I grew up on Campbell's Condensed soups; split pea, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, tomato, beef & barley, etc. My Dad used to take to cream of something soups, and combine them. As a child, I thought he was very creative and daring. To his credit, his parings worked. I liked the cream of mushroom combined with the clam chowder, or cream of celery soups, for instance.
Now I know that I can make a better cream of anything soup from scratch. But I don['t always have the time, or ingredients to do so. When I have a desire for cream of mushroom soup, and can't make my own, I've always turned to the Campbell's condenced soup. It has good mushroom flavor, and I like the texture. I take a spoonful of soup, move it to my cheeks, and strain the mushrooms against my cheek while pushing the liquid through my teeth to swallow. I leave little globules of the starch in the soup as they have a more intense mushroom flavor than if they are completely homogenized with the milk or water. The soup broth is still creamy enough.
I just tried a store brand for comparison to the Campbell's version. I[ve tried multiple stor brands from multiple stores, and have always found them lacking in flavor. The brand I jsut tried is Meyr brand cream of mushroom, condenced soup. The flavor is so close to the Campell's, I don't think I could tell them apart, unless sampling them side by side. As always, i strained all of the mushrrom bits into my cheeks, so that when the bowl of soup was consumed, I had a good ocuple of cheekfulls of mushrooms to munch. To my surprise, when I started chewing them, a good mushroom flavor came out, stonger than in the soup broth. And I believe there might have been a few more mushroom bits in the Meyer brand compared to the Campbells.
When I don't have time to make a really great cream of mushroom soup, the Meyer brand is good enough, and is a good value.
Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North