dog food. As it warms, the gelatinous stuff thins out a bit, but it remains thick and gluey. In case you're wondering what constitutes a "country vegetable," the answer is carrots, potatoes, celery, and peas. One eagerly awaits the day they go to visit the city vegetables. The peas' unpleasant squishiness explains why so few soups feature them in a supporting role. The beef isn't bad—disturbingly soft, but it tastes like beef. The broth has the distinctive taste of mass-produced gravy. Not quite like meat or like vegetables, it tastes … brown.

Campbell's Chunky Pepper Steak ($2.99)
The label touts the presence of "lean beef!" in this soup, which translates to it being chewier and less flavorful than in the other Chunky variety. There's more broth than in the other Chunky brand, and the substitution of green pepper for the peas lends it a bit more flavor. Instead of tasting like brown, it now tastes like brown, plus a hint of green.

Progresso Steak Grilled Steak Soup ($2.69)
The soup has the bright, off-putting smell of starting-to-rot tomatoes. Which is, as it turns out, exactly what it tastes like. The beef bits are the usual small, chewy tidbits. The vegetables are mushy, and the pasta is overcooked and squishy, but none of the other attributes of the soup really matter because the weird taste of the soup base is just too repellant.

The Upshot
Of all the soups I tried, the only ones I would actually eat again were two of the tomato varieties—the Wolfgang Puck and the Progresso. Some of the chicken noodles had fine elements to them, and recombined, they might make for one decent soup: The broth from the Healthy Choice, the carrots from the Campbell's Select, the noodles and chicken from the Wolfgang Puck (assuming you could wash the slimy broth off). Although really, once you're assembling a soup out of the elements of four different cans, you might as well buy a chicken and start from scratch. As for the vegetable beef, the most generous assessment I could give is that I'm certain there are less palatable foods in the supermarket. I hope never to find them.
 
204
12
Joined Jan 9, 2008
If you aren't already, you would make one heck of a Jehova's wittness /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif  because you are rellentless.

 But what you posted, while interesting, is probably already known by the thread starter. Old hat for me anyways with the exception of tree limb sized carrots....That gave me a presentation idea....Anyone know where a campbells carrot field is I'll bring a backhoe for that one!
  
  I smoke one or two cigarettes a day.  I know all too well the cons of smoking cigarettes but I still choose to do it because it is my choice.  



placeAd2(commercialNode,'leaderboard',false,'')

 initSearch();

[h1]Go Ahead, Underestimate the Power of SoupWhat do you get when you taste-test 16 canned soups? A stomachache.[/h1]By Tim CarvellPosted Friday, Dec. 13, 2002, at 4:10 PM ET

With East Coasters now ankle-deep in slush, it seems safe to say that soup season has arrived. Not only is hot soup more appealing when it's 10 degrees below freezing outside; soup is also eminently stockpileable for times when you can't bear the thought of leaving the house to find supper. But if you're buying canned soup—I don't recommend stockpiling bowls of minestrone in your cupboard—be aware that what you're buying is food that's been through hell. There are plenty of differences between factory-made and homemade, but the major one is this: The food you make at home isn't reheated while being violently shaken. In order to destroy any pathogens, FDA requirements dictate that soup, once canned, be heated to 250 degrees; many manufacturers speed that process by agitating the can, thereby ensuring that the heat distributes itself more rapidly.

slate:http://www.slate.com/id/2075381/

This requirement changes the flavor of soup, which means that it changes the way the soup itself is actually made. David Gombas, the vice president of the Center for Development of Research Policy and New Technologies at the National Food Processors Association (and a former research scientist for Campbell Soup), notes that soup companies shy away from ingredients that break down in the canning process: "When you're making a soup, you might buy young, fragile carrots. You put those in a canned soup, they won't last. They'll disintegrate. So companies grow special carrots for soups. They look like tree limbs—they're like baseball bats. But once they go through the cooking process, they come out looking like the small young ones that you'd put into your soup."

placeAd2(commercialNode,'midarticleflex',false,'') Begin Interstitial Ad Template ID = 3206 Template Name = Pop-Under WP (USE THIS TEMPLATE) Copyright 2002 DoubleClick Inc., All rights reserved.

[hr][/hr]
Related on the Web

Wolfgang Puck maintains a site that offers links to all his restaurants and products. Click here for more on Progresso Soup and here for information on ShariAnn's soups. Campbell's Soups has an impressive Web site whose FAQ contains the heartbreaking question, "Can I eat Campbell's Soup right out of the can?"

Given that soup companies' chefs have to work with freakish mutant vegetables, can a canned soup exist that actually tastes as good as homemade? To find out, I undertook a bold experiment: I bought all the cans I could find of three varieties of soup (chicken noodle, tomato, vegetable beef) and cooked up a bowl of each. You may feel that this does not qualify as a bold experiment. Move along.

