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What Do You Do With Canned Soup?

I stopped buying canned soup years ago once discovering how easy it was to make my own but I do have a few cans of the stuff that was "gifted" to me and I find ways to use it up. One of my favorite with the condensed tomato soup is to make a recipe that used to be on the soup can when I was growing up; basically a browned pork chop smothered in tomato soup, onions & bell peppers then baked until tender. I still love this dish.

Other dishes are a potato casserole with french onion soup; queso taco soup with cheddar cheese soup, seasoned taco meat, roasted jalapenos and crispy tortilla strips over the top; and I use chicken with white & wild rice as a base for a chicken and wild rice pot pie with some additions.

What are some innovative dishes you make with canned soup?

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  1. There's really only three places I used canned soup.

    I use condensed cream of mushroom soup in my old fashioned sandwich press (I call it the flying saucer sandwich maker) - it crimps together two pieces of bread with a slightly liquid filling, and is then toasted over the burner of the stove.

    I also use it as a base for a few casseroles - the tuna/noodle/green bean variety in particular.

    I also like eating undiluted cream of mushroom soup, but that's just a weird personal quirk.

    1. The kids' favourite mac and cheese starts with a can of tomato soup warmed up, milk, butter and cheese are added to it and then the cooked elbow noodles. It all gets topped with more cheese. I have a home daycare and all of the kids love this and they must tell their parents about it because I always get asked how I make my mac and cheese. I am always embarrassed to admit it starts with a can of soup!
      I haven't made it in years, but I used to use can of golden mushroom soup as the sauce for the meat layer in my sheperd's pie. I sometimes use the golden mushroom soup along with some onions over a roast in the slow cooker, makes a decent gravy.

      1. In our house we make a very tasty clam chowder in the slow cooker using a tin of cream of mushroom soup.

        Generally though, I don't use tin soup. I do keep tomato and mushroom in stock as it makes a versatile back up plan ingredient.

        1. I've eschewed canned soups for a while now, but recently found myself cutting out coupons for Campbell's soups and think I'll keep some cream soups in stock because they make casseroles etc. so quick and easy.
          Up until about 2 years ago, I was addicted to Campbell's tomato soup, but not so much anymore. I like to use their mushroom and celery soup for dishes such as tuna casserole and chicken cordon bleu.

          1. Mom made a tasty chicken dish: brown skin-on chicken parts, add chopped onion to deglaze, then an undiluted can of cream of mushroom soup, cover and cook through on low.
            The resulting sauce is too fatty and salty to be healthy but is a fond memory from my youth..

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              My mom made nearly the same thing! Served with rice to soak up the sauce....

            2. Give it to the food shelf or use while sick.

              1 Reply
              1. re: docfood

                We have a couple cans of the chicken noodle variety of Campbell's for sick people and that is about it.

              2. I eat Progresso canned soups nearly daily for lunch. Yes, it's easy/better for me to make a pot of soup but I don't like dealing with the volume.

                Every few months I get a craving for Campbells Cream of Chicken soup so I'll mix that up with some milk and heat and eat. It's amazing. I grew up eating it.

                Beyond that, those canned cream of soups have no place in my cooking.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eperdu

                  Progresso lentil soup was one of my dad's favorites and we ate it often. I haven't had it in years but I have fond memories.

                2. I do keep some around as "emergency food" in the event of losing power, a big earthquake, etc. but of course, they have to be rotated like any other pantry food.

                  We get sick so infrequently that I occasionally have to just suck it up and eat soup. More often than not I just pass it off on the man and put it in his lunch. :)

                  I stopped eating bread but grilled cheese and tomato soup was a rainy day favorite. I still make it for him. Cans of veggie soup can always be
                  doctored up" with more stock, more veggies and herbs/ spices or even pureed and added to a soup or stew.

                  1. What are some innovative dishes you make with canned soup?


                    1. There is nothing innovative that I do with canned soup other than pop the top and heat. Only Campbell's double noodle soup will do when my son is sick so thats the only canned soup we have in the house.

                      I do often doctor up the ready made soups at WF. While carrot/ginger soup is a regular in crock pot rotation I will pick up theirs when time is tight. I will add extra ginger, maybe some garam masala and stir in some cooked chicken for protein.

                      1. Here's a favorite canned soup recipe that we've been enjoying for decades. Whether it's "Chowhound correct" or not doesn't matter to us. We still enjoy it:

                        Bacardi1 Chicken Parisienne

                        One pkg. (usually containing 2-3) bone-in, skin-on, split chicken breasts
                        One can Cream of Mushroom soup (the regular condensed version, NOT the “non-fat" one)
                        1/2 to 3/4 soup-can of dry sherry
                        1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
                        One 8 oz. pkg. fresh button mushrooms, cleaned & sliced, OR, in a pinch, one 8 oz. can mushroom pieces, drained
                        One 8 oz. container sour cream
                        paprika (sweet or hot)
                        chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
                        Cooked white rice for serving

                        Preheat oven to 350.

