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Who doesn't know Campbell's when it comes to soups? This was the only condensed easy to heat soup that I knew when I was a child and the name would just bring water to my mouth instantly. Campbell's has been making soups for ages now and they have also started making pasta sauces, simple sauces, gravies and most recently they have introduced beverages as well. I am not familiar with their beverages but I can strongly recommend their soups. The soups are available n the regular kind and also in the low fat or fat free varieties to choose from.
These soups are packed in a cylindrical can with a red white label on it that says Campbell and the name of the variety at the bottom. The can used to be a simple one in the olden times but now they have the easy to open clipped cans that do not require an opener.
The soup is condensed and can be seen in the form of a thick lump that takes the shape of the inside of the can as you pour it into a pas for heating it up. The instructions are given on the label but I will explain them briefly here.
After opening the can, pour the condensed soup into a pan and add eual amount of water to it. Blend the mix very well so no lumps are formed. Now heat the mix upto a boil and it's ready to eat. If you want to microwave it, just pour the content of the can in a microwaveable bowl and add equal amoutn of water to it and heat it up well.
These soups are available in varieties like, Tomato, cream of mushroom, garden vegetanles, chicken noodle, cream of chicken etc, and variations of these in the low fat and fat free forms.
I have tried these as helpers in making bigger meal such as chicken in gravy. I just put the can content as it is in my already cooked chicken and mix some water to it. After bringing it to a boil, I just turn the gas off and a great main course is at your table!
When I was a child, my parents used to doa big food shop once a month. It took place on a saturday morning, we would get upearly and get into town to be at the supermarket (which was located in the local shopping centre) ready for when the doors opened. It would normally be nearly 2 full trolleys worth of food, drink, everything for the month. To me as a young lad, it seemed a bit of a mixed bag. The getting up and into town early was a chore, the actual shopping, pushing the trolley (which in those days were even worse to steer than they are now, especially when the trolley was full) and going off to get bits I was asked to find, was quite good fun. Packing things in the bags at the checkout was ok too. However, when we got home, it was horrible, it would be mid morning, we'd all be hungry yet as soon as we got home, there were hundreds of bags to be unpacked, (well ok not hundred but it felt like it) and all the items to be put away. This seemed to take forever.
Once it was done it we normally sat down and had some lunch. Some of my fondest memories of these times are when it was cold outside and once all the shopping was away, mum would warm a fresh french stick under the grill, we'd have cheese and pickles and spreads on the table and each of us would have a big bowl of Campbells soup. my favourite was always the mushroom one. Remembering it now, all hot and thick and delicious is makingmy mouth water. I use to love spreading my bread thick with butter, putting some cheese on it and dunking it in the soup, which covered it in a hot thick yummy coating. The whole lot just melted in my mouth.
A few months ago I was suffering from a really horrible cold and hadn't eaten anything much for a few days. My girlfriend was looking after me, fetching me drinks etc whenever I needed anything. After about the fifth day, I was feeling really hungry and for some reason I knew exactly what it wanted. Campbells Condensed Muchroom soup. I asked my girlfriend if she could get me some, which she said she would.
When she got back from the supermarket she opened a can, poured it into the saucepan, topped up slowly with water while stirring and gently heating, until it was a lovely consistancy, not too thick, not too runny. I sat up in bed and began sipping it. Having not had it for about 10 years, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it tasted exactly as I remembered it, and it even still had the same little pieces of mushroom in it. It was like I had gone back in time! I have ha it a few times since and everytime it reminds me of exactly why it was favourite soup when I was young, well, apart from my mums home made minnestrone...,
When you open the can, it is full of a very thick gloopy concentrate, which once poured into a pan, stays ina sort of lump, only very slowly spreading over the bottom of the pan. I recommend you get every last bit out that you can because it would be a travesty to miss any! They recommend using one can full of water slowly stirred into this concentrate while gently heating. Personally I would advise that you use about 3/4 of a can full of water as it makes the soup a little bit thicker and even more yummy. The instructions say not to let it boil as this could impare the flavour. I have never done this as I can very careful when heating it, and continue to stir it throughout. I would say it is wise to keep stirring as it can quite quickly get very hot and starting bubbling, and you wouldn't want to impare the flavour in any way.
Once in the bowl the soup looks thick creamy and velvety, in the soup are small pieces of mushroom which unlike some soups where the bits all float to the top, you tend to find throughout the soup, which is lovely. I remember as a child, making sure I left all the mushroom pieces till the end then eating them all in one go, twas yummy!
Actually getting onto the tasting, well, what more can I say than, wow. It's got such a lovely flavour, rich creamy and nicely mushroomy, I could eat this all day long and not get bored or fed up with the flavour!
Being male I don't really care about the nutritional information about the soup, but as with anything really, if eaten in moderation then it's not going to kill you. I would heartily recommend this soup to anyone. Infact having written this I might well have to buy some this evening along with a french stick and some bread...
