The flu bug is starting to creep its way out of hiding and my grades (and well being) depend on how well I can win in this game of hide and seek. Unfortunately, I faltered a bit this past week and started feeling those body aches and itchy throat that you never want to encounter! When it came to fueling my tired, sore body through rigorous studies, I reached for the most comforting thing I could find ... SOUP! The last time I was at the store, I picked up a new flavor of Campbell's Soup at Hand (Vegetable with Mini Round Noodles) and there couldn't have been a better time to try it out.
The directions are pretty straightforward, so if you have about 2 minutes, you're good to go. Better yet, the vegetable flavor is very thorough, resounding throughout the comforting broth. The somewhat mushy vegetables are indistinguishable from the mushy round noodles; although they are the perfect size for flowing through the mouth of the container and do add a bit of textural difference to what would otherwise be a simple tomato soup drink. I enjoyed this comforting Soup at Hand as I sat at my desk, not feeling my best, with a list full of homework that needed to be done. Even if you stir it up before popping on the bright red lid, you will still experience a surplus of chewy goodies towards the end of the cup ... you'll even encounter some crunchy carrot pieces!
We have reviewed quite a few varieties of Campbell's Select Harvest Light Soups and most have been pretty good. One that I hadn't tried before was Campbell's Select Harvest Light Minestrone with Whole Grain Pasta, and so on a cold rainy day, that's what I selected to warm my tummy.
What intrigued me most about this soup, before even opening the can, were the lentils that I spotted in the picture on the packaging. Lentils are not a customary addition in the canned soup world, but I love these protein-packed legumes. I heated up this veggie-filled soup and then carried my mug of warmth with me as I curled up on the couch and flipped on a seasonal chick flick.
This is most definitely a broth based soup (hence the reason it can be so light), but it is also chock-full of vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, zucchini and red peppers to name a few). The lentils and whole grain pasta are cooked to a delightful al dente texture and most definitely take this soup out of the boring, trite vegetable soup category. What else makes this soup something special? The broth! It is so incredibly flavorful without being too salty or overpowering. The flavor is somewhere between a chicken and vegetable broth, doctored up with spices and a touch of extra virgin olive oil to create a Mediterranean flair.
Campbell's Soup at Hand enables you to spend 1 minute and 15 seconds by your microwave (the magic number that never fails) and leave the kitchen with a warm and satisfying snack or light lunch that can go with you on your errands, to your office or for when you need something fast. I decided to try the 25% Less Sodium Chicken with Mini Noodles to see if it was just as good as Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soupm but better than the Campbell's Low Sodium Chicken with Noodles Soup.
I am here to warn you about 2 very important things that are necessary to walking away from Campbell's Soup at Hand with a smile on your face:
1. Be very careful when popping off the silver top because Campbell's is very generous and the soup is full to the brim (if you are in a hurry and rip off that shiny silver top, you may end up with chicken broth up your sleeves and on the floor).
2. If you fail to mix the soup before popping on the sip-able red lid (which I do quite often), you will encounter about 5 minutes of luscious chicken brothfinally followed by a 1/2 full cup of little round noodles and chicken pieces, which when void of most of the broth, means you end up "sucking", not "sipping" your soup remnants.
The flavor is rich and robust, embodying everything what a chicken noodle soup is. Apparently, Campbell's has found a happy-medium between their flavorless Low Sodium Chicken with Noodles Soup and their over-the-top, sodium-filled Chicken Noodle Soup.
Maryland is well known for its crab culture - mean, you folks love you some crab! And so do I. There is a distinctive flavor and I commend Campbell's for trying their hand at a commercially made crab soup - and to name it "Maryland Style" - well, it better be damned good and I was fired up to try it.
While warming up my can of Campbell's Select Harvest Light Maryland Style Crab Soup, the smell of crab meat wafted through the air which made my tummy gurgle with anticipation. It might have been a little too hot when I put that first spoonful in my mouth - but I didn't care. The tomato soup base is chunky with potatoes, carrots, corn, and more and has a very light kick of pepper to spice things up. The crab tasted like ... crab - which is a good thing as it didn't taste like over-processed mush. But, although this soup looked and tasted great, I wish there had been larger pieces of crab rather than the thin strings that I saw.
As an avid fan of veggies, I am well versed in many of the different types of squash out there, and I like them all: acorn, summer, butternut, spaghetti squash ... yum! However, I've never had them as soups. Recently, at a company event, I was able to sample butternut squash soup and it was good - really good. The naturally sweet flavor of the squash permeated in every bite. Excited at my new find, I rushed out to the store to see if I could find this bit of heaven commercially. My first try was with Campbell's Select Butternut Squash Soup.
It turned out to be not at all what I had expected. This soup had a slightly salty, hearty taste reminiscent of a baked potato, but with none of the sweet goodness I have come to associate with winter squash. Although it was thick and rich, it lacked the unique taste of home made butternut squash, and was honestly a big disappointment for me.
Each 1 cup serving of Campbell's Select Gold Label Butternut Squash Soup provides 90 calories, 2% of the daily value for total fat, 34% of the DV for sodium plus 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
When it's cold outside, I get excited about soup. The thought of all that salt in the soup makes me cringe, but Campbell's Select Harvest does a good job of reducing the sodium in their soup. I turned my attention to Campbell's Select Harvest Light Southwestern Style Vegetable Soup after having given rave reviews to Campbell's Select Harvest Light Vegetable and Pasta Soup and Campbell's Select Harvest Light Vegetable Beef & Barley Soup.
There are the usual pieces of vegetables, including carrots, celery, tomatoes, and corn, but I paid more attention to the beans and pasta in the soup. The black beans contributed to the heartiness of the soup, but I wished there had been even more of them. All of these components were great with the tomato soup base, but the Southwestern kick was lacking. Although there are peppers mixed in the soup, the spiciness wasn't particularly noticeable.
Each of Campbell's Select Harvest Light Southwestern-Style Vegetable Soup provides 50 calories, no fat, 20% of the daily value for sodium,16% of the DV for dietary fiber, and 2 grams of protein.