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How can "Good" Brand Canned Soups Taste So BAD?

Today is chilly out...I thought a quick bowl of soup would cheer up 103 yr old Anna...Progresso's Clam Chowder...ugh! I would not feed it to a dog!!

Why do all manner of soups from a can just taste BAD, BAD, BAD? SO BAD that anything I add will not kill that corroded metallic flavor? Has anyone conquered the curse of canned soups?

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  1. How old was the can, do you think? Progresso isn't quite as good as homemade, but I've never tasted anything metallic in any of their flavors.

    4 Replies
    1. re: coll

      It was purchased yesterday at Costco...have you tried the Progresso Clammed Chowder? I'd be curious what you thought...

      1. re: GretaKirstin

        Yes I've had both red and white quite often, although not this season yet. Which did you try?

        1. re: coll

          White...at someone's suggestion I'm gonna take it back for a refund!

          1. re: GretaKirstin

            You should if you're not happy, I'm the queen of nitpicking when it comes to grocery purchases. I only eat Progresso soup when I'm working from home and I want something fast and cheap, so my standards aren't at their peak level at that point. I just never felt like it was inedible, but I wasn't trying to please anyone but myself!

    2. OK...here's what I did...to a 18.5 oz can of clammed chowder I added about 1/2 C milk, 1+ t of Better than Bullion chicken broth, fresh basil chopped, 1/2 piece of sour dough bread, choped, fresh ground pepper and 1 t bacon bits..It was not fantastic but at least I got rid of the corroded metal taste...Anna's a picky eater...she won't finish anything she doesn't like...the jury is still out because she has her nose in a book, too. Anyone else wanna save the canned soup industry with improvements?

      Next time I will try to have cream on hand to use instead of 2% milk, instead of bread I'll use croutons and omit the bacon bits...

      3 Replies
      1. re: GretaKirstin

        All your added ingredients plus a can of clams sounds way better than the Progresso soup, anyway!
        Especially once you use cream in it.

        1. re: jmcarthur8

          Yes...though I was just going for fast and easy...maybe next time I'll do tortillas with melted cheese for lunch! Hard to fail with these...either corn or flour!

          1. re: jmcarthur8

            Yes, good suggestions...I normally make huge batches...guess I'll down size at your suggestion...every once in a while...

        2. I used to eat Progresso clam chowder once i awhile, but I've quit buying any canned clam chowder. It's never going to be anywhere near as good as made from scratch. I don't remember it being THAT bad, however. I don't even know what metal tastes like.

          Sometimes I make a shortcut clam chowder from Campbell's Condensed Cream of Potato soup and canned minced clams. This is better than canned clam chowder, but not homemade.

          4 Replies
          1. re: GH1618

            I might try this short cut sometime! I do make clam chowder from scratch and it's always really good...maybe I'll just double the batch and freeze in small containers. I think for me, this will be the solution.

            1. re: GH1618

              Do you dilute the soup with milk or water before adding the (undrained) clams?

              1. re: Sarah

                I use all the juice packed with the clams, and add half-and-half to make one can of liquid. The clams I use are in a 7 oz (weight) can, of which 4.5 oz are clams. One can to one can of condensed soup.

                1. re: GH1618

                  Thanks -- will give this a try.

            2. Actually, Anna left about an inch in the mug...so it failed the Anna Taste Test...old ppl are really honest! She ate as much as she could stomach!

              Thank you all for your suggestions...maybe Costco buys what doesn't sell in regular grocers?? Maybe it is old...??? I wish someone would report their experience from Costco's back to me...there is absolutely no taste of clams! And of course you have to buy 8 cans at a time...lesson learned!

              3 Replies
              1. re: GretaKirstin

                No, Costco does not deliberately sell damaged or outdated groceries. The common sense solution is to not buy it again if you don't like it. Costco will refund your money.

                1. re: Samalicious

                  I LOVE Costco! Have never thought Costco buys damaged goods...some reader brought age up...I just cannot believe ppl buy such poor tasting soup---thank you for your suggestion to get a refund--I thought since I used 1 can, I was stuck with it!! Of course! COSTCO HAS THE BEST REFUND policy...to cover errors such as this! Thank you SO much!

                  1. re: GretaKirstin

                    Or you could donate it. There are people who would very much appreciate even bad soup in a can.

              2. I have to say that their clam chowder is the only Progresso soup I really don't like, though not because of any awful flavor; it simply hasn't got ANY. I do like Snow's okay, but I'll also add a can of clams and their juice, because it's not nearly as good as it used to be.

                Canned soup in general annoys me nowadays for all the wrong reasons, starting with the fact that there's too damn much of it. The Progresso section alone takes as much space as the entire soup section used to, with a half-acre of Campbell's next to it, and so on for however many yards. In the meantime, I can get five versions of any Campbell soup they have (low sodium, low fat, reduced fat, no fat, full fat, chunky), but not one can of my old faves, Scotch Broth and Pepper Pot. They still make those, but they're special order, and pale shadows of their true selves: Pepper Pot has tiny specks of tripe instead of nice chunks, and the Scotch Broth moved to the suburbs and now has beef instead of proper mutton. Idiots.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: kubasd

                    Must have been a temporary thing - I special-ordered both at my neighborhood grocery in Nashville (ca. 1990) and sweartagod the Scotch Broth label said "beef." They're both made in Canada, too - not a bad thing in itself, but a clear opportunity to diddle with the recipes.

                    Anyway, if I want pepper pot now I'll just make my own. Lots of tripe down the street at the Latino market! And I bet Scotch Broth (got a recipe for that, too) would be great done with goat …

                  2. re: Will Owen

                    Great post Will Owen! And ALL so true!

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Also a big fan of Campbell's Scotch Broth and Pepper Pot soups. Going to order some online.

                      1. re: Kholvaitar

                        I will wait to see if Costco brings back the large cans of soup in powder form. Nothing else has any flavor...decided that if one must eat canned soup crumpled up saltines disguises all those weird flavors better than herbs and spices. I remember seeing Scotch broth and pepper pot soups but never tried ...maybe I can find in a store....but now stores don't carry?