                        In a skillet large enough to hold all sauce ingredients except chicken, saute fresh mushrooms (if using) in butter until brown & tender. Remove from heat. Stir in can of soup, & use soup can to measure in 1/3-1/2 can of dry sherry. Stir to combine. (If using canned mushrooms, just drain & combine with other ingredients.)

                        Place chicken pieces skin-side down in lightly-greased baking dish. Place in center of oven & bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn chicken pieces skin side up & continue to bake for 10 minutes. Pour sauce (reserving saucepan) over & continue cooking until done (depending on the size of the pieces, another 10-20 minutes).

                        When done, turn off oven, remove chicken pieces to a plate, & scrape sauce & juices back into the reserved skillet. Place chicken back into baking dish & back into turned off oven to keep warm.

                        Meanwhile, over medium/low heat, add sour cream to sauce in saucepan & heat just until warmed through. (Overheating or boiling will cause sour cream to curdle. Won't affect the taste, just won't look as nice.)

                        Serve chicken alongside plain white rice - both with sauce poured over & sprinkled with a little paprika & chopped parsley.

                        Apart from the white rice, I like to serve this with plain boiled buttered baby carrots & a green salad.

                        1. And here's yet another favorite. Oddly enough, we have yet to be drummed from the community for this one:

                          Bacardi1 Quickie Shrimp Newburg

                          One pound medium or large peeled, shelled, & deveined shrimp – thawed if frozen**
                          One can condensed “Cream of Shrimp” soup (put out by Campbell’s)
                          Approx. 1/3 to ½ soup can measure of milk, ½ & ½, or cream – whatever you have on hand
                          Approx. ¼ to 1/3 soup can (or to taste) of dry sherry
                          Dash of ground nutmeg
                          Dash of hot sauce
                          Unsalted butter
                          Freshly-ground black pepper to taste (optional)
                          Approx. ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (optional)
                          Cooked white rice for serving

                          Melt enough butter to lightly coat the bottom of a skillet large enough to ultimately hold all ingredients. Saute shrimp in butter until just pink on both sides. Remove shrimp to a plate or bowl.

                          Combine soup, milk, sherry, nutmeg, & hot sauce in the same skillet & gently heat through. Add shrimp & taste for any seasoning adjustments.

                          Serve over cooked white rice & top with chopped parsley & freshly-ground black pepper to taste if desired.

                          ** Can also be combined half & half with fake “krab” – aka Surimi – with excellent & tasty results.

                          1. And yet another one that's gotten rave reviews. And it uses canned soup. Go figure?

                            Bacardi1 Broccoli Blue Cheese Casserole

                            1 can of Campbell’s regular condensed “Cream of (fill in blank)” soup
                            (Cream of Asparagus, Chicken, Celery, Mushroom – whichever you prefer)
                            ½ a soup can of half & half
                            Approx. 4 oz., or ½ of an 8 oz. block of cream cheese, roughly cut into cubes
                            Approx. ¾ lb. of your favorite blue cheese – any type
                            2-3 heads worth of broccoli florets (save stalks for another use, or discard)
                            1 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers (just gently roll them right in the sleeve before opening it)

                            Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large enough pot of water for the broccoli to a boil, add broccoli, bring back to a boil for just 2 minutes & drain.

                            Combine soup, half & half, cream cheese, & blue cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until cheeses are melted. In a casserole dish large enough to hold all ingredients (a 10” x 10” x 2” worked with 2 heads of broccoli florets for me), gently fold together blanched broccoli florets & sauce. Top with crushed Ritz crackers, and bake uncovered at 350 for approx. 30 minutes, or until casserole is heated through & cracker topping is lightly toasted.

                            1. And regardless of whether it's "Chowhound Correct", I'll never give up my infamous heavily-tweaked "Green Bean Casserole". Husband would probably divorce me.

