Old El Paso Soups review: The taco kit king branches out into the soup aisle

The iconic brand now has a line of soups, but the cornbread is the real standout.
Old El Paso Chicken Tortilla Soup - credit: Old El Paso
Old El Paso Chicken Tortilla Soup - credit: Old El Paso /

Is soup a Guilty Eat? Chicken noodle soup can be used for health purposes (or at least that’s what my grandma told me), but most of the time you wouldn’t necessarily think of the hot lunch as a decadent treat. Yet get enough cheese and cream in there, pack it with a bunch of meat and vegetables, and yeah, you’ve got something that may not make you feel guilty, but it will warm your soul while it fills your stomach.

I was hopeful that Old El Paso’s new line of soups would fit that bill, given the brand is known for cheesy deliciousness like their enchilada and taco kits. And the flavors seemed to lean in that direction. You’ve got Chipotle Corn Chowder, Chicken Cheese Enchilada-Style soup, Chicken Tortilla soup, Mexican-Style Chicken & Rice soup, and Jalapeño Chicken Noodle soup. In addition, they have two cornbread baking mixes: Southwest Style, and Cinnamon Churro.

I was also emboldened by the fact that Old El Paso’s line of Fiesta Twists are a shockingly delicious snack; meaning that just because they’re known for taco kits, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing they’re good at.

That said? This line of soups, to not mince words, is just okay. Don’t get me wrong, these soups are not bad in a punch, and I’d happily have them again. But in terms of consistency, they’re pretty watery – more in line with Campbell’s than the Chunky soups I was hoping for. They’re also not particularly packed with ingredients, meaning if you’re looking for something filling, this is not necessarily the soup to grab.

Expectations aside, how do they taste? They’re all pretty mildly spiced, and even the one with “jalapeño” in the title wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy. I didn’t sweat from the spice, or the heat of the soup. The cream-based soup are also the weakest of the bunch… The Chipotle Corn Chowder is light on the corn, and isn’t the hearty meal I’d expect from a chowder. Similarly, the Chicken Cheese Enchilada-Style soup was pretty light on any cheese flavor, and mostly gets a little kick from the classic Old El Paso spices you’d taste in their enchilada kits.

The non-creamy soups were better, though. The Mexican-style Chicken & Rice was probably the best of the bunch, thanks to a hefty amount of rice that balanced the soup nicely. The Chicken Tortilla soup tasted like a pretty typical chicken soup, and really needed the difference of textures you get from shredded chicken and crunchy tortillas if you make it on your own. And I was a fan of Jalapeño soup, which was also across the board chicken soup with a nice kick to it. Of all the flavors, the latter is the one I would be most likely to purchase again when sick, because you get the soothing chicken soup plus a little spice to perk up your deadened taste buds.

However, the surprise winner was the Southwest Style cornbread (the Churro flavor was not provided for review). It’s a simple three ingredient mix – just add water and an egg and bake – and tastes like someone dumped an Old El Paso spice-packet into some cornbread (probably because that’s what it is). While I’d argue it’s easy enough to make cornbread regardless, this takes all guess-work out of it, and is a great side to eat along with any soup – Old El Paso brand or otherwise.

Overall, this might not be the big win of the Fiesta Twists, but I could see it working as a side dish alongside your Old El Paso tacos. Just crunch some shells up in there to give the soups a little more texture.

Old El Paso Soups And Cornbread. B-. These new soups are watery and light on flavor, but the cornbread packs a nice punch as a side.. . Old El Paso Soups And Cornbread

The soups and cornbread were provided by Old El Paso to Guilty Eats for review.

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