Campbell's Condensed Cream of Tomato Soup
Alarm bells start ringing when I see taglines like 'Great For Cooking'. To me that reads as 'Not So Great For Eating'. Like a horrible wine that people use only for cooking, it implies that it does not stand up on its own merits and needs to be masked by superior spices. A soup that is only there for its liquidity and needs to be carried along by a variety of diverting elements provided by other things, like a great band with a crap keyboard player whose amp they turn down at gigs but who they have to keep in the band because he's the only one with a van.
Campbell's was of course made famous by Andy Warhol (as in 'hols'), and I have to say I only really think of the brand in terms of his trademark repeated prints rather than any actual flavour of their soup. But then you can't eat art can you? Or can you? Discuss/don't discuss etc.
Anyway, it's a condensed soup, so I have to add a tin of water to the soup and stir it in. Now this for me is cooking, and it's not 'great' as was claimed, it's an almighty faff. I didn't get into the microwaveable soup game for this kind of shit. And faff upon faff, I have to use a blumin' tin opener to get in there in the first place. How spoilt I have become by the revolutionary soup tin ring pull. My tin opener is blunt and old, so it takes a few attempts to open and I'm fairly sure some grimy tin opener particles and a few flecks of metal get into the soup in the process.
After all that back-breaking work, was it worth it? Well, no. I can't really understand who buys Campbell's soup. All I can see is a old man who lives in a flat on his own, wearing only trousers and braces, surrounded by copies of every national daily newspaper since 1948 and other sad detritus, who shows you his soup collection and points out the Campbell's soup with pride, saying with a glint in his eye, "It makes double, you know..."
Baxter's Pea and Ham Soup
This substance was gloopy and green, like a moss-frog pudding, and my bowl sat there like an ogre's used foot spa. It was a nasty green. A shade of green called TOAD DISSECTION GREEN or FOOTBALL KNEES GREEN or BAD GUTS GREEN. A shade of green that cries, "I could have been yellow, but it all went wrong". A shade of green called I LOST HOPE YEARS AGO. A shade of green called PLEASE LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.
It's not a pretty sight and the look of it recalls some tragic accident or is the foretelling of one. Maybe in this shade lies a clue of the coming of the end. The world as we know it, made up of trees and seas and smartphones, reduced to its core slop. In the beginning, there was nothing. In the end, there will be this soup, this green, this dirty horrible green. I beg of you, don't paint your downstairs loo in I LOST HOPE YEARS AGO or the kitchen TOAD DISSECTION GREEN. No one wants to see that. Don't even look at the soup. For the love of God, just have a sandwich. There is too much darkness to be seen in soups.