I make a pot of soup, homemade from start to finish, more frequently than any other thing in the kitchen -- so often, I have repeats and won't bother boring everyone with my various soup nights. I bookmark soup recipes often. I collect soup cookbooks (and every other kind).
One thing I've learned over the years: There are very, VERY few canned soups or soup mixes worth eating. For those rare occasions when I do buy ready made soup, it's so easy to doctor up with fresh herbs, added chicken broth, some fried sage. Not that it's much of a concern: Homemade soup is so easy.
It was surprising, then, as I was trolling the aisles of my natural foods co-op, looking for something simple and fast, that I glanced at a package of soup and thought: That sounds and looks good. I'm buying it.
It was a package of Fantastic World Foods New Simmer Soups, in Blarney Stone Creamy Potato flavor. I had a vision of sitting down to a bowl of simmered potato soup, just like my mother used to make, with a slice of warm bread and butter ready to sop (just in case the potato soup wasn't carby enough). Potato soup, done right, is one of the few soups I don't make because a) I don't have the confidence mine will be as good as hers and b) the time and labor in peeling all those potatoes. No thanks (do I need potato peeling mitts? Hmm).
As it cooked, I quickly sauteed a bit of sage and pancetta, to top the potato soup. ::Ding:: It's ready! Doctor it with the sage mixture (which was already smelling heavenly), and dig in.
Why did I think this package of soup could compare to Mom's Potato Soup?
Because I'm an idiot.
This stuff was awful. Plain and simple. Starchy and false tasting. Riddled with too many herbs (if that's possible) which were false tasting. Tiny bits of potatoes which, after reconstituting, were no bigger than dried onion flakes (despite the large hunks of potatoes in the photograph). A waste of my time and good milk.
Fortunately, my ONLY smart move with this purchase, was that as I began to make the soup, I saw that it required 7-1/2 cups of milk, whisked into the mix. Wha--?! How much?! No way, not on a trial soup. I measured out 1/2 of the package and mixed in 3 cups of milk, instead.
Good thing. I wasted 3 cups of milk. Sorry about that, milk.
Verdict: This stuff went right down the drain.
Skill: None, including purchase decision making
Repeat: Not even for money