I was thrilled when Wolfgang Puck Soups reached out to me to sample some of their gluten-free soups from their organic line. You see, Wolfgang Puck and I go way back. No, I have not met him, but I fondly remember trips to the West coast as a child just around the time he took that coast by storm. I can still remember my first bite of, what was at the time quite trailblazing, goat cheese pizza (my pre-Celiac diagnosis days). It was so foreign from any pizza I had had up until then but in a very, very good way. Ah, a young foodie was born. It is funny how food seems to play such a huge role in shaping some of our earliest memories – but I digress. I have since eaten at pretty much all of his restaurants in California and Las Vegas.
I received the Tomato Basil Bisque, Free Range Chicken with White and Wild Rice, and Signature Tortilla varieties to try out. I am going to be completely honest and say I was a bit apprehensive about trying canned soups from a major chef because it seems that nowadays anyone with a pulse has their own product line. I also tend to find pre-made soups overly seasoned, particularly in the salt department and have really only had a handful that would actually recommend. Well my friends, that handful just grew by three. Wolfgang Puck’s organics did not disappoint, in fact, they really surprised me.
First up was the Tomato Basil Bisque. I am actually not a fan of tomatoes in the real world but love them in soup for some reason – always have. Add a bit of cream to it and I am one happy camper. This soup was perfectly seasoned (read not too salty) and had wonderful earthy basil undertones that paired perfectly with the sweetness of the tomatoes. The organic cream helped to mellow out the acidity of the tomatoes making for the perfect flavor trifecta.
Next came the Free Range Chicken with White and Wild Rice. Free range chicken in a canned soup? Absolutely! This was again, really very good with the spices perfectly balanced. What I really liked about this one was the consistency. Oftentimes chicken and rice soups dance the fine line between too watery or overly thick (read gummy). This soup managed to get the consistency just right with a base that was just thick enough and rice that remained firm and not mushy. The chicken pieces were wonderfully tender though I wish there was just a bit more of it per serving. The organic carrots and celery rounded out what was a truly hearty soup.
Last, but certainly not least is my personal favorite from the group – the Signature Tortilla. This soup, was in a word, stellar. Think liquefied tamale or enchilada in a bowl. This was a real standout and quite complex from a flavor standpoint. It was chock-full of black beans, corn, peppers, and tomatoes. It had just a slight wisp of spiciness (for those that don’t like too much heat) which allowed for all of the flavors to truly shine. Perhaps the one thing that pushed this over the top was the use of cornmeal which gave it the taste and texture akin to a great tamale or soft enchilada.
My friends at Wolfgang Puck Soups have also given me an exclusive coupon code for my readers to use and print out for $1.00 off one of these (or any of their) soups. Just click, print, and enjoy. You can learn more about all of the great soup flavors along with which are gluten-free (hint: it is emblazoned right on the label) at Wolfgang Puck’s Web site. You can also read about their commitment to catering to gluten-free consumers. Enjoy and let me know what you think.