One of my favorite brands for soup mix is Shore Lunch. I usually find it on sale at Menard’s for $2.99. It says, “Made from Scratch Quality” on the front, and I think it supports that claim. I honestly don’t think I could make it any better from scratch and it would be a lot more work. The back says, “Shore Lunch Tortilla Soup is a chef-inspired blend of corn, chiles and select seasonings that cooks up fast and delicious.” My husband and I both agreed that it was exceptionally good.
Shore Lunch soup mixes are also fast and easy to make. The Tortilla Soup flavor cooks in only 20 minutes. There are only three easy steps to make this soup. First, you bring seven cups of water to a rolling boil. Next, you whisk in the soup mix and one (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes and bring back to a boil. Finally, you reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s that simple.
The package also offers recipe variations, including adding one pound of cooked shredded chicken before simmering and garnishing with tortilla chips and fresh lime wedges. It also has a recipe for tortilla lime chicken roll-ups, which I have not tried yet.
My variation was adding a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, a cup of frozen corn, and a small can of shredded cooked chicken (including the juice). I also made fresh white bread in my bread maker and served the soup with that and tortilla chips. Since it had a bit of a kick, I had sour cream on the side that I would dip chips into before scooping up soup. This variation was delicious and my husband even asked if I was sure I could replicate it because he liked it so much. I think the diced tomatoes with green chilies are a little spicier than regular diced tomatoes and my husband likes spicy things. It was perfect because it was about as spicy as I could stand, but also had enough kick for him. Usually, I make things milder and tell him to add Frank’s Red Hot or something, because I’m a wimp when it comes to spices.
Nutrition-wise, it’s a great choice. Without the added ingredients, the soup mix has only one gram of fat per serving (1/4 cup or 1/8 of the soup). It has 110 calories, with only 10 from fat, and no cholesterol. It is a bit high in sodium, with 41 percent of your daily allowance. There are four grams of protein, two grams of sugar, three grams of dietary fiber, and 21 grams of carbohydrates. It also has vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. If you add tomatoes, you add more healthy vitamins, and the chicken adds protein.
Shore lunch is made in the USA and is from Sportsman’s Recipes, Inc., a division of Southeastern Mills, Inc. You can visit www.shorelunch.com to learn more about their soups and other products, as well as purchase their products. Other types of soup mixes are: cheddar potato, homestyle chili, creamy wild rice, minestrone, cheddar broccoli, classic chicken noodle and creamy potato. The retail price for the soup is about $4.55-4.79, but like I said, I usually see it on sale at Menard’s for $2.99, so I stock up on different kinds.It would easily feed 5-6 people a big bowl of soup, but if you served a smaller amount with a sandwich, it could feed at least eight people, so it comes to less than $1.00 a serving even with the added ingredients.
If you are interested in the full ingredients list, here it is: dehydrated beans (pinto and red), dehydrated vegetables (onion, sweet corn, celery, cilantro, carrots, parsley, green chiles), maltodextrin, corn starch, wheat flour, flavors (salt, hydrolyzed corn gluten and soy protein, chicken broth, sugar, yeast extract, natural flavors including mesquite smoke, soy flour, chicken fat, dried chicken meat, turmeric, spices, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, caramelized sugar), sea salt, monosodium glutamate, garlic powder, olive oil, spices, and chili pepper. Contains: wheat and soy.
As you can see, it has meat products, so it is not vegan or vegetarian, but without adding the extra chicken, there isn’t much meat in it at all. Since I am not a vegetarian, I would recommend adding the chicken to make it heartier. You could also try adding cooked rice, more beans or barley.
Overall, I would rate Shore Lunch Tortilla Soup Mix a 4 out of 5 alone and 5 out of 5 with my recommended added ingredients. I made it on a day I was stuck in the house due to the recent bad weather and it was the perfect comfort soup to warm me up. I will be buying it again.
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