Finn lives in California's central valley. He enjoys writing food reviews.
Chicken Soup Is Nice, With or Without Rice
Considered to be comfort food, soup is often served as an appetizer, although it can also be enjoyed on its own. Most of us don't have the time to cook soup from scratch, however, and that's where store-bought brands come in.
There are many brands of chicken soup available, and depending on your geographic location, your options may or may not be similar to the ones I am reviewing. In this case, I would very much enjoy your feedback. I am interested to learn about what varieties this culinary delight has to offer.
I must also mention that within the various brands available, there are different styles or themes. For example, the well-known brand Campbell's has produced a condensed version and a "chunky style." In cases where this occurs, I try and select what I believe to be the more refined option.
In addition to there being an infinite number of soups—let us be honest and say that there are samples that have yet to be invented—within the chicken soup species, there are variations within the types of contents. Chicken soup with noodles, dumplings, other meats such as sausage, and of course, chicken soup with rice are some that might come immediately to mind.
For the sake of reaching as wide an audience as possible, I tried to keep my pantry as simple as possible.
I have provided ratings, which are based on my personal opinions, along with a sample image of the product in the package and as it appears prepared and an overview of the nutritional information provided on the container itself.
I am not endorsing any of these products, nor have I been compensated for my taste tests. These are items that I purchased locally in my grocery store (California) and wanted to enjoy myself.
I should note that often, pre-packaged food, which is prepared at a factory, isn't the best option available for health reasons. However, convenience sometimes supersedes personal ethics. On this topic, I will speak no further.
I hope to keep this updated as I experience new varieties, and I look forward to any feedback you might have to offer.
Well Yes! (Campbell's)
Great Value (Walmart)
Signature Kitchens' (Safeway)
Avg. Price: $2.99
Overall Rating: 6
I believe that "Yes" might be the correct name of this brand, but it could actually be "Well, Yes," which would be a clever double entendre. Whichever way you prefer, this is a Campbell's product, although it seems the company goes to great efforts to make this seem unique.
The soup itself isn't really that much more significant than your basic Campbell's brand. You might have some ingredients that appear fresher or that are not available in their standard varieties, but it really isn't that special.
In fact, I much prefer the Chunky style over their Yes option. The Yes seems comparable to the condensed soups, and the texture is a bit oily. The aroma is pleasant but nothing you would expect from its appearance in the canister.
The color is fairly bland, as you can see from the image above. From a health perspective, this sample doesn't fare better than its company's counterparts. And it is often more expensive.
Annie's Home Grown Organic
Overall Rating: 7
This product is labeled "organic," which implies that it is supposed to be a healthier option. Organic is one of those catch-all descriptions which helps market products to those who are conscientious about what they put into their body. Whether the accuracy of the label is compatible with the expected outcome is up for debate—and for another article altogether.
The soup itself is aesthetically pleasing and looks to be of quality. I actually added some spices—salt, pepper, parsley, onion powder, and some Mrs. Dash—to give it some flavor. It was quite bland.
The broth was watered down and didn't taste very chicken-like—whether this was a result of the organic synthesis may be a possibility.
But your basic ingredients were there: chicken, carrots, broth, and noodles. The substance was good, although I personally prefer my chicken to have a little more texture to it.
It's suitable to go with a meal or for a good snack, but I would recommend you are able to provide some ingredients yourself to give it more flavor.
Would I buy it again? Probably not. It's one of the more expensive ones out there, although you could probably find it on sale for around two dollars a can.
Great Value (Walmart)
Great Value (Walmart)
Overall: Awful. Pass on this. I give it a 4.
Walmart is known to have some good deals and has its own line of products marketed under the title Great Value. Often, the quality of their samples rivals those sold by well-established brands that have been in the business for many years before Walmart became a company.
Not so with this Homestyle Chicken Soup.
I believe it is supposed to be a knock-off of Campbell's, and even though the latter isn't the best, it definitely outshines Great Value.
My first remark about this soup is that there really isn't any soup. There was very little broth; it was mostly noodles. There were a few pieces of chicken, a couple of carrot portions, and what was probably, at one time, celery.
Second, there was no flavor. I added salt and pepper, but this was so watered down and flavorless. The noodles tasted like paper mache, and the chicken portions were probably fabricated.
There was a pleasant aroma about the product though.
Signature Kitchens (Safeway)
Signature Kitchens (Safeway or Vons)
Wow, this is actually very delicious for an off-brand. But then again, I expect quality food from a national chain market like Safeway. Their Signature Kitchen brands are usually pretty well done.
The broth has a rich chicken flavor and is full-bodied and deep. The spices are just right, not absent or overbearing. Tender vegetables—carrots and celery—and genuine cuts of tender chicken give this dish a pleasant aroma and a fine taste.
The egg noodles are a nice touch with just the right firmness.
One of the better canned soups I've experienced and is definitely worth another try.
My favorite part is the soup itself. Absolutely delicious broth.
I have to give this soup a high rating as well. Campbell's is pretty much an American staple and a well-known brand name. I'm not really a fan of the condensed soups, although I grew up with them.
The name sort of says it all: nice chunks of meat, vegetables, and whole noodles. What's good about this soup is that all the distinct ingredients manage to retain their individual tastes.
The broth is flavorful and has a thickness to it that doesn't require any additional spices—although pepper is a condiment that everyone enjoys.
The one downside: the dish is very filling and, although it may serve well as an appetizer, will definitely satisfy as a meal.
© 2019 Finn