                              BACARDI1 GREEN BEAN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE

                              1 pound package frozen whole green beans, thawed (or you can cook up 1 pound of trimmed fresh if you like)
                              6-8 fresh Shitake mushrooms
                              1-2 clusters Oyster mushrooms (or 1 cluster oyster mushrooms & 1 cluster Maitake mushrooms)
                              6-8 Cremini mushrooms
                              2-3 tablespoons butter
                              1 can regular condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (NOT low or no fat!)
                              ¾ cup of half-and-half or heavy cream
                              2/3 cup dry sherry
                              Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
                              1 can French’s Original French Fried Onions

                              Preheat oven to 350.
                              Rinse & trim mushrooms (discard shitake stems or save for stock); slice. In a skillet large enough to hold all ingredients, melt butter & sauté mushrooms until they release their liquid & are “just” starting to brown a little. Stir in soup, half-&-half or cream, & sherry. Stir & simmer gently until mixture thickens a little, season to taste with salt & pepper, & gently fold in thawed green beans & approximately 1/3 can of fried onions. Transfer mixture to a baking dish (around 2-3 quart size) & bake for 20 minutes or until heated through, then top with remaining fried onions & continue baking for another 10 minutes or until onion topping is toasted a bit.

                              1. Two uses:
                                1) Emergency food supply: I keep a few cans in the cupboard in case of earthquakes, power outages, or unexpected occasions like the fridge giving up the ghost while we're out of town for a week.
                                2) Camping. Tromping around in the fresh air can make anything taste good (car camping, that is.) The soup doesn't require refrigeration, heats up quickly, and with some rolls and fruit makes a passable meal. I've found that throwing a handful of couscous in the soup while it's cooking gives it more body.

                                1 Reply
                                1. The best meatloaf I ever made contained a can of tomato and rice soup.

                                  1. I enjoy a doctored up tomato soup - prepare with water and just add all the seasonings one would add to a Bloody Mary (celery salt, hot pepper sauce, pepper, etc.) but I do I have a Bean and Bacon soup use that hits the spot sometimes.
                                    I use thin pork chops to make this a quick dish. Perhaps a half pound of them (6 or so). Salt and pepper them, then brown them in a Dutch oven or transfer them to a pot after browning them. Deglaze with a little white wine. Add one onion, coarsely chopped. Open can of Bean and Bacon soup. Dump it in. Add one soup can of liquid - I use half white wine, half water. Stir to mix soup with the liquid and coat everything. Cover the pot and cook until chops are fork tender. 1 1/2 hours or so depending on chop thickness. I serve with baked or mashed potatoes. I suspect this 'recipe' was at one point on a Campbell's label but I grew up eating it and have had similar at other's homes.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: YvonneChristine

                                      Campbell's bean and bacon soup was my favorite soup as a kid, I probably had it 2 or 3 times a week. Now I make a copycat version I found on the Internet that is just as good but with way less salt. Your recipe sounds fantastic and I can hardly wait to try it with some of my homemade b&b soup, thanks!

                                    2. Regular Cambells Tomato soup made with evaporated milk and some garlic croutons is pretty good. I always grind quite a bit of fresh black pepper in it.

                                      Very rare that I eat this, but every couple years it's tasty. Used to eat it when I was sick as a kid. My kid wouldn't touch canned soup with a ten foot pole.

                                      1. I still make my mother's Mustard Pork Chops, using cream of mushroom soup. Just slather some yellow mustard on both sides of four pork chops, brown in a pan without any oil...when the mustard is browned lightly and the meat is browned, pour one can of mushroom soup over, and stir it around with the browned mustard that stuck to the pan. Cover and simmer for an hour or so, and serve with potato pierogis or wide egg noodles.
                                        I don't add anything else to this recipe, just because it's one of my comfort foods as is, but you could jazz it up any way you want with a different mustard, or adding some herbs or wine. My grown sons have pretty sophisticated taste buds, but when they come home to visit, this is one dish they ask for.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: jmcarthur8

                                          Yum, that sounds good to me. I don't use canned soups much but periodically, cream of mushroom soup adds just the right note to a dish.

                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                            My mom also made pork chops and mushroom soup. I loved it, but haven't had it in years. I really miss Campbell's Scotch Broth.

                                          2. In my estimation canned soup used to be much better than it is now. I ate a lot of it growing up and used it when raising my own family.

                                            Some uses were:

                                            Crock pot chicken with canned cream of mushroom soup;

                                            Hamburger pie using browned ground beef, a can of cream of tomato soup, some seasonings, topped with a layer of canned green beans, mashed potatoes and grated cheddar cheese baked in a casserole dish.

                                            I rarely use canned soup for recipes anymore, but do occasionally eat the Healthy Choice varieties. They have less sodium than the others and taste pretty good in a pinch.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: noodlepoodle

                                              My mother never made homemade soup when I was growing up with the exception of chili or a pot of great northern or navy beans....we ate a lot of Campbells. The soup was better back then for sure but now, they have a larger variety.

