Category Archives: Soup Club

Grocery Games: The Original Soupman Review

What’s the deal with grocery stores?

Yes, I did say that in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice. (Admittedly, my best Jerry Seinfeld sounds more like Kermit than Jerry Seinfeld.) 

Grocery stores are weird places. They’re like the airports of everyday life. Nobody really wants to be there. Everybody is a little bit too loud. Almost no etiquette exists.

If you really try, though, you can make your own fun at these often hellish places.

For instance, try to find the saddest tagline in the grocery store.

WAIT, I FOUND IT!

Celeste

I was able to get a list of the rejected taglines that the Celeste pizza company didn’t go with and guys, some of them are grim. 

  • Celeste Pizza. Pizza for just you because you’re so very, very alone.
  • Celeste Pizza. Might as well buy some cats.
  • Celeste Pizza. Kill yourself after.

Then there are the weird products you see. For instance, I saw Peeps flavored milk and eggnog. 

HT_peeps_milk_01_jef_150305_4x3_608.jpg

Peeps are probably the most divisive candy out there. (Only slightly more disgusting than Cadbury creme eggs.) So, why would we ruin delicious milk with with the horror of a Peep? The people who make Celeste pizzas should sell them together.

  • Celeste Pizzas, now with Dessert Peeps. A cry for help!

And then, there’s this. 

Remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld? Apparently he has a line of soups that are sold in grocery stores.

If you don’t remember the episode (which is now 20 years old), it’s actually based on a real guy, Al Yegeneh. He was widely considered to make the best soup in Manhattan, but was also widely considered the meanest guy in the entire world.

It seems he has a bit of an empire now–lots of locations for soup, a soup line sold nationwide in gro stos, a soup line that is hawked by Shaq. Cause nothing says soup like Shaq.

Seriously, this is from the press release about their company, The Original Soupman:

Shaquille O’Neal serves as an advisor to and equity partner in the Company, as does Mr. October, Reggie Jackson and Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated and Tony Award® winning actor Jason Alexander.

What must those board meetings be like?

Naturally, I bought two boxes. Peeps milk I will never try. But kitschy sitcom soup from Shaq and Mr. October?? Sure. Why not? 

 

First of all, this is the busiest packaging ever.

If you look at it, it’s got heating instructions! Details about Al and Seinfeld! Information about New Yorkers and their queueing habits! Potential soup side effects! They forgot one: eye rolls.

Do you see the bottom there? Al signed his name under the phrase “Love Life, Love Soup.” Do you think that Al Yegeneh ACTUALLY says “Love Life, Love Soup”? Like that’s how he signs his holiday cards or business emails or the Tetra Paks of soup that he signs at all the Soup Trade Shows? 

I tried two of the soups: crab and corn chowder and the lobster bisque. Neither of them look particularly appetizing here.

FullSizeRender (1)

Actually, they look pretty gross. Neither were anything to write home about. (Apparently, they were interesting enough to blog about, though.) I’d say that the lobster bisque was probably the best packaged soup I’ve ever had. I could actually taste sherry, so it had that going for it. I did go back for seconds with my tiny bowl.

Maybe there are more surprises to be found at the grocery store. Maybe there’s a line of Kimmy Gibbler rainbow macarons. Or Steve Urkel sliced deli cheese.

Maybe the grocery store isn’t so weird after all. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a little bit magical.

 

Love Life, Love Soup.

Bethany

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A Letter to Taylor: No Fail Soup Recipes

My dearest, darling Taylor,

You are so very good at so many things. I know this because we went to college together and were in the same sorority (yes, y’all, Kappa Deltas are ballin’). You write a touching, yet hilarious, blog about motherhood and witty articles in actual publications. And, oh yeah, you’re mom to an adorable little nugget.
Taylor and Wee Connor

Come on. Is there anything cuter?

Look at his delight at the pho. This boy loves soup!

Look at his delight at the pho. This boy loves soup!

Wee Connor loves vegetables and hates bananas. I love Wee Connor.

Wee Connor loves vegetables and hates bananas. I love Wee Connor.

But apparently, dear Taylor, you are not the best at making soup.
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I haven’t tasted your soup. I fear you may be hard on yourself. Cause surely if you can make a human, you can make a soup, right? To be fair, I don’t exactly know how you make humans. It’s in a stock pot, right?
Winter is coming and without soup, you may die in Chicago. So, I’ve got three recipes for easy soup handpicked for you. I could say they’re foolproof, but you ain’t no fool. Friendproof? Eh, I’m still working on that one.
AOT,
Bethany
PS. If anyone else is eavesdropping with their eyeballs, aka eyvesdropping, these recipes will probably not work for you. These will literally only work for Taylor.
This is my Gramma’s recipe for her vegetable beef soup. No Grammas were harmed in the making of this soup. The most time consuming thing is the vegetable choppery. This is soup from an Indiana woman, so you know it’s going to keep you guys warm in the wintertimes. Plus, bonus: it’s delicious.
Say what you will about Rachael Ray (I hate when she calls it EVOO. There I said it.) But some of her recipes are really great. This is one of my favorites. It’s a simple, quick, stick-to-your ribs kind of soup. Plus, it’s easy to double and freezes well for up to 2 weeks.
Don’t be daunted by stock makery. I made the stock, but I had time to make some stock. I think there are places where you can easily take shortcuts. Buy a rotisserie chicken and use that. Buy boxed/canned stock instead of making your own. Would it be better to make your own at home? Eh, maybe. But ain’t nobody got time for that.
For the soup:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
  • 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

For the Chicken Stock:
  • 1 whole free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
  • 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
  • 2 large white onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 1 turnip, halved
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.

Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.

Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.

Yield: 2 quarts

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Sick Day: Lipton Noodle Soup Secrets

You guuuuuuuuuuys.

I don’t feel good.

I don’t feel good at all.

It’s so bad that it’s affecting my grammar.

I hope it doesn’t get so bad that I forget how to punctuate.

Sidenote: Everybody needs to remember how to use a comma. Commas and apostrophes haven’t gone extinct, everyone. Dont just run on in your sentence and pretend like you dont need any punctuation because youre lazy or because you think because you write a blog the rules are different because internetz. [sic] Please for the love of Jesus/Buddha/Tom Hanks/WHOEVER you believe in, use a comma. Good grammar is sexy.

I’m working from home today and eating on that BRAT diet. Do y’all remember this?

Bananas (Nope, won’t eat those.)

Rice (Well, I have rice, but I’m not eating it right now.)

Applesauce (Don’t have any of that at home.)

Toast (Toast it is!)

I had a dry piece of toast for breakfast. A sensible meal, if ever I’ve had one. Then I graduated to my favorite sick day lunch: noodley soup.

That’s not what it’s actually called. It’s called Lipton Noodle Soup.

…pretty much the same.

You boil three cups of water. Stir in the packet of unnaturally yellow flavor and noodles. Turn off the heat and wait 5 minutes. Sick day success.

What secrets lie within this pouch, Soup?

What secrets lie within this pouch, Soup?

But wait. What? What what? What what what? Soupsecrets.com? Pray tell, what kind of secrets hath this soup? Did it have a steamy affair with a cracker? Does it actually hate being hot? Does it wish it was born a salad? I must click.

Oh BROTHER.

From soupsecrets.com/zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

From soupsecrets.com/zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

There are no secrets here. No frothy, brothy confessions. No salacious dish. Just boring brandspeak, nutritional content and and some “recipes.”

No. This website is so bad. It’s making me sick again.

i think im gonna herl

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