Chicken soup is an old soup, maybe as old as since humans learned how to boil water. As a practical matter, cooking meat in water can stretch out the use of that meat, from a pound of poultry that might feed a few people to a vat of soup that might feed a dozen. The idea that chicken soup is therapeutic isn’t new either: you can find Chinese references to feeding it to sick people dating back to before the birth of Christ.
Chicken soup — and it’s descendent, chicken noodle soup — are staples worldwide, including in the United States. Certainly you can make homemade chicken soup, and make it well. If you’re in a hurry, though, there are no shortage of canned heat-and-eat options. The most famous by far is Campbell’s soup, but you can also find other brands. What’s more, nearly all grocers and many other stores carry their own house brand versions.
Dollar General is one of them.
Clover Valley Chicken Noodle Condensed Soup can be found in the canned food section of the store, next to the name brands. (Yes, you can also get Campbell’s soups at DG if you want.) The 10.5 ounce soup can costs 50 cents, which is comparable to the price you’d pay for the same amount of soup at Aldi and is much less than what Campbell’s goes for. In short, this is a competitive price for chicken noodle soup.
Prep is about the same as you’ll see with other canned soups. You simply pop open the lid, then pour the contents of the can alongside a can of water. The lid is a pop-top, so you don’t need to use a can opener.
You can make this soup using either a microwave or a stovetop. To use the microwave, you combine the can contents with one can of water in a microwave safe container, then cover and heat on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Then you let sit for 1 minute before serving.
To cook on the stove top, you mix the can contents with one can of water in a saucepan, then heat over the stovetop and stir until it simmers.
I usually cook soup over the stovetop, but either method works about the same.
For being a chicken noodle soup, it’s pretty light on actual physical chicken. We found maybe one significant piece of chicken in the can as well as a few flakes. That barely qualifies as a true chicken noodle soup, and feels more like a chicken broth noodle soup. Despite that, the chicken flavor is there, and as soups go it’s actually pretty good. It’s salty and doesn’t feel watered down.
Nutritionally, many chicken noodle soups are notoriously high in sodium, and this is no exception. One serving is about 40% of your daily sodium allowance. Given that there’s 2.5 servings per can, your cardiologist might take issue with you eating the whole thing by yourself.
Dollar General’s chicken noodle soup is a generally tasty, inexpensive soup. It’s more about chicken broth than chicken pieces, but if you can get over the fact that it’s light on meat you could do worse.