For legions of Seinfeld fans, the ‘Soup Nazi’ episode was an all-time favorite, and ‘no soup for you!’ became one of the series’ most quoted catch phrases.
The ill-tempered soup proprietor depicted on the classic TV show was based loosely on Al Yeganeh, owner of Al’s Soup Kitchen International on West 55th in New York City, a tiny soup diner famous for long lines of lunchtime customers spilling out onto the sidewalk. And although Yeganeh hated the nazi reference, the Seinfeld connection has undoubtedly had a hand in the successful launch of his SoupMan® franchise restaurants, now in more than 30 locations in the U.S., and in his new line of SoupMan premium gourmet heat-n-serve soups.
We found SoupMan soups at our local Sam’s Club warehouse and decided to give them a taste test.
The soups come in colorful boxes with two 15-ounce pouches of soup inside. The packaging features multiple images of a scowling Yeganeh staring off into space as if contemplating the meaning of life. (You get the idea he’s not distancing himself too much from the sullen character portrayed on the