By Jason Wagner
Augason Farm’s soups have been nothing short of astounding, to me, of course, but that’s saying a lot – I routinely make homemade soups, in particular chicken noodle soups totally from scratch. Whole chicken and all, of course, this is potato soup, but my point is still valid.
Taste – 9.7/10: Where to begin? There are so many soup merits to bring up on this one, so why not start with its namesake? The potatoes, well, I’m not sure I could call out the difference between this and truly homemade potato soup, I guess you could say, these dehydrated potatoes almost out-potato the potato. The broth/cream sauce and the herb blend were both stellar, with the creamy sauce being, hmm, creamy, with somewhere between a hint medium amount of salt, but it also had a real body to it, like something that was simmering over a cauldron all day, meanwhile the herb blend only added to the experience, although I could of done without so much of the green stuff. As you’ve no doubt ascertained, I’m extremely fond of this soup, so much so that I’d imagine this to be superior to 90% of homemade potato soups!
Texture – 9.2/10: The good is that it isn’t watered, quite the contrary…the bad is that it’s so thick, so substantially creamy that it could of used a little watering down, if that makes any sense. Despite my gripes, I did thoroughly enjoy the base (AKA sauce), wherein I found the potatoes themselves to be stellar, they had the right bite, when I put them between my teeth, they had the right amount of starch, or whatever the hell it’s that gives real boiled potatoes their uniqueness.
Convenience – 8.5/10: I can not only think of a lot worse when speaking of convenience, I can think of some substantially easier things, too. I mean, if you’ve got a base camp, or even better, an FOB or home base, I don’t see how this would be considered a difficult, painful or cumbersome to prepare item, on the move, I see an entirely different story. The bottom line here is that if you’re in one set place, this is very convenient; otherwise, you may have some concerns here.
Nutrition – 8.8/10: Here, you’ve got enough calories to last a person a whole day, or to feed a small party of people an entire meal. So, yes – the calories check out nicely, which isn’t too big of a surprise, it practically tastes like it was whipped up with heavy cream. Unfortunately, the nutrients, namely calcium isn’t in quite the presence I’d of expected for such a meal, and the same goes for the vitamins, except for Vitamin A, which rings in at 10% per serving, not bad. Note, in each serving there’s over 40% of your daily intake of sodium, and while having something to eat is your number one priority, these things are also worth taking an account of.
Filling Factor – 9.8.10: I’d be really surprised if a single person could down all of this in a single meal, but if they did, good for them, I guess, so long as they didn’t steal it, or anything; more importantly, you should get enough servings out of these to leave you feeling pretty good for the entire day, that is assuming that you aren’t moving around at all times, in that case, a full grown man will want some food to pad a can of it.
Resource Efficiency: 7.9/10: There’s nothing unreasonable here: 8 – ½ cups of water, enough fuel to boil the water, 20 minutes or simmering…As you can see, there’s nothing stellar here, either. At least, for the resources you use on this one, you get quite a bit back in good, filling soup.
Operational Security – 6.5/10: Not pleased, disappointed, displeased, dissatisfied, disenchanted – no matter the adjective used here, the point is the same – I find your lack of stealth disturbing. This, like many other mixes requires 20 minutes of cooking, so that in of itself doesn’t bode well for the whole stealth thing, but in the case of the Augason Farms potato soup, the matter of cooking time is compounded by the rich aroma of the creamy broth. I’m afraid that, anyone in your immediate vicinity stands a distinct chance of tracing it back to you, which, as you well know could result in a deadly altercation. This is something that you don’t want to have to rely on in the field.
Bulk/Weight – 9.0/10: It’s a can, and as such, it makes for extremely efficient stacking, boxing, storing inside of a location, plus, if these are partitioned in easy to move boxes, you can move vast sums of these in the case of a bug out. They aren’t particularly weight, also, they aren’t notably lightweight, either, so, just because they an efficient addition to a survival cache, they don’t really work so well when carrying on the go, they’d take up way to much space in a backpack, you’d have to carry a rucksack or something for a large amount of these!
Final Review – 9.5/10: What you’ve got here is a ton of good, a few minor problems and one or two tangible demerits. Some people have aversions to soup, but most people recognize the fact that is this: soup is one of God’s gifts to man, and as such, we’d be fools not to stock the means the enjoy such niceties in our times of greatest tribulations!