Specially Selected Soups: Tomato and Sweet Basil, Broccoli and Cheddar, Baked Potato and Bacon

Specially Selected SoupsIdeally, it’s best when you can make things from scratch. Life doesn’t always make that possible. Heat-and-serve soups are a popular option for a quick meal because they’re easy to make: you just microwave and eat. It’s even better when you have something you can store at room temperature until you’re ready to heat it, so you don’t have to mess with ice packs or a refrigerator.

On paper, Specially Selected Slow Cooked Soups fit the bill. They can be stored at room temperature, and all you need to make them is a microwave and a spoon. The question is: how do they taste?

I’ll get to that. First, though, a few basics about these soups. They’re Regular Buys, which means you can find them in stores every day. At the time of this post, these run $2.49 for a single-serving 15.5-ounce container.

Heating them is simple. First, you remove the cap. Next, partially peel back the plastic seal to allow steam to vent. Next, heat the individual container in a microwave for 2 minutes on high. After that, let it sit in the microwave for 1 minute. Finally, remove the container (be careful, it may be hot), stir, and eat. I recommend keeping an eye on the soup, as sometimes they can bubble out of the container toward the end of cooking.

Specially Selected Tomato and Sweet Basil Soup

Specially Selected Tomato and Basil Soup

Most of my family likes tomato basil soup, so we had high hopes for this soup. Unfortunately, those hopes didn’t work out. When it says it’s sweet, it’s not kidding — this is one of the sweetest soups I’ve ever had. My wife called it a “dessert soup.” If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, I agree. The ingredients show a sugar amount of about twice per ounce of what we see in our normal Campbell’s tomato soup.

No one in our family liked this, and no one finished even the small quarter of a serving they were given to try it out.

Specially Selected Tomato and Basil Soup

Specially Selected Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Specially Selected Broccoli and Cheddar SoupOur family is also a big fan of broccoli cheddar soup. We’ve made it from scratch, and we also liked the Bremer’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup that is sold as an Aldi Find and kept in the freezer.

Our feelings on this broccoli cheddar were mixed. I thought it was okay, but I was the only one. My wife hated it, as did my kids. My wife felt like it had a strange aftertaste, while my kids just found it bland. I will admit that it’s not as flavorful as I would like — it is light on the cheddar / cheese component — and the broccoli texture is pretty soggy, but I do think it’s at least superior to the tomato and sweet basil.

Specially Selected Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Specially Selected Baked Potato and Bacon Soup

Specially Selected Baked Potato and Bacon SoupWe are known to eat a loaded baked potato soup from time to time, and this is a serviceable one. Everyone in my family felt it was at least decent, and everyone agreed it was the best of the three. I thought it maybe a little on the bland side — it tasted like a canned soup — but it’s got so much sodium already I was hesitant to doctor it up much. Still, among the three it’s probably the winner.

Specially Selected Baked Potato and Bacon Soup

The Verdict:

The biggest virtue of these soups is that they can be stored at room temperature and are easy to make, so long as you have a microwave to heat them with and a spoon to eat them with. Unfortunately, the taste leaves something to be desired: the tomato and sweet basil is entirely too sweet, the broccoli and cheddar is lacking in cheddar, and the baked potato with bacon is merely okay. If we had to choose, we’d choose the baked potato with bacon, but in most cases I’d look for something else for lunch if I could.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at joshuaajohnston.com.

11 Comments

  1. This seems to be Aldi’s strategy; eliminate the lower priced items, like the excellent condensed vegetarian vegetable soup that was about 1/3 the price of this, and replace that with this kind of inferior product. I buy less and less at Aldi now.

  2. I do like the Tomato Basil. Could probably add a bit of milk/cream to smooth out the sweet taste, but I just add crushed saltines or eat it with a cheese sandwich. Have not tried the other two.

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this soup ! The sweetness is a refreshing change. The chunks of real tomato are amazing textural proof of the real ingredients. I will be stockpiling this, anything I can do to soften my fear of it being discontinued. This is high end restaurant quality at a more affordable price for those of us on an average budget.

  4. The tomato soup is cloyingly sweet—my wife and I were legitimately shocked by it. I’m not one to throw food out, but finishing this bowl was an unpleasant experience. Tastes like someone poured corn syrup into a pot of spaghetti sauce. Not recommended.

  5. What a wonderful good soup love it!

  6. I love all of these soups! However; I was paying $ 1.99 for them and they raised the price to $2.69 so I have stopped buying them.

  7. Personally this is the first time I am learning it is a microwave soup. I just open it put it into a saucepan add some cream and a bit of water heat it up , transfer it into a bowl drizle with olive oil and chop up some bazil ……..if available and eat and it tastes perfectly fine especially because it is in a plastic and not a tine container.

  8. Love it buy it right up Currently can’t find anyplace!

  9. I am just getting back from lunch at Burger King (which I try to avoid at all costs) because I could not finish the overwhelmingly sweet tomato and sweet basil soup that I brought to work for lunch. With limited time I didn’t want to starve so I went with the closest option. My whole point of buying these soups was to have a quick lighter lunch at work. This is definitely not the answer and I’m so disappointed because I love tomato soup. I would not try it again with crackers or grilled cheese or adding milk or cream. I didn’t even realize the sugar content was so high until seeing this post. This soup just isn’t the one for me. That’s exactly why I came online because I just knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way.

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