There’s Soup for You!

I grew up on homemade soups. To this day it is hard for me to pass up hearty, well-made homemade soup. As anti-domestic as I am known to be, I will even at times, purchase a beef bone at the store and make my own broth, add vegetables and enjoy the heck out of that creation. More often than not, though; my busy life sends me to the Campbell’s display at the local grocery store.

Today’s canned soups are SUPER-charged compared to offerings from decades past so those of us who find time at a premium can still enjoy a hearty, good – tasting soup.

Tortilla SoupThis week I sampled Campbell’s Spicy Chicken Quesadilla and  Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla soup.

I did not care for the Spicy Quesadilla soup. First off, it wasn’t “spicy” the way I define it, though my 5-year old granddaughter would probably consider it somewhat spicy (she has a knack for catching anything with a hint of heat!). The flavors were not well-developed, and  it tasted more like something I threw together from leftover cheese sauce, old beans and some chicken than a deliberate soup recipe. I won’t be buying that flavor again unless I see “New & Improved Flavor” marked on the label.

The Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla soup, however; was excellent!

The texture, tastes and soup ingredients in this were quite good; I will buy this again. I added some crumbs from the bottom of my latest bag of tortilla chips on the top of soup for garnish and they added a nice additional texture to the meal.

For a family meal (this was my lunch-between-conference-calls meal), I would also add cornmeal muffins (Jiffy!) and a side of either refried beans, or a 3-bean salad (cold).

3-bean saladSince I had my coupon for $1.00 off of 2 Chunky/Natural Campbell’s soups and the regular price was $1.50 each, this soup was again $1.00 for the can, which serves 2. For a family of 4, you either need 2 cans or enough other sides to fill in.

Meal #2

  • 1 or 2 cans of Campbell’s Mexican Tortilla Soup ($1.00 or $2.00)
  • Jiffy Corn Muffins (~$1 for a box that makes 6 muffins)
  • Crumbs from bottom of bag of Tortilla Chips (entire bag: $3; this portion $0.75)
  • Sprinkling of shredded Mexican Cheese blend (garnish top of each cup/bowl of soup) (small bag ~$2.50; this portion $0.50)
  • 3-bean (cold) salad ($0.99)

Total cost for the family dinner, excluding drinks and any spread for the muffins: $4.24 – $5.24

Mix up your muffins and put in the oven (in paper baking cups – makes clean-up easy). Heat your soup, crumble the chips, measure out the shredded cheese and have the kids set the table. In about 30 minutes, you have a complete meal, with minimal muss & fuss.

Variations

As with Meal #1, there are options to “health up” the meal parts, including making the cornbread from scratch or buying from a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s bakery. You also may want to make your own bean salad. In terms of cost, while I have priced these with name-brand goods, there are ample store and generic brands available that can push the total cost down even further.

Dessert

For me, there’s nothing quite like Flan for dessert after Mexican food. This requires some prep, so if you’re liking the thought of custard as dessert but have limited time, there’s always Jell-O instant Tapioca pudding. Tapioca_Pudding

Enjoy! Flan

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