There are other various flavours, which are also very nice indeed, such as chicken, but by none can match the mushroom!!!
campbells soups have been around since 1897 so have stood the test of time!
my mum always had plenty of tinned stuff in store 'just in case' and i think i've inherited this from her as i always feel 'safe' with a few tins in my cupboards including campbells soups.
i've tried many different brands of soup but always stick to heinz or campbells as cheaper ones tend to be more watery & taste of artificial flavourings.
campbells make great consistency soups - i like the traditional tomato (andy warhol) vegetable and the mushroom flavours - all really tasty and very versatile.
i usually pay around 59p for 1 can of condensed - 295g -but makes double if you are making soup.
i go for the condensed because i can have a choice of meals ~
- just heat up as directed and enjoy as a soup with fresh bread
- pour over chicken or turkey breasts & pop in the oven
- use as a base for sauces (just add herbs and a few veg and add to pasta)
- the veg one is nice if you want a really quick curry -just add paste or powder to make a tasty sauce
- add fresh chopped mushrooms to a can of mushroom soup to make a topping for toast or a filling for vol-au-vents
- add to fish dishes
campbells usually put a good recipe on the paper which covers their tins so you can cut out & keep them!
as they are fairly low in calories, salt, fat & the sugar content is reasonable these soups are a good, filling & warming dish especially if you are trying to lose weight.
to add extra protein just sprinkle with grated cheese before serving any of the above.
NOW i see why my mum always had them in stock!
Campbell's Condensed soups are the sort of tinned foods my mum or granny would always have lurking at the back of the cupboard. I always think of them as 'old fashioned' food but they are quite tasty and very versatile.
The company was formed in Camden, New Jersey, in 1869 by Joseph A. Campbell and Abraham Anderson. Canned tomatoes, vegetables and jellies were produced along with condiments and minced meats but it wasn't until 1897 when the first soup was produced. Soup was not a popular dish in the American diet then but it was in Europe. However, condensed soups quickly became successful among the Americans as they were convenient to use and cheap.
What makes Campbell's soups different from others is that they come in smaller cans, with less water content enabling you to choose the level of dilution so that you can use them in different culinary ways.
I love the label design of the red and white can which was based on the football strip worn by the Cornell University team in America and the seal which sits on the front of the can still today, represents the gold medallion for excellence which was awarded at the Paris Exposition in 1900.
But the can design became world famous and a worldwide icon in 1962 when Andy Warhol, produced a huge silkscreen consisting of 32 seperate canvases, each depicting a painting of a tin of Campbell's soup. I am amazed that they had so many varieties. Apparantely, he loved soup and had the same thing for his lunch for twenty years!
Unfortunately, in 1999, profits dropped and the company decided to revamp the label design. A lot of arty people were disappointed including myself as I am a great fan of Warhol's work. I have since discovered that the famous red and white cans of Campbell's Condensed Soup are to disappear from supermarket shelves across Britain.
In December all Campbell's cans will be replaced by ones with new labels and from March they will be rebranded Batchelor's Condensed Soup. This is due to them being taken over by Premier Foods.
Now more info about the soup - I have chosen to write about mushroom as it is my favourite.
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
Here are the nutritional Facts:
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1.5gm
Total Carb 9g
Dietary Fibre 2g
This soup does have a high level of salt and isn't desirable for people on low-salt diets. However, Campbell's Healthy Request Soups and Low Salt Soups have reduced salt levels. These soups use sea salt as one of the methods in lowering salt content.
The texture, when it plops out of the can, is thick and looks like a creamy, grey glutinous blob, not at all appealing but once you start adding water it then transforms into the creamy soup we all know and love.
Now what you can do with this little can of versatility?
Here are some tips and ideas.
Well you can obviously eat it as a soup with toast or bread.
Fillings for vol-au-vents - quick and easy food for parties
Use as a sauce for various dishes like:
Pork Steaks or chops
Strips of steak and fried onion
With all of these, the soup can be used as a sauce with added ingredients like garlic and mushrooms.
Fillings for pies especially chicken and mushroom. Add fresh mushrooms to make the flavour even better.
Casseroles and pot roasts.
My favourite dish using condensed mushroom soup is a smoked haddock fish pie.
Smoked Haddock(enough for 2 people)
Mashed potatoes (Real not Packet)
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
Cook haddock, flake the fish and keep the stock. Fry onions and garlic, until nice and soft, add cooked mushrooms and sweetcorn. Place cooked haddock and prawns in an ovenproof dish, pour other ingredients on top. Then, lightly heat and mix the mushroom soup with the fish stock and cover the meal with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick then add water to dilute it to the consistency and flavour you like. Mash potatoes until light and fluffy with plenty of butter and milk. Place mashed potatoes on top of the fish mixture and place in oven for about 30 minutes until golden. As an optional extra you could have a melted cheese topping.
Not something I would use every day but a very useful product to have in your kitchen cupboard. Easy to use and transforms meats and fish into culinary delights.
Campbells soups and sauces in general