                                              I used to make Beef Stroganoff with the cream of mushroom soup over noodles when my kids were young...I'm going to have to revisit that recipe soon.

                                            2. I have to say I'm amazed that no truly negative responses have shown up yet. I expected 19 people to tell you they never eat canned soup, it's all processed/preservatives/MSG, etc. and they make homemade every day and it's quicker and easier and better and cheaper and better for the environment. Hurray!

                                              I'm afraid I don't have anything "innovative" to add. We keep a couple cans around for nights when we don't want to cook. My husband gets an annual Campbells Tomato/Grilled Cheese craving and eats that for two weeks straight every winter. I have strained a can of chicken noodle and added the liquid to homemade if my broth turns out wimpy. And sick food - absolutely.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                I'm glad no one has posted those type of remarks because then I would be forced to post how I didn't ask for opinions on the nutrition of canned soup, only what are their recipes for canned soup...

                                                Most seem to be in the Tomato soup or Chicken Noodle soup camp...my daughter was here last week for a visit and she wanted Campbell's chicken noodle, not homemade, because it reminded her of her childhood

                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                  I think I spoke too soon. They have invaded.

                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                    Yeh; it was too much to hope for...lol!

                                                    1. re: hannaone

                                                      love, love, love sausage gravy , & biscuits!

                                                2. Once a year I make my mother's American Chop Suey:

                                                  Saute onion, brown beef, one or two cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup (depending on amount of beef) and S&P. And must eat with buttered Wonder bread (which I know is not available at this time).

                                                  1. To be honest, I look at it on the shelf and wonder why it is there and why doesn't Campbell's still offer Pepper Pot. I find canned soup so salty anymore I avoid it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                      I know this is a late response, but I loved pepper pot too.

                                                    2. In the summer I love a very chilled bowl of cream of celery or cream of mushroom (a refrigerated can of condensed soup mixed with an equal amount of cold milk.)

                                                      And jellied consommé, doused with fresh lemon juice, also great in the summer.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Love the idea of lemon juice on the chilled consommé will try next summer!

                                                      2. I use my cream of mushroom as a base for my baked chicken portobella...good as a base for mush soup too.

                                                        There is nothing better than a gooey cheesy grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup.

                                                        I gussy up chicken soup with garlic and a sleeve of saltines..damn, its good!

                                                        Campbell's has some new pricey soup in a pouch that is quite good..over brown rice..the Thai is good.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                          Do you have a recipe for your baked chicken portobella?

                                                        2. I keep cream of mushroom for the tuna or green bean casseroles. Cheddar cheese soup is the base for my quiches.

                                                          1. For me it's for the annual green bean casserole.

                                                            I don't keep it stocked because I would just forget about it and I don't have a true pantry. Just three cabinets dedicated to all canned or dried goods and spices. Really limits me.

                                                            I would make it for my SO when he's sick but he's turned his nose up to it. So he only likes homemade or tetra packed premium soups. When I'm sick it's pho or ramen I want.

                                                            I remember growing up, there was one girl who would sip warmed soup her mom made her from a thermal mug for breakfast while waiting for the bus. Not a bad idea really on winter mornings.

                                                            1. If it's Campbell's tomato, I eat it. Nothing I make tastes like it. You can argue better taste with oven-roasted tomatoes or not, there's something comforting about the classic canned taste. Their chicken noodle soup? Dishwater with mushy noodle bits. I think it tasted better years ago but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

                                                              1. I'm with all of the Campbell's tomato soup fans. I keep a can on hand, which I usually make with milk (and even a drop of sherry if it's on hand) when I have a cold. I do buy the "healthy request" version now, which I find a bit tastier.

                                                                And there is one of my mother's old recipes that I still do once in a while that uses cream of mushroom/or celery soup - pork chops topped with a mound of bread stuffing with the cream of whatever mixed with white wine and sour cream poured on top, then baked. Yeah, I know... (it's good).

                                                                Other than that, I don't usually buy canned soups. I do buy the occasional $.25 ramen noodle package for when I want chicken noodle soup.

                                                                1. I eat Tomato or Chicken Noodle when I am sickish. I make Green Bean Casserole with Cream of Mushroom. I schmear undiluted soup all over raw chicken and bake it; juice comes out of the chicken and combines with the Chicken or Mushroom or Celery soup to make a sauce. I have given up on Progresso--I buy it then throw it out---only Campbell's is the taste of childhood. But for serious soup eating I make my own.

                                                                  1. In the summer I keep a can of Campbell's tomato and a can of their beef consommé in the fridge and on a very hot night make something my mother used to make: both cans in the blender with one can of crushed ice and blend the heck out of it. Top with lots of snipped chives. Heaven. Because of sodium issues can only make it once a summer, sadly.

