There are a certain number of store cupboard basics that you will always find if you open my kitchen cupboards - basic ingredients like onions, potatoes, rice and pasta, dried or canned beans and a few tins of soup. I tend to always buy the same go-to varieties of soup though - chicken, mushroom and tomato usually, for the tinned variety - so when Heinz sent through this soup-er selection of their tinned soups, I was surprised to see just how many different varieties were on offer (and this is just a selection - there are many more).
The old favourites that always remind me of my childhood are still there - vegetable, minestrone, tomato and chicken - but there are some that I'd never tried before, including lentil and oxtail, which I thought I'd hate but actually really enjoyed. I must admit, I do usually add herbs and spices to tinned soup to perk it up a bit, so I was delighted to discover the new range of black label soups that are 'supercharged' (or souped up ?!) versions of the classics. They have Cream of Tomato with Fiery Mexican Spices, Cream of Tomato with a Kick of Chilli, Cream of Chicken with Aromatic Thai Spices, Cream of Mushroom with Wild Porcini Mushrooms, Cream of Tomato with Spanish Chorizo (my new favourite - I love the little nuggets of chorizo in each spoonful), Carrot & Coriander with Warming Moroccan Spices, Lentil with Fragrant Indian Spices and Rich Beef Broth with Smokey Paprika. I don't even need to raid my spice rack any more !
You can't beat a bowl of soup on a cold wintry night and, as I have lots of after-school meetings coming up, I know I'll be relying on tinned soup to offer an instant meal when I (finally) get home. As well as being the ultimate comfort food, it counts as one of your five-a-day and helps keep you fuller for longer, which is great news if you're trying to limit the damage to your waistline over Christmas ! I also love using soup as an ingredient in my cooking though, as it offers a lovely rich and creamy base to work with with zero effort.
An American recipe, Chicken & Mushroom Hotdish, is always a big favourite with the kids and is also a great way of using up leftover chicken after the Sunday roast. Mix the chopped chicken with some mushrooms, add a can of chicken or mushroom soup and top with frozen hash browns, then bake in the oven until golden brown and delicious. (Click through for the full recipe.)
Green Bean Casserole, a traditional Thanksgiving side dish, is ideal if your kids pull a face when you try to get them to eat their greens ! Mix tinned or cooked green beans (or mixed veg) with chicken or mushroom soup, top with bacon bits and/or dried onions and bake until thickened.
Tomato soup is also great in cooking, as a quick base for pasta bake or in cheesy spicy sausage surprise, which is a great family-friendly meal made from nothing but store cupboard basics.
What's your favourite soup? Do you have any recipes that use canned soup as a base?
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.