As you likely know by now, I had a simply FABULOUS time at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, especially as a Progresso Artisan Ambassador. (Check out my recap here). Today I’m sharing my experience sampling the actual Progresso Artisan soups – there are five varieties so far, and I heard from my Progresso sources that there may be more in the works. (My vote: mushroom bisque, mushroom bisque!). The soups are great for those weeknights where I come home late and just need to spend some quality time on the couch – I know I’m not the only one, right?? I just heat them on the stove for a few minutes and they are good to go. You have to give me credit for using the stovetop instead of my microwave – I’m classy like that.
Aaaaanyway, on to the soups!
The first variety I sampled was the Smoky White Bean and Winter Vegetable:
I admit I tried this one first because I’m not the hugest fan of bean soups (cream soups, on the other hand – yum). Hearty and satisfying, this soup is perfect for the chillier weather and features white beans and black-eyed peas, parsnips, turnips and carrots in a rich chicken broth. When I took my first taste, I was immediately sold by the intense smoky flavor and…wait, what was that? Yup, definitely a hint of bacon! I checked the ingredient list and sure enough, bacon fat was listed. OF COURSE I would like a soup with bacon fat. Way to get me to come around to bean soups, Progresso. I salute thee.
The next soup I sampled was the Creamy Tomato with Roasted Red Pepper:
The Creamy Tomato with Roasted Red Pepper blends garlic, olive oil, and spices with ripe tomatoes and Italian roasted peppers. I realize I may seem like a bit of a pessimist, but I tried this one next because I’m not the biggest fan of sun-dried tomatoes and wanted to work my way up to my favorite soups varieties. I don’t think that’s pessimistic, rather a setting of expectations, right? Well, that’s what I’m going with. Then again, it is a creamy tomato soup and I loooove cream soups. So which characteristic would reign supreme?
I was pleasantly surprised by this one was well because the red pepper flavor didn’t overwhelm the soup, but rather added a subtle warmth. I topped the soup with some shredded Parmesan – yum! This soup would be perfect with a classic grilled cheese.
I then moved on to the Masala Curry Butternut Squash:
The Masala Curry Butternut Squash blends sweet winter squash with garam masala, coconut, and cream – the result is luxuriously decadent. I suspected I would like this one, and I was correct. I like to make my own curried butternut squash and pear soup, but Progresso’s version is a worthy alternative when I don’t have time to spend a few hours in the kitchen 🙂
My fourth selection was the Creamy Potato with Sausage and Kale:
I did not try kale until a few years ago, when I joined a CSA – while I wouldn’t say it was my favorite veggie (my heart belongs to Brussels sprouts), kale has certainly grown on me (kale smoothie, anyone?). This soup was inspired by Zuppa Toscana, with a base of creamy chicken broth flavored with garlics and herbs. Add in potatoes and sausage, and this soup was a full meal in itself. I mean, that didn’t stop me from supplementing my soup with a roll, but don’t feel the need to do the same. Give the roll to me instead. Mmmm, carbs.
Finally, I sampled the Rustic Tomato with Chicken and Dumplings (first photo), inspired by Chicken Cacciatore! The zesty tomato base takes the lead role, with roasted chicken, spinach and olive oil. And while I’m more used to the Asian definition of dumplings, I will enjoy any dumpling – these were no exception.
Overall, I had a ton of fun sampling the Progresso Artisan Soups as well as representing Progresso Artisan at the NYC Wine & Food Festival as an Ambassador. Keep an eye out for these soups, and remember to come back and let me know which variety is your favorite!
Which of the above soups would you most like to try?