Chicken Noodle Soups
I evaluated each soup on its constituent ingredients: the chicken, the noodles, the broth, and the special guest stars (that is to say, any major ingredients that weren't chicken or noodles). The results, from best to worst:

Campbell's Select: Chicken With Egg Noodles ($2.99)
Campbell's Chunky: Chicken Noodle ($2.99)
Progresso Chicken Noodle ($2.69)
These three are, with minor differences, the same soup. The chicken in all three is more or less the same—small chunks of meat with a mealy, grainy texture. (The chicken in the Progresso also has an odd, smoky aftertaste; whether this has anything to do with the fact that this is the only soup that lists MSG among its ingredients, I know not.) The broth in all three is alarmingly salty; a 1-cup serving of each contains about 40 percent of your recommended daily intake of sodium—and there are two servings per can. The special guest stars in all three are carrots and celery, which, after a few soups, I came to think of as the Claude Rains and Sydney Greenstreet of chicken noodle soup: They aren't billed above the title, but they provide able support. I wouldn't call any of the soups good, but the Campbell's Select is slightly better than the other two; the carrots and noodles are a touch firmer.

Healthy Choice Chicken With Pasta ($2.39)
Since this is Healthy Choice, the amount of salt is halved. This makes the soup a tad blander, but at least it doesn't make you as thirsty as a horse. Unfortunately, while the carrots hold up nicely in the soup, the chicken is tough and the noodles are squishy, giving the soup an unappetizing mix of textures.

Wolfgang Puck's Chicken & Egg Noodles ($2.39)
The chicken bits are good—tender and identifiable as chunks of actual chicken—and the noodles are thick egg noodles that held up well in the soup. The major problem, though, is the broth: It's oddly slick, leaving a film on everything it touches (pot, bowl, spoon, inside of your mouth).

ShariAnn's Chicken Noodle Soup ($2.79)
This is not a soup. It is a crime scene. The noodles have broken down into small pieces. The chicken is macerated into tiny little shreds. The vegetables (in this case, not deserving the special-guest-star label) are tiny dots of carrot. The soup looks as if it has been pre-chewed. It has almost no taste; what taste there is is mildly salty and starchy. It is extremely unpleasant.

Health Valley 99 Percent Fat-Free Chicken Noodle Soup ($2.19)
The soup has an oddly cloudy appearance, and its broth smells and tastes strongly of garlic and onion powder. The chicken turns out to be tiny little rubbery cubes, while the rotini pasta is unnervingly squishy. The special guest stars—carrots, celery, corn, and red peppers—are all cut into such tiny pieces that they all but dissolve into the soup and have no discernible flavor. As with ShariAnn's, I couldn't eat a whole bowl of this.
http://
Tomato Soups
Tomato soup has pretty much one main ingredient: tomatoes. So, in evaluating tomato soups, I focused on texture and taste. The results, from best to worst:

Wolfgang Puck's Country Tomato With Basil ($2.79)
The soup has a lovely texture to it—it's a smooth purée of tomatoes, with some chunks of tomato throughout to give it some variety. The ingredient list contains butter, which undercuts the acid of the tomatoes and gives the soup a (slightly) more complex flavor. With the basil, this tastes like pasta sauce—but very good pasta sauce.

Progresso Classics Hearty Tomato ($2.69)
In texture and taste, this one is extremely similar to the Wolfgang Puck brand, albeit without the butter, which means it has a slightly more tart flavor. No basil, but the ingredient list includes onion and garlic, which explain why this, too, tastes like a pretty good pasta sauce.

Campbell's Tomato Soup ($1.79)
Eh. I know Campbell's tomato soup is an icon, but the stuff's watery and bland and has an artificial tang to it. If the others are pasta sauce, this one's more like thinned-out ketchup. That's not to say it's terrible: I'm a fan of ketchup; it would easily make my top three condiments. I'm just not sure I want to have it for dinner.

Health Valley No Salt Added Organic Tomato Soup ($2.49)
As one might expect, taking the salt away from tomato soup leaves you without much flavor. But the tomato taste does come through strongly; unfortunately, so does a strange sharp, acidic aftertaste. If the first two soups are pasta sauce and Campbell's is ketchup, this is tomato juice. And not good tomato juice.

ShariAnn's Organic Tomato With Roasted Garlic Soup ($2.19)
Inedible. I spat out my first spoonful, but then—in the interests of judging every soup thoroughly—swallowed a few. (Take that, Michael Kinsley!) The tomato flavor is overwhelmed by a rancid garlic flavor. This does not remind me of any tomato-based product. It reminds me of paint. I can't figure out if ShariAnn is an inveterate practical joker or is seriously mad at me.

