This Just In: Canned Soup is Evil.


I don’t like canned soup. I’ve never liked canned soup. Canned soup is probably the reason I never really liked soup much ever, that and my family really didn’t eat anything soupy for dinner. We’d eat stews of course, and chili, but those dishes are a lot heartier.

I don’t want most of my “meal” to be liquid. This doesn’t satisfy my psychological need to eat.

And canned soup is mostly liquid with a few scant spoonfuls of anything substantial.

I might as well drink a diet shake (which, also, doesn’t work for me.)

Last year I made my first pot of soup as a vegan dinner. It was a hearty corn chowder and it was *amazing.* That, after having different types of restaurant soups, kinda gave me the clue that the soup part wasn’t the problem.

The problem, dear children, must be inside the can.

Oh sure, they’ll try to lure you in with their promises of low fat, low sodium, low calorie “quick” meals. But the minute it glops out into your bowl you know you’ve been suckered before you even take a bite. It looks awful. It smells awful. And when you take a bite all you taste is the residue of the can that makes every single thing that comes out of a can taste like A CAN.

So the alternative is to make soup from scratch. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and it produces a lot of hearty soup. The problem is it can get a little costly.

I found a fairly easy recipe for a vegetarian tortilla soup, but when I plugged the ingredients into my Excel spreadsheet to budget my weekly grocery list, those ingredients alone cost over $17. I usually don’t mind paying $17 for groceries if it includes staples I may use in more than one meal. In this case, only a couple of ingredients fit that criteria, which wasn’t enough to include it into this week’s budget.

So I resorted instead to a couple of cans of soup. One was advertised as “light” and only had 80 calories per serving, and two servings per can. Even eating the whole can is a pretty reasonable lunch at 160 calories, right? The minute I opened the can I knew I was in trouble. All the oil had separated from the soup and sat rather slimily (new word) right on top.

I poured it into the bowl where the oil attempted to incorporate itself into the soup, but it was an unsuccessful endeavor. I had to stir it rather vigorously to make it look like soup, and even when I did it basically took on the characteristics of brown sludge that did not appeal to my senses anymore than the oil slick did.

So I heated it and I attempted to eat it but couldn’t get that oil out of my mind. I could feel every bite ooze down my throat as I tried ever so bravely to taste ANYTHING but the metallic residue.

After about five spoonfuls I was done.

And thus ends my justification for ever buying soup in a can I don’t use to make something else entirely.

The moral of this story is I have to get to work to earn the money it takes to make a $17 pot of soup.

Because some things are just worth it.

Yesterday’s progress courtesy of Sparkpeople.com.

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