Nothing lasts forever, that’s just a hard, cold fact of life. So it’s good to know you can always tuck into a warm, comforting bowl of soup when the colder, harder parts of life are getting you down. But not any of the soups discussed here, though, because they have been discontinued or dropped from restaurant menus.
Grocery and menu items are discontinued all the time, and when a product is no longer offered, the inevitable result is its lamentation by customers who miss it. And indeed it makes sense to miss a few of the soups featured here, like Pepper Pot Soup, an American classic. Others, however, probably did both their brand and us consumers a favor when they were discontinued.
Does anyone really need to eat a canned soup version of a Philly cheesesteak, for example? We’re willing to risk stirring up some controversy when we say… no.
According to Tea Philadelphia Inquirer, Campbell Soup sold their canned Pepper Pot Soup from 1899 to 2010, a more than 110-year run. So rather than lamenting that this beloved soup is gone for good, let’s instead celebrate the long history it enjoyed. Versions of a pepper pot soup trace their roots all the way back to pre-Revolutionary times, and recipes to make your own batch from scratch abound, so you can still get a taste of this historic American dish, just not one bought off the self .
The most recent comment about an order of Dinty Moore’s Meatball Stew on an Amazon page comes from early 2016. This staple soup of the 20th century made it into the second decade of the 21st, but it’s now discontinued and gone. If you want a beefy potato-y, carrot-y stew from Dinty Moore, you’ll need to go with their beef stew.
Lots of canned soup have disappeared from grocery store shelves of online ordering platforms, but so too have many soups once sold in stores slipped off menus, like Panera Bread’s beloved Clam Chowder. According to Mashed, despite being a favorite of many customers, the chowder just didn’t sell well and as the chain moved to a fixed menu rather than a revolving offering of soups, they quietly dropped this creamy seafood classic. But don’t fret too much, you can still buy Panera at Home clam chowder at many grocery stores.
A once-beloved soup, Trader Joe’s axed this autumnal soup in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, thus 2019 was the last fall and winter in which fans could their hands on the stuff, which came in a plentiful 32-ounce box and was perfect for colder weather enjoyment.
As if the loss of Panera’s chowder wasn’t bad enough, the chain also had to go and nix their beloved Black Bean Soup, according to Restless Chipotle. It was popular enough for people to launch a campaign on Change.org calling for its return, but so far those calls have not led to a return of this vegetarian staple. But again, you can turn to Panera at Home.
A rich and hearty chili that was loaded with flavor and protein but, of course, free of meat, the disappearance of this canned staple hit many customers hard. These days, you have to switch brands to get a vegetarian chili, but you can still get great beef and turkey chilis from TJ’s.
Hoping to create a menu item that would be a great comfort food in colder weather, McDonald’s added the McSoup to its menu in many markets many decades back. The soup was popular with some customers but a big picture flop, according to Insiderlargely because it was effectively nothing more than Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup in a McD’s branded container.
While most of the reviews of this discontinued soup—which was focused about half a decade ago—are positive, others excoriated the stuff, such as one customer who said in part: “[It’s] a watery, flavorless concoction… [that] depends upon the thin yellowish-white stock to establish the “cheese” credential … [has] a ‘steak’ ingredient that’s several tiny thin pieces of meat which lack the thickness, the heft, the substance and the flavor to resemble the satisfactory beefiness of even the worst cheesesteak sandwich I enjoyed while living in the Philadelphia area.” Ouch. But then again, a canned soup version of a sandwich?
Steven John is a freelance writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more