Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hearty Pizza with Sausage & Pepperoni Chunky Soup- Target: Cherry Hill, NJ

Hearty Pizza with Sausage & Pepperoni Chunky Soup- Target: Cherry Hill, NJ
That's right! Pizza. Flavored. Soup. Let that sink in for a moment.

I love pizza, and I like pizza-flavored chips and snacks, but a soup? It sounds like a bad idea, and it doesn't hurt that the Chunky-line has a pretty rough reputation. When I was younger, the vegetable flavored Chunky soup was my favorite lazy meal, because I'd open the can, dump it into my giant mug, microwave it, and I had an instant dinner! Even then I would admit that it didn't taste the best, but it was very filling and super easy. 

After working at Panera bread, all canned soups were ruined for me forever. (Refrigerated or Frozen is definitely the way to go if you're not making homemade.) I'll still have the occasional canned vegetable-based soup when I'm sick, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try a pizza flavored soup. It's just too bad an idea not to try.

The can layout is typical for Campbell's Chucky line of soups, it's bold, red, and I feel like it's designed and advertized to reach a mostly male audience. This layout is kind of odd, it looks like it want to be extreme, like Dorito's and Mountain Dew, but it also wants to look like it might be slightly fancier than other canned soups. What with the faux wood textured background and all. I feel like this specific can is marketed toward mom's with teenage or preteen sons who like pizza. Now I'm a adult female in her late 20's with no children, and this doesn't really appeal to me as a consumer or a graphic designer, but the food blogger in me is intrigued by the concept (and how potentially bad this might be) so it gets your attention. The question is, should it?

Also the can mentions to "pour this over pasta" for an easy weekday meal. I am Italian. Do not do that. Ever. I will come to your house, scold you, make you a proper Italian meal, and then punch you in the face. All kidding aside, seriously, don't do that. Chunky commercials try to tell you to dump these things over rice or noodles to make an even more filling meal, but really, they do not taste good on their own. By adding noodles or rice you're just stretching an already c-class meal even further. It's a good way to get more bang for your buck, since rice and noodles are cheap, but the flavor and contents from one can is enough. I've never eaten a can of Chunky soup and thought, "wow, that was delicious, I wish I had more!" This is a relatively affordable lazy meal item. You eat this when you don't feel like cooking, or you're sick, or you're a food blogger.

Okay enough ranting. Let's pop this can open and heat this up.

I opened the peel-back lid, and the liquid inside looked like pizza sauce, but smelled like Spaghetti O's. I personally am not a fan of that super sweet tomato based sauce-stuff that Spaghetti O's are canned in, so this was not a pleasant aroma for me, and the scent alone made me regret buying it for review.

I poured it into a pot and cooked it on my stove top, and there were tons of these big beige-y...things in it. As I poured, I assumed it was blobs of cheese that would melt into the soup as it cooked to make it seem more pizza-y, but they're actually some kind of dough-wads. I guess they are kind of like a dumpling. Heavy, chewy, a little slimey on the outside, and nearly flavorless.There were easily more wads of this doughy stuff in this soup than anything else.

I heated it up, and the soup took on a meatier, pepperoni-like aroma. After everything was nice and hot I poured some into a bowl and moved into my photo set up for photos and tasting.

I took a bite, and this is not great. Then again, who really looks at a pizza flavored Chunky soup and expects it to be a gourmet meal? The broth tastes like the pizza sauce from those rectangle shaped Ellio's pizzas, which reminds me of American school lunches, and Spaghetti O sauce. This saucey  broth has that same canned tomato-y sweetness, but the herb blend and pepperoni bits give it a hint of spiciness. It's not completely awful, it's kind of enjoyable in that cheap bad pizza kind of way, but it's not really good either.

As for the contents of the soup, there were tons of these dumpling dough-ball things. They were super bland, dense, chewy, and pretty gross. They were my least favorite part and they were everywhere! I guess it's meant to mimic pizza dough, but really, they were pretty awful. The dumplings from my Cafe Steamer crustless Chicken Pot Pie meal were better, and that's saying something. Other than the dumplings there are bits of pepper, tomato, sausage and pepperoni. The rest of the mix-ins weren't bad, and the meats had a decent texture as far as canned meat goes, but overall, this was gross.

I could eat it when it was piping hot and fresh off the stove, it was tolerable in the cheap bad freezer pizza kind of way, but the second it starts cooling down this reaches sad Spaghetti O territory, and I can't stand those things.

Would I recommend this? Yes, but only for teens and preteens who want an easy after-school meal. This is the soup version of bad pizza, but it's actually really filling. Also, if any of you really like Spaghetti O's, this might be a more meatyadult-version for you to try, but I honestly hated it. I will never buy this again.
Like Sometimes Foodie's Facebook page to keep up with all my foodie adventures!


  1. i poured it out on noodles before trying it. my girlfriend hates me now. i hate me now.

  2. I swore off fast food, fried food and sweets four years ago and don't regret it, though I occasionally miss pizza. I won't do French Bread Pizza either as I treasure my crown and don't wish to go through another crown and the $$ for same just to experience that wonderful crunchy crust. I almost bought this today when I saw "New" as I drifted past the Chunky Soup. So glad I Googled for a review and found yours. :) There are always English Muffins with a squirt of Ragu and some Mozzarella cheese ... voila pizza, just like you made in Home Ec back in the day!

    1. Good for you! English muffin pizzas are above and beyond better than this bizarre mock-pizza-soup.