                                                                    1. During the winter I keep a stock of canned soups and other goods as a "Snow Survival Pack" in the event we get snowed in. (Hasn't happened in years). In the spring I start using it up a little at a time to clear out the cupboard.
                                                                      The Campbells Tomato is great for dipping luncheon meat sandwiches in.

                                                                      1. Elbows and tomato soup.

                                                                        Boil elbow macaroni. Drain. Add 1/2-1 stick butter. Add 1 can Campbells Tomato soup. Mix well. Serve immediately.

                                                                        Sick day or comfort food.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                          Alternate: Use cheese soup instead of Tomato. Instant Kraft Mac&Cheese imitation.

                                                                        2. Avoid it. Sodium content is off the chart.

                                                                          1. Cheater's Chican Divan: Layers of chunked rotisserie chicken breast, par-cooked frozen broccoli florets, 1/2 can Cream of Chicken soup mixed with 3/4 cup mayo and a squirt of lemon juice, shredded cheddar, baked until bubbly and topped with buttered bread crumbs during the last 15 minutes of baking.
                                                                            Pretty rich, but it is a once-a-winter nostalgia treat with fond memories for me.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                              I confess: I'm a carboholic (I know, I'm working on rehab!) but dang, this sounds good!

                                                                              1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                That sounds like a wonderful recipe to have on hand. Many thanks for sharing!! :)

                                                                              2. Not much anymore.

                                                                                There are some good boxed soups and broths that are useful to have in the pantry. Allesso makes some dried Italian classics that are a good starting point for hearty soups when you need something fast and can't soak beans.

                                                                                Other than that, we're big soup for dinner people and so I make them.

                                                                                1. Honestly have no idea when I last bought any. Probably university 20 years ago when I bought lots of it. Come to think of it, that was the last time I had coffee, too!

                                                                                  1. I think Campbell's has changed some of their recipes. I used to doctor up the bean w/ bacon w/more beans and some cut up hot dogs. Last time I had it it was disgusting. My favorite tomato soup of the canned soups is Campbell's tomato bisque. I make it w/egg like in egg drop soup, For a main dish, I mix canned french onion soup w/dark beer a few cloves of garlic and a splash of vinegar as a the liquid for pot roast in a crock pot.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                      Your post reminded me of our family's Hot Dogs, Beans and Bacon. Try this with the beans:

                                                                                      Cut up 1/2lb bacon into 2" chunks. Brown in large skillet. Remove bacon when brown and crispy. Drain most of the grease. Add 1 pkg hot dogs, that have each been cut up into 4 pieces. Brown the chunks in bacon grease, then remove. Chop up 1 med onion, add to pan, cook to soften. When soft, add back bacon and hot dogs, 2 cans of Campbells beans, dried parsley, onion powder, mustard and ketchup. Can also mix in some brown sugar if desired. Let cook for about 30 min until thickened and gooey.

                                                                                      You will appreciate those beans again.

                                                                                      1. Keep a few cans on hand in case of emergencies. Not much else.

                                                                                        1. I imagine there's some more good uses for cream of mushroom or is it that it's just too easy to make it from scratch with ingredients usually in the house?

                                                                                          1. I can't remember the last time I bought canned soup of any kind. I am not above convenience foods at times but soup...too easy to make my own.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                                                              I don't use any canned soup but that's not to say it's 'poison'. Lots of people for lots of reasons pretty much depend on using canned soups/veg/meats/fruits/ At least they are attempting to feed their kids something.
                                                                                              I went to a big 'swap meet' and the entire contents of a grocery store that had closed had been donated to the local food bank. The volunteers were selling cans of soup for a quarter. People were stocking up. Most looked like they could use the bargain/s.

                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                We used to get Progresso soups, especially the lentil. But it just doesn't taste good to me any more.

                                                                                                At $.25, that is a nutritious bargain.

                                                                                            2. I use the cans to weigh down a pâté or rillette.


                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: WNYamateur

                                                                                                Not if you and/or your family are like hundreds of millions of people on the planet who wake up hungry and go to bed hungry.
                                                                                                A long time ago when I was commercial fishing one of the staples on board were the large cans of 'Progressive' french pea soup.
                                                                                                Now each time I see it in the grocery store it's like it's calling out to me "Remember me? Remember how good I was for you? When you were cold and tired and needed unconditional comfort who did you turn to? Please don't just walk away and pretend there was never anything between us. You're breaking my heart again!".
                                                                                                I swear the next time I go shopping I'm buying a can.