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Looking for High Quality Canned Soup ...  

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hi, Finding some high quality canned or boxed soups, perhaps even organic, has become something of a priority. The usual soups, Campbell's, Progresso, and even some of the organics, tend to be overly salted, watery, and sometimes lacking in quality and quantity of solid ingredients. Around here a can of soup can be as much as $3.00 or more, and while soup can be had on sale, for that kind of money it would be nice to have better quality ingredients in the can.

So, what do you recommend as a quality prepared soup? All types interest me - chowders, vegetable soups, meat soups, etc.
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #2 of 40
Costco carries Boston-based Legal Seafoods' marvelous New England clam chowder, er... chowdah.     It's  $10 for two pint containers, and well worth it.

For some reason though, they leave out Rosemary and Thyme, which are essentials in NE chowder. These are easily added when you reheat, though.

Mike.
travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #3 of 40
$3.00 for a can of Campbell's???!!!  Where, pray tell, do you live?
"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
post #4 of 40
I've seen the ready to eat Campbell's soups run around $3 but the condensed ones are considerably cheaper than that.  If I buy soup I like to buy it frozen from Denninger's.  They make it fresh on site and then freeze it for sale. 
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #5 of 40
I am curious and at the risk of sounding judgemental or snobby or otherwise self-righteous, I need to ask: why would you ask for a source of canned soup from a forum membership that is composed of professional chefs and other cooks with an interest in cooking?

I am truly confused.  This might be the best website available for anyone to get all degrees and variety of information on how to best make healthy inexpensive homemade soup.  And I suspect there are a gazillion other sites and interactive forums where such information can be had.  Why would you not come here and ask how to make soup at home for 1/10th the cost of canned soup?

I feel like I'm not understanding something.

Maybe the constructive reply is to offer to send Schmoozer my own collection of 200+ soup recipes.  Should I not assume that this "Cook at home" member is interested in cooking and not simply warming up a can of soup?

Joe
post #6 of 40
If they made good canned soups, most of use would be replaced by can openers. I spent two hours today making a Killer crawfish Gumbo...........now learn how to make a good stock, and you will be on your way to a better tasting life, a good soup, doesn't come out of a can............Chef Bill
post #7 of 40
I'm with you gardenguru, why buy canned soup, rarely do you get the yummy comfort flavors you are craving.  My wife is the soup queen in our home.  Soup is something that is normally easy and when she gets home she doesn't like to toil in the kitchen for a few hours.  Two of my favorites she makes is lentil hamburger soup, lentils by themselves deliver a meaty flavor but had in some lean ground beef and every spoonful is hearty rich meaty flavor.  While she does good at chicken soup, I like her hamburger vegetable soup.  My wife isn't big on a lot of extra prep and uses only a few seasonings, but her soup broths have a clarity in flavor and taste that seem to impart the essence of what you are eating.  I'm big seasoning and adjusting cook and tend to overpower the natural flavors. 
post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegardenguru View Post

I am curious and at the risk of sounding judgemental or snobby or otherwise self-righteous, I need to ask: why would you ask for a source of canned soup from a forum membership that is composed of professional chefs and other cooks with an interest in cooking?

I am truly confused.  This might be the best website available for anyone to get all degrees and variety of information on how to best make healthy inexpensive homemade soup.  And I suspect there are a gazillion other sites and interactive forums where such information can be had.  Why would you not come here and ask how to make soup at home for 1/10th the cost of canned soup?

I feel like I'm not understanding something.

Maybe the constructive reply is to offer to send Schmoozer my own collection of 200+ soup recipes.  Should I not assume that this "Cook at home" member is interested in cooking and not simply warming up a can of soup?

Joe

Yeah, you're not understanding something.  I sometimes get very busy, sometimes I deal with a number of problems and issues that must be dealt with on short notice, and sometimes, at such times, I'd like something quick and easy to prepare, especially when my freezer and fridge are low on supplies.  What's wrong with canned soup.  I know that there are lots of people here that eat prepared foods - some even eat junk food.  So WTF is wrong with trying to find a few good quality prepared soups to make my life a little easier and more comfortable.

As for recipes, well, I have more than 1,200 recipes on my computer, going back to when I first started cooking seriously in 1966.  If I want to make soup or stock I can certainly do so, and I do so frequently.

And by the way, you do sound like a judgemental snob.  I'm willing to bet that, should I go through your pantry and kitchen, there'd be a fair amount of prepared and commercial foods to be found.    And this forum is composed of people who EAT all sorts of things as well as people who cook.  Do you prepare every meal from scratch?  Ever have a bowl of breakfast cereal?  Did you go out and harvest the grains, grind them, toast them, and milk the cow that provided the milk or cream?  So, put a sock in it and get off your high horse.
Edited by Schmoozer - 3/2/10 at 7:35pm
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

If they made good canned soups, most of use would be replaced by can openers. I spent two hours today making a Killer crawfish Gumbo...........now learn how to make a good stock, and you will be on your way to a better tasting life, a good soup, doesn't come out of a can............Chef Bill


Buzz off ... you don't know who I am and what I cook.  I make a lot of stocks and soups, teach cooking classes to seniors, and prepare several nice dinners for friends every month or so.  And, FWIW, soup not only gets made from scratch, but it comes out of a can and box as well. 
Edited by Schmoozer - 3/2/10 at 7:33pm
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadude View Post

I'm with you gardenguru, why buy canned soup, rarely do you get the yummy comfort flavors you are craving.  My wife is the soup queen in our home.  Soup is something that is normally easy and when she gets home she doesn't like to toil in the kitchen for a few hours.  Two of my favorites she makes is lentil hamburger soup, lentils by themselves deliver a meaty flavor but had in some lean ground beef and every spoonful is hearty rich meaty flavor.  While she does good at chicken soup, I like her hamburger vegetable soup.  My wife isn't big on a lot of extra prep and uses only a few seasonings, but her soup broths have a clarity in flavor and taste that seem to impart the essence of what you are eating.  I'm big seasoning and adjusting cook and tend to overpower the natural flavors. 


