Monday, November 1, 2010
Let's start at the very beginning...
I am certain that for many people a quest through the land of soup would begin at Chicken Noodle. That is the traditional soup of childhood sick days. But not for my family. Soup in my family begins at Tomato.
So I decided that EaMoSuMo would begin with Tomato-- and not just any Tomato-- Campbell's Tomato Heat & Enjoy Microwaveable Soup.
I am the eldest of four. My father was a grad student most of my childhood and so we ate a lot of cheap food. We ate a lot of soup. We ate a lot of Hamburger Helper and also TV Dinners-- but not Lean Cuisine foo-foo TV dinners-- metal tray TV dinners with four segments full of lava. This was in the 60's and the 70's. We were tough back then.
My mother always served tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches and dill pickles and so for a real comfort fest it has to be with the sandwiches and the pickles. But for lunch I like tomato soup with lots of pepper.
When I got to grad school myself, I was on my own for the very first time and my food budget was $25 a month. This was in the early '80s and $25 went farther than it would today, but still-- it didn't go far.
I do think Ramen was around then, but it wasn't all the rage. I lived on Campbell's soup, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Rice-a-roni and beer. But that was okay-- I was young and determined and moved around a lot :).
And now-- tomato soup still tastes like youth and determination to me.
But now that I'm an old woman, it's hard to look past the fact that soup can pack a lot of sodium, particularly canned soup. So I'm going to log the data here so as to compare. This 15.4 oz Campbell's Tomato soup is two servings with 480 mg each. If I were to eat the entire thing (which I didn't) I would have had 40% of my recommended daily value of salt.
And yet-- a quick peek online at some other products (yes, I know, that's cheating) reveals that that's not actually high for canned soup. And yet if I were to eat this entire thing (200 calories) and stick to 2000 calories a day, I'd have had 40% of my salt in 10% of my calories. And only 3 grams of protein.
So for nostalgia and dependability, I'd give Campbell's Tomato Soup 4 out of 4 spoons.
For nutrition and balance, I'm afraid I have to give it only 1 spoon out of 4. I'd give it zero but for the fact that it is low calorie and filling, and because of the antioxidant properties of tomato products.
Final score: 5 spoons out of 8.
P.S. Don't go for a manicure and forget to vote.