Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blue Sky Engineering- Soup's On...

This little article was inspired by an online complaint about Campbell's Soup for Disney's Frozen.  - Written by Jeff C.

Campbell's Healthy Kids Soup Disney Frozen pack of 6 : Campbell's Healthy Kids Soup Disney Frozen pack of 6 : Grocery & Gourmet Food
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Not only is it a canned soup which makes the name "Frozen Soup" confusing, but also the pasta shapes include a notable oversight.  There are no snowflake shapes!  How could this have made it through product review?  The soup could have been just chicken and snowflake noodles and it would have been fine.  I've never been impressed by the elaborate shapes they put in soup anyhow.  They all look like wiggly blobs except for rings, stars and letters.  They could have even had a variety of snowflake shapes.  And, what of mini-dumplings as snowballs? This was definitely a missed opportunity.

That got me to thinking about doing some Blue Sky engineering on some themed Disney soups fit for royalty or other noble folk.  Don't nitpick about who is and is not a princess.
Here is a page with the listings:
List of Disney Princesses
Disney Princess is a media franchise owned by The Walt Disney Company, originally created by Disney Consumer Products chairman Andy Mooney in the late 1990s, o...
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Tiana - It is probably blasphemy to suggest anything other than gumbo although there are several variations of it.  Some have chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp and okra.  Others favor the seafood side.  It's so closely associated with New Orleans, it matches too well to try anything more exotic like turtle soup or crawfish bisque.

Belle - She's French. I lived in Lyon during my junior year in college, so I know there are far too many soups from which to choose.  A classic French onion with its sweet caramelized taste?   They serve it along with a potato and leek soup at the Magic Kingdom's Be Our Guest restaurant.  If the latter were served cold, it could pass as Vichyssoise, but some believe that that particular soup is an American invention.  She sang of the provincial life.  There is a Provencal vegetable soup.  She read a lot.  Provencal Alphabet Soup?  The French might get ticked off.  Bouillabaisse is a classic French soup, but it is from far southern France (Marseilles).  

Cinderella - Is she another French princess?  It kind of depends.  The Germans also claim her.  Cinderella's Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom punts on the issue and serves "Soup Du Jour."  How about a glorious spiced pumpkin soup served in a hollowed out Jack-be-Little shell?  That serving bowl idea probably wouldn't fly with Campbell's except on the photo on the can.

Merida - Luckily, haggis is a pudding and cock-a-leekie has an unmarketable name. So, Scotch broth with barley it is. That's a hearty meal for anyone going out shooting arrows. 

Ariel - If you think for a moment I would suggest crab bisque or fish chowder, shame on you.  This was a tough one because of King Triton's declaration that humans as "savage fish eaters."  No meat or seafood left me with a vegan sea mustard soup.  Sea mustard is the edible kind of seaweed.  It may be easier to sell as vegan wakame soup.  

Pocahontas - I think something traditional that could have been consumed by Virginia-area natives would fit the bill.  Wild rice and corn soup came to mind.  At the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, they extended the museum's theme into their food service.  The restaurant there, Mitsitam, routinely wins awards.  
I also like the idea of the bean, squash and carrot soup they serve. 

Aurora - More French soup? Because she was raised as Briar Rose, she was probably given less pretentious fare than might be served at King Stefan's Royal Table (the predecessor to Cinderella's Royal Table).  How about cassoulet?  Even though it can be categorized as a stew, it is certainly consumed as a soup would be.

Mulan - Unfortunately, many of the most popular  "Chinese" soups are actually Chinese-American variants.  After consideration of different candidates and consulting cookbooks of authentic Chinese cuisine, I settled on wonton.  Campbell's already markets wonton. Just toss in some noodles shaped like throwing stars. 

Rapunzel - She didn't get out much.  She could certainly use a little comfort food.  Chicken soup with angel hair pasta.

Snow White - She is claimed by both the Germans and the Swiss.  At first, I thought of dessert with a chocolate soup.  German cabbage soup, Krautsuppe, has a name with a perceived epithet in it.  I would think after a long day down in the mine, her dwarven friends would appreciate a slow-simmered sausage soup, Metzelsuppe. 

Jasmine - I was torn on this one.  There are several good soups of Middle Eastern origin.  There is red lentil, but many people stay away from lentil soup which is a shame.  For a dish that's more distinctly associated with the middle east, one can ladle out Persian New Year's soup (Ash-e Reshteh).  It contains several legumes and thin noodles, reshteh.  The name itself is exotic too.

Anna and Elsa - Okay, so Campbell's Frozen soup is chicken noodle with specialized pasta shapes.  There's not much Scandinavian-themed about that.  Surprisingly, The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot does not appear to serve soup.  Pea soup and salmon soup are traditional fare in the region associated with Arendelle.  I'll have to go with that. 

You know, I could write a whole book of just princess soup recipes. 

Written by Jeff C.

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