 

Hey there, DeltaDork - whatever I said in my previous messages is applicable to you as well.
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #11 of 40
 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
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
post #12 of 40
Nothing against your basic argument, Schmooser, but I've a question about this line: "especially when my freezer and fridge are low on supplies."  Doesn't that apply to canned goods as well?

I don't know how it is by you, but around here if I'm in a too busy to shop/cook mode, it isn't a one-night thing. So, if you haven't had a chance to shop for awhile you tend to go through the pantry items lickity split.

More seriously, have you considered canning your own soups? That, to me, is the best of both worlds. Not only do you always have your favorites on hand, with just the ingredients you prefer, you can have built-in portion control based on the jar sizes you use.  

Stocks can readily too, which frees up some of that tight freezer space.

You do need a pressure canner for this, because few soups are acidic enough to process using other means. But the pressure canner is one of those tools that pays for itself fairly quickly.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #13 of 40
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.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #14 of 40
Mr. Schmoozer:

You have a serious chip on your shoulder, a bad attitude and a terribly uncivilized and immature internet manner.

I asked, out of curiosity, why you would ask question such as yours on a site such as this.  I'm confident there are better forums. I asked in a civilized manner and I had hoped for an answer in an equally civilized manner.  I do not doubt your cooking ability so hence my questions rather than a condescending attitude.

I deserve an apology but I won't ask for one, for me anyway.  But I'm hoping you're man enough to put up an apology for your nasty retorts to two others.  Where do you think you can communicate such as that?

As for my pantry, believe it or not, I have no canned products and no packaged cereals.  But I admit to having some processed foods -- food products I cannot make because I have no mill for the wheat berries nor barrels for fermenting the soy sauce.

Joe
post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Nothing against your basic argument, Schmooser, but I've a question about this line: "especially when my freezer and fridge are low on supplies."  Doesn't that apply to canned goods as well?


I don't know how it is by you, but around here if I'm in a too busy to shop/cook mode, it isn't a one-night thing. So, if you haven't had a chance to shop for awhile you tend to go through the pantry items lickity split.

More seriously, have you considered canning your own soups? That, to me, is the best of both worlds. Not only do you always have your favorites on hand, with just the ingredients you prefer, you can have built-in portion control based on the jar sizes you use.  

Stocks can readily too, which frees up some of that tight freezer space.

You do need a pressure canner for this, because few soups are acidic enough to process using other means. But the pressure canner is one of those tools that pays for itself fairly quickly.

If I'm low on fresh food and ingredients, it doesn't mean that I'd be low on canned items.  You see, I generally don't shop at supermarkets.  The local, organic farmers' market is my preference, so items like cans of soup can hang around for quite a while.  I usually shop for fresh ingredients several times a week, and don't inventory meat, fish, or produce for more than a couple of days.  But there are some days I don't feel like shopping, or can't shop, and it would be nice to just heat up a can or box of soup.  For me it's usually a one or, at most, two day thing.  Often I'll add ingredients to the soups I have been buying - using the soup as a base and then dumping in vegetables, meat, herbs, etc.  But every now and then I get in a bind, and just popping open a can of soup and not fussing would be very nice, unfortunately, most commercial soups are pretty bad, and that's why I asked for good quality possibilities.

No, I've not thought much about canning my own soups, but I've certainly made plenty of soup and stock that has been frozen.
However, not all soups freeze well, or as well as I'd like.  Having home made stock on hand means that I can whip up a soup by just tossing in some vegetables, meat, grains, beans, or whatever, but my life is such that I don't always have everything I want on hand, and I won't go into details here about my personal life to explain my circumstances.  All I want is a few suggestions for soups that others like and that I may not be familiar with to try.

Honestly, I'm not too interested in canning, at least I haven't been in the past.  Nonetheless, even if I had a freezer filled with soup, etc., I'd still want a few cans of soup around.
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #16 of 40
Schmoozer, I think you stopped Schmoozing. The word "Schmoozing" is the art of working a room, I think you lost the art of Schmoozing. Every good Schmoozer knows when its working, and for you , its not. See you in the canned food isle.......TTFN...............Chef Bill
post #17 of 40
sounds like he is just stuck paying his 3 bucks a can
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
post #18 of 40
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.

Anywho, good luck in your quest.   I hope you find what you are looking for soon.
post #19 of 40
I would have Gibbs-slapped you without thinking twice.

Hmmmmm? And he's not even named Tony.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #20 of 40
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.        
post #21 of 40
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.  
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #22 of 40

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
 

"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
post #23 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charron View Post

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.

Anywho, good luck in your quest.   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.
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #24 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeLM View Post

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!
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #25 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberdoc View Post

$3.00 for a can of Campbell's???!!!  Where, pray tell, do you live?

San Francisco Bay Area ... things are pretty spendy here.
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #26 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FR33_MASON View Post

 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.
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #27 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francie12 View Post

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!
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #28 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post

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.
Schmoozer
Schmoozer
post #29 of 40
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. 
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
post #30 of 40
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.
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