There's a new line-up of Chunky soups from Campbell's, and if you can believe the marketing pitch, the pub food-inspired flavors (Hearty Cheeseburger, Philly-Style Cheesesteak, and Spicy Chicken Quesadilla) are "sure-to-be-classics".
The main element of the Hearty Cheeseburger soup is cubes of potato, but I also came across a decent amount of beef, shaped to resemble miniature hamburger patties, roughly the size of a quarter. They have a grey tinge, look like circular slices of hot dog or sausage, and taste almost identical to the meatballs you'll find in a can of Chef Boyardee pasta. According to the list of ingredients, they contain a mix of sirloin beef, reconstituted onions, potato extract, salt, monosodium glutamate, and flavoring. (Yum?)
What was most striking about the soup was its neon orange hue. I was hoping that it would have a strong flavor to match, but it tasted more like a salty mixture of tomatoes and watered-down, heavily artificial cheese flavoring.
On the label, the meal suggestion is to pour the soup over a baked potato, but I wouldn't advise that. Potatoes are already the second ingredient (after water) and what this soup needs isn't another starchy component, but spice. Puréed chipotle peppers, a generous squirt of sriracha, or another form of hot sauce would go a long way. So, unless you're willing to doctor it up quite a bit, I'd pass on this new soup flavor.
Campbell's is promoting the cheeseburger soup, along with the rest of the line-up, as a simple, tasty dish to enjoy while watching football, but if you're willing to invest some time into preparing a snack, you'd be much better off with this Gooey Cheeseburger Dip from The Food Lab.