Chef's Cupboard Chunky Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Canned Soup (Aldi)

Can of Chef's Cupboard Chunky Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Soup, on the shelf at Aldi
As far as canned soups go, this one is actually pretty good.

Well, we all saw how disappointed I was with the terrible cheddar-broccoli-potato-chicken soup that I reviewed earlier, so now it’s time to be disappointed by the Grilled Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, a soup I used to infrequently get for something different when I was single. Things got off to an appropriately shitty start right from the outset--pouring this into a bowl sounds, and even looks, like a bad case of diarrhea. So much so that even my wife, who was in the living room when I poured it, commented on how disgusting it sounded, without me even mentioning anything. That’s usually not a good sign when your food takes on any singular characteristic of poop.

However, I must say that the remainder of my experience went uphill from there, to the extent that I was greatly impressed with this stuff. Well, “greatly” when put in direct comparison to the other disappointing Chef’s Cupboard soups that I've had. While there’s clearly an abundance of sodium (I don’t even need to look at the label to verify this…you can easily TASTE it) at least there’s also quite a bit of decent flavor. I’ve never had gumbo from a restaurant (What do you expect from me? I live in Ohio) so I can’t compare (though how could canned compare to fresh stuff anyway?), but here we have lots of soggy rice, blended with celery, and quite a bit of sausage.

Like I said, everything’s just kind of heaped in with a salty taste, but the sausage does manage to poke through with a meaty finish that’s actually pretty good. I generally don’t like rice (unless it’s with Chinese food), but the wet, soggy rice gives the soup a unique texture that’s unlike most soups…with the added benefit of not really adding any flavor, so I can’t complain. The broth is also pretty good. I can’t say that I will get this very often, simply because canned soups have fallen off my radar, but I may pick one up just to have in the pantry for a light dinner, or a quick snack at some point down the road. Easily the best of the Chef’s Cupboard soups that I’ve been reacquainted with.

Overall: 7/10. For a canned soup, this is pretty good, and by far the best of the Chef’s Cupboard ones I’ve tried. It’s overly salty, a la just about all canned soups, but this one at least provides some flavor, courtesy of a tasty broth and some large chunks of sausage that are actually pretty flavorful. The soggy rice adds a texture that’s a little different from similar products, and is a welcome change, without adding much in the way of flavor. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it, because the sodium level is really high (so high you can literally taste it), but I’ll get this from time to time just to have on hand as a snack, or light dinner.