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Claim check: Campbell’s Slow Kettle Style soups

Will you 'want to slow down and savor' these fancy-sounding soups?

Consumer Reports magazine: December 2012

The claim. Campbell’s makes its Slow Kettle Style soups sound like something special. On the label: “Everything good takes time. Like slow-cooked soups with high-quality ingredients and delicious flavor combinations that deliver an experience you will want to slow down and savor.” And the flavors sound pretty fancy: Portobello Mushroom & Madeira Bisque, Burgundy Beef Stew, Tomato & Sweet Basil Bisque, Tuscan-Style Chicken & White Bean, and Southwest-Style Chicken Chili. The suggested retail price for a 15.5-ounce container is $3.99.

The check. In a blind test, four staffers tried each of the five soups. We heated them on a stove, suggested “for best results,” though you can microwave instead.

Bottom line. You say bisque, we say blech. Most of the soups were mediocre and tasted highly processed. Portobello Mushroom was a little better than most, though its mushrooms were rubbery; Burgundy Beef Stew was a bit worse, with some bitter and burnt notes. Meat, in soups that had it, was dry, stringy, or almost flavorless. A cup of each soup has about one-third of the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium. The bisques have the most calories and fat: A cup averages 245 calories and 16 grams of fat. And each container holds about 2 cups, so you’ll need to find someone to share it with.

Editor's Note: A version of this article appeared in the December 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine with the headline "Campbell’s So-So Soups."  
   

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