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I Tried 8 Brands of Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup—These Were the Best

Plus the one to skip.

<p>Sara Haas</p>

Sara Haas

Cream of mushroom soup is a pantry staple in a lot of households across the country. Its versatility, from a casserole ingredient to the base of a creamy pasta, to simply enjoying on its own, is endless. While I didn’t grow up on cream of mushroom soup, my husband did and when I was pregnant, he made me a fan, too. There’s one brand that most of us think of when it comes to canned cream of mushroom soup but in fact, there are many different versions with different flavors. After tasting eight, we found there’s a lot of variability between brands. Here are the ones we liked the best.

How I Tested

After picking up eight different types of cream of mushroom soup, I prepared them all on the stove according to their package instructions. A couple didn’t require the addition of liquid (they weren’t condensed) but the remaining cans either called for water or for milk to prepare the soup. When they called for water or milk, I used whichever was listed first, which in all cases was water. There was only one soup that just listed milk.

After heating all the soups, we tasted them blind—tasters didn’t know which soup was which when it came to brands. This allowed people to give their tasting notes based solely on flavor, texture, and saltiness instead of brand loyalty.

The Best Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup Taste Test

Best Budget Pick: Great Value Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup

<p>Sara Haas</p>

Sara Haas

Tasting the Great Value Cream of Mushroom Soup next to the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, in what we call a side-by-side tasting, we found that both got equal scores for flavor, texture, and saltiness. That said, they weren’t the top-scoring picks of all the soups we tasted however, for $0.54, there is no better budget pick than the soup from Walmart. It truly is a Great Value.

Best for Making a Quick Creamy Sauce: Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic

<p>Sara Haas</p>

Sara Haas

The addition of garlic to the classic Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup is a really nice flavor addition for those garlic lovers out there. While you could just add garlic powder to classic soup, it’s one less thing you have to think about—and don’t we all need more of that these days? Highly recommend trying it to make Cream of Mushroom Chicken or Creamy Beef Tips with Egg Noodles.

We also appreciate that Campbell's offers a gluten-free option.

Best for Eating as Straight Soup: Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup

<p>Sara Haas</p>

Sara Haas

The Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup was the clear and uncontested winner among all of the cream of mushroom soups for eating as straight soup. Its creamy texture, large mushroom pieces, savory flavor, and appropriate saltiness made it the only one that tasters said they would happily eat a bowl of without adding anything.

Skip This One: Health Valley Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup

<p>Sara Haas</p>

Sara Haas

At first glance, the mushroom pieces look large, the color a nice brown, and the texture is pleasantly creamy. But one bite and tasters immediately described this soup as dusty, musty, and earthy in an unpleasant way. In addition to the mushroom flavor tasting like dirt, this soup also had undertones of rancid dried thyme. Skip this one for sure.

Honorable Mention: Trader Joe’s Condensed Portobello Mushroom Soup

Trader Joe's version was the pick for "Tastes Most Like Homemade" but because it is only available seasonally, it doesn't have a spot on the main list.

With large mushroom pieces and a deep savory flavor, the box of condensed mushroom soup from TJ’s scored high marks from tasters. This soup had a really nice brown color, brighter herbs and spices, and a hint of garlic and onion that wasn’t masked by salt. Stock up when you see it in the fall.

Read the original article on All Recipes.