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Hale & Hearty Soup

November 9, 2010

I don’t usually go to the soup chains for lunch, but as the weather gets colder, of course soup comes to the front of the mind as a way to warm up. Especially when recovering from the “welcome to the cold season” hack.

If I’m honest about it, I am not a big fan of Hale & Hearty. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about them, but I think they’re a bit expensive and their quality isn’t exactly through the roof. I think of it as a soup version of McDonald’s. That may seem a bit harsh, but, I’m not convinced there’s a lot of healthy whatnot going on over there.

Either way, I really enjoy one incredibly childish and (I’m guessing) wildly unhealthy soup they serve. Let us look.

What lurks under that bizarre, bruised orange surface?

As you may (or may not) know, I am a HUGE fan of Mac & Cheese. Imagine my surprise to see that they had a “soup” called Mac & Cheese with beef. That’s pretty much a chocolate & peanut butter moment to me. Ever since that discovery (several years ago) I occassionally get a hankering for this dish.

Maybe it's not so pretty... .

It’s very sweet, and overall has a very mushy texture. The pasta is soaked, has little character, and the beef isn’t what you’d call high quality – it’s like cafeteria taco meat.

There's a lot of good to it, though.

OK, I’m not sure it has much to do with Mac & Cheese, but there’s something wildly pleasing about it. There’s a subtle tomato note in the flavor, which might described as sharp cheese-esque. I suppose it’s cheesy, err, I guess. To me, it tastes like an adult version of a Chef Boyardee product. And I love Chef Boyardee, even if I don’t eat it anymore. The soup could use a bit of hot sauce, perhaps.

All in all, even though it can’t possibly be dietectic, I like it, and think you might too.

Hale & Hearty

Multiple locations, for more information check their website.
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