We Tasted All 5 Varieties of (New) Old El Paso Soup

I’m a big Old El Paso fan. We’re talking about the brand that took regular hard taco shells and said, hey, what if we made these 5,000 times easier to eat off of a plate by giving them a flat bottom? For me, the invention of Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Shells is up there with the advent of toilet paper and Al Gore’s internet. You gotta put some respect on their name, which is what I was hoping to be able to do when I reviewed all five flavors of new Old El Paso soup, including Old El Paso chicken enchilada soup and Old El Paso chicken tortilla soup. Will Old El Paso successfully horn in on Campbell’s and Progresso’s territory? Read on to find out what an Old El Paso old head has to say on the matter.

old el paso soup review

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Old El Paso Chicken Cheese Enchilada-Style Soup

Goddamn I love chicken enchiladas, especially enchiladas suizas—aka enchiladas drenched in a creamy, cheesy sauce. I’m pretty much always craving them. Unfortunately, I’m still craving a bubbly plate of cheesy enchiladas after tasting this Old El Paso chicken enchilada soup. 

Pros: It is creamy, I’ll give it that! It has a little heat, too, which is nice. I also really like the chunks of chicken—they don’t have a huge amount of flavor, but the texture is nice and they look seasoned, kind of like the chicken you get in a soft taco at Taco Bell. 

Cons: There’s not enough stuff in this soup. It’s all creamy base, no substance. There’s not a whole lot of chicken and the only other ingredients seem to be celery and peppers—and when I say peppers, I mostly mean pepper skins. I realize most people aren’t sensitive to pepper skins, but I HATE them. (My colleague Jordan Myrick is with me on this.) Also, this Old El Paso soup is just so cumin heavy. That’s really the only discernible flavor.

Rating:

5.5/10

Sporks

old el paso soup review

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Old El Paso Mexican Style Chicken & Rice Soup

Chicken and rice soup is a classic—and this tastes like a classic with a subtle twist. Right off the bat, it’s a better soup than the chicken enchilada soup because it actually has stuff in it. 

Pros: This soup isn’t exactly bursting with flavor, but the flavor it does have is pretty nice. It tastes like your standard chicken and rice soup with a splash of citrus juice or zest, and a littttttle bit of heat from the peppers in the mix. It’s subtle, but it’s lovely. The chicken is standard canned-chicken-soup chicken and the corn kernels don’t retain much (or any) sweetness, but the texture is nice. I really like the fluffy white rice—it makes this a more filling meal. 

Cons: Like I said, this soup isn’t exactly a flavor bomb. If you’re coming to a Mexican-style Old El Paso soup for bold Mexican flavors, you’ll probably be let down by this. But if you want a pretty standard chicken and rice soup with some corn and a little bit of limey zest, this isn’t half bad.

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

old el paso corn chowder review

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Old El Paso Chipotle Corn Chowder Soup

This is another creamy guy, but thankfully it has a lot more going on than the Old El Paso chicken enchilada soup. This has big hunks of potato, lots of corn, and diced peppers (and, yes, pepper skins, but I’ll live). 

Pros: This soup is creamy and has a lot of smoky chipotle flavor and a good amount of heat. It’s not bad, but I honestly don’t think I’d buy it again. 

Cons: Okay, it’s nice that the potato hunks keep this from being just a bowl of creamy slop, but I wasn’t that excited about eating them. They’re what you usually find in canned soup and chowder: A little grainy. Not very flavorful. And, again, the corn doesn’t really retain its sweetness, so it’s mostly there for texture. If I’m going to splurge and eat a creamy soup, I want something a little more special than this. 

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

old el paso chicken noodle soup review

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Old El Paso Jalapeño Chicken Noodle Soup

Oh look—someone added red pepper flakes to chicken noodle soup. Get that Miranda Priestly meme ready…

Pros: If you’re in the mood for very standard canned chicken noodle soup with some spice that tickles the back of your throat, that’s what you get here. The twisty noodles are fat and relatively mushy, and they’re joined by carrot medallions (also mushy), bits of white meat chicken, some limp canned jalapeños, and red pepper flakes for color and heat. It does have heat—I’ll give it that!

Cons: If you’re gonna make a jalapeño chicken noodle soup, it should have heat, sure, but it should also have some bright, fresh pepper flavor. I mean, Frito-Lay managed to make bright-orange, artificial-as-hell Cheetos that actually taste like jalapeño peppers, I’m sure Old El Paso could have pulled it off with a little more effort.

Rating:

5/10

Sporks

old el paso chicken tortilla soup review

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Old El Paso Chicken Tortilla Soup

I will be honest: I think I might have an aversion to store bought chicken tortilla soup. When I ranked Panera at Home soups (the ones you find in plastic tubs in the deli section), their chicken tortilla was my least favorite. But it did actually taste like chicken tortilla soup, which is more than I can say for this Old El Paso chicken tortilla soup. 

Pros: This Old El Paso soup is thick and has a good amount going on. There are diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, peppers, and bits of diced chicken in the mix. It’s savory and a little bit smoky. 

Cons: It just doesn’t nail that masa meal flavor you get in actual chicken tortilla soup. I know, I know. It’s canned soup—relax, lady. But without that corny flavor, it tastes more like gumbo, and a pretty middling gumbo at that.

Rating:

6/10

Sporks


About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • Old El Paso Enchilada style sucks!!! Not even close to creamy, but dirty dishwater runny! A few chunks of chicken and like the above review, alot of pepper skins floating around with gives the runny water some heat.

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