Seemingly humble canned soup can become an unbelievable, show-stopping dish with just a few simple ingredients. Brigaid’s founder and Noma’s former head chef, Dan Giusti, decided to test this claim with good ol’ Campbell’s Soup.
Campbell’s Soup is no longer limited to simple (but lackluster) three-ingredient slow-cooker recipes. In a recent Epicurious YouTube video, Chef Giusti showcased his culinary talents, transforming modest canned soups into masterpieces that will leave you swooning.
Moreover, Giusti manages to keep all three fabulous dishes affordable at less than $3 apiece, proving that meals on a budget don’t have to be bland or unappealing.
1. Campbell’s Tomato Bisque: Eggplant Croque Madame
Chef Giusti starts by whipping up an eggplant Croque madame. “Basically, a Croque madame is a fancy griddled ham and cheese sandwich with an egg on top,” he explains. However, Giusti takes a creative approach to the French classic by replacing the ham with eggplant.
He takes it one step further by replacing the milk in the bechamel sauce with Campbell’s Tomato Bisque. “We’re gonna get this kinda like grilled cheese tomato soup meets eggplant Parmesan meets Croque madame,” Giusti says.
Giusti begins by slicing, seasoning, and baking the eggplant in the oven. As that roasts, he whips up the tomato soup infused bechamel with butter, flour, and a bit of water.
The chef tops his toasted bread slices with bechamel sauce, roasted eggplant, mozzarella cheese, and sunny-side-up eggs to create a drool-worthy, open-face eggplant Croque madame.
2. Campbell’s Cream Of Mushroom Soup: Portobello Mushroom Soup
Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup deserves more than a supporting role in your go-to casserole recipe. Giusti elevates this neutral base soup to a new level with a robust, savory portobello mushroom soup.
Giusti starts by combining two cans of mushroom soup and two parts of water on the stove. As that begins to simmer, seasoned portobello mushrooms and a whole head of garlic at placed in the oven to roast until tender.
Once done, the roasted garlic goodness is squeezed out of its peel and added to the soup.
To plate, Giusti places the sliced roasted mushrooms in the middle of the bowl. Then, he tops it with a ladleful of cream of mushroom soup. A drizzle of whipped heavy cream and a sprinkle of fresh parsley finish off the delectable restaurant-style bowl of soup.
3. Campbell’s Bean And Bacon Soup: Roasted Chicken Thighs With Beans And Kale
Don’t sleep on Campbell’s Bean and Bacon Soup, either! “It serves as a great starting point,” Giusti explains. “You got white beans in it; you got bacon, there’s carrots in here. It’s based in this tomato puree, and then there is a variety of other seasonings that really make it this super savory punch.”
Giusti points out that you can prepare this dish in one pot, making it all the more appealing for busy weeknights.
To start, he seasons bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and adds to a hot pan to crisp the exterior. Next, two cans of Campbell’s Bean and Bacon Soup with two parts of water are added along with chopped rosemary, kale, and shallot. Giusti sprinkles the chicken with salt and layers the skillet with lemon slices to give the dish “an acidic kind of tanginess.”
Giusti bakes the skillet at 325ºF for 30 minutes or until the chicken is crisp and the lemons are caramelized. The end result looks infinitely more appetizing than a lone can of Campbell’s Bean and Bacon Soup.
Chef Giusti concludes his tasty tutorial with an encouraging reminder to not overlook the canned soup aisle. Not only is it extremely affordable and versatile, but if Giusti’s meals are any indication, unassuming Campbell’s soup can be elevated into a mouthwatering five-star meal in mere minutes. All you have to do is think outside the bowl.