Canned Soup Experiment

So, I was exhausted this weekend. Did get a good casserole made for my boyfriend and I that we ate all weekend. But then Sunday came, my usual day to cook for the week, and I just couldn't do it. So as I was shopping for brushes, paint tray inserts, spray paint, glass scraper, etc. I got the idea to just get several soups for the week, some multi grain crackers, and some cheese. I have fresh basil on the counter, so was hoping to spruce up the soup with fresh herbs. I knew some of the soups would not have much protein, so I bought some pork chopped for stews to cook up and add if needed. Another way to add protein would be to add a dollup of plain greek yogurt. Each can has two servings. So I got 14 meals out of the following. At 1.68/can, that was only about 85 cents/meal. There is a ton of sodium in bought soups, but again, with as little as I eat, I'm not too concerned. But if there is a low-sodium option, I get that and just add my own salt if needed.

6 grams protein

The results? Thumbs DOWN on the beef pot roast. I don't mind that it's 'light', whatever that really means. Less fat? Less salt? It has zero seasoning, the meat was tough. Not good. I'm just not a fan of beef pot roast at all; my Mom fixed it occasionally on a Sunday with huge carrots and potatoes, and I just remember it being juicy and tender and almost caramelized. Yes, I dumped ketchup on it; I was a kid and even used ketchup with fish sticks. But this pot roast in this soup? Nope.

9 grams protein

Thumbs DOWN.  Lentil soup is tricky. This is one I haven't made myself; now I feel like I need to at least try. Lentil soup can taste too earthy, actually like dirt. This one tasted like dirt. And the broth was too thin. I like lentil soup that's almost as thick as chili. My favorite canned lentil soup to date is this from Aldi:

2 grams protein

Thumbs DOWN. I do make this one, and I love my version. The broth had no richness here, barely tasted of beef, and the onions were just slimy and translucent, not caramelized. They were too thick. I like mine more thin. And of course, if you don't top with toasted baguette and a creamy white cheese, it's just wrong.

5 grams protein

Thumbs UP! Noodles, chicken, and carrots are in perfect proportion, and are the right bite size. Broth is just seasoned enough. Found that I didn't need to add more salt. Good news. Sometimes I added some fresh basil or cilantro to give it a fresh push. Either way, super comforting and satisfying. 

4 grams protein

Also tasty. Thumbs UP. But I would always go for the previous since it has one more gram of protein.

4 grams protein

Thumbs sideways. Not quite creamy enough. But who doesn't want dumplings?!

3 grams protein

Thumbs DOWN. Tiny bits of potato and clams. Not chunky enough. If I remember correctly, Chunky soup's version is much better. But after having the real thing on the Oregon Coast (see below) this past summer, I can never do canned again. I'm in Missouri; that's how it goes.

Clam Chowder at Waves restaurant in Waldport, Oregon.
Had some at South's Fish Market in Newport, OR. Even better.