Vegetable Beef Soups
Of the vegetable beef soups I found, three were produced by Campbell's, whose Chunky line seems to represent an unending quest to find new ways to combine beef with liquid. As with chicken noodle, I assessed headliners vegetables and beef, broth, and special guest stars. From best to worst:

Campbell's Select Vegetable Beef ($2.69)
The little meat gobbets look unappealing—they're an odd shade of reddish brown and raggedly shaped like they've been chewed on—but they taste fine, like tiny cuts of a pot roast. The special guest stars—carrots, celery, and a new player, green beans—all hold up fine in the broth, which is, in keeping with the Campbell's method, incredibly salty.

Campbell's Chunky Beef With Country Vegetables ($2.99)
The soup slides out of the can in a solid lump, bearing a striking resemblance to high-end dog food. As it warms, the gelatinous stuff thins out a bit, but it remains thick and gluey. In case you're wondering what constitutes a "country vegetable," the answer is carrots, potatoes, celery, and peas. One eagerly awaits the day they go to visit the city vegetables. The peas' unpleasant squishiness explains why so few soups feature them in a supporting role. The beef isn't bad—disturbingly soft, but it tastes like beef. The broth has the distinctive taste of mass-produced gravy. Not quite like meat or like vegetables, it tastes … brown.

Campbell's Chunky Pepper Steak ($2.99)
The label touts the presence of "lean beef!" in this soup, which translates to it being chewier and less flavorful than in the other Chunky variety. There's more broth than in the other Chunky brand, and the substitution of green pepper for the peas lends it a bit more flavor. Instead of tasting like brown, it now tastes like brown, plus a hint of green.

Progresso Steak Grilled Steak Soup ($2.69)
The soup has the bright, off-putting smell of starting-to-rot tomatoes. Which is, as it turns out, exactly what it tastes like. The beef bits are the usual small, chewy tidbits. The vegetables are mushy, and the pasta is overcooked and squishy, but none of the other attributes of the soup really matter because the weird taste of the soup base is just too repellant.

The Upshot
Of all the soups I tried, the only ones I would actually eat again were two of the tomato varieties—the Wolfgang Puck and the Progresso. Some of the chicken noodles had fine elements to them, and recombined, they might make for one decent soup: The broth from the Healthy Choice, the carrots from the Campbell's Select, the noodles and chicken from the Wolfgang Puck (assuming you could wash the slimy broth off). Although really, once you're assembling a soup out of the elements of four different cans, you might as well buy a chicken and start from scratch. As for the vegetable beef, the most generous assessment I could give is that I'm certain there are less palatable foods in the supermarket. I hope never to find them.
 
Last edited:
G

Guest

Guest
i agree with you 100%, when i read her question i thought the same thing. why would anyone who cooks want to buy soup in a can? they are loaded with all kings of unhealthy stuff and not very pleasing to the palate.
 
G

Guest

Guest
i am also sorry, as much as we don't like canned stuff and are great cooks sometimes life chores get a bit much and we don't have time to do all that from scratch stuff, so we grab a can of something and if we choose to do that may as well we grab the best canned stuff. i hope someone can suggest a good one.
 
279
26
Joined Jan 10, 2010
i agree with you 100%, when i read her question i thought the same thing. why would anyone who cooks want to buy soup in a can? they are loaded with all kings of unhealthy stuff and not very pleasing to the palate.
Y'know, I'm getting sick of these condescending and self righteous comments.  First of all, I asked about GOOD canned soup, not unhealthy crap.  Secondly, one could ask why anyone on this forum who professes to enjoy cooking, and who may even be passionate about it, would go to a restaurant when they can cook at home, or why they might buy any prepared ingredient when it can so often be made at home with, perhaps, just a few hours work and a trip to the store or farmer's market.  Do you always make your own tomato or spaghetti sauce?  Have you ever used bottled ketchup when it's so easy to make your own?

This question was posed in a couple of other forums, and y'know what, no one made such comments.  They just answered the question with their suggestions.  Perhaps those people, who are also cooks and chefs, know something the folks here don't know.  Heck, I've even seen Alice Waters run across the street and buy a slice of pizza.  Why would she do that when she has an entire restaurant at her disposal?  Not long ago there was an article in one of the local papers asking the top chefs in the area what they ate at home, and many of them mentioned simple, prepared foods that could be purchased at the local markets.  What makes you better than Alice Waters and these other chefs?
 
1,317
58
Joined Oct 18, 2007
I don't see any more useful information coming to this thread.
Even attempts by some to recant their original positions are being ignored, and I think all points that can be made have been made.

Requesting a lock.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom