Quick Weeknight Soup? Use Canned Soups as a Base

We read Stephanie’s post yesterday about Williams-Sonoma’s new line of “soup starters” with great interest. You see, we’ve been using basic canned and boxed soups as a base for creating richer and more filling meals for years! Do you do this?

The truth is that some of those pre-made soups are pretty darn tasty and even nutritious. We’re absolutely addicted to the red pepper soup from Trader Joe’s and always seem to have a can or two of Annie’s Organic Lentil Soup in our cupboard.

In the interest of making these soups more filling, getting some fresh vegetables into our diner, and also stretching one can of soup into multiple meals, we started adding in our own ingredients and spices. We usually do a simple sauté of onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a green like chard or spinach, and just stir it into the warmed soup. Extra pepper and a spice like smoked paprika usually help jazz things up, and then we’re done.

This might not be as deeply flavorful as a soup that has spent hours simmering on the back burner, but it’s very satisfying for a mid-week meal.

Do you have a favorite store-bought soup that you like to doctor up?

Related: Kitchen Shortcuts: Ways to Improve Store-Bought Broth

(Image: Flickr member neil conway licensed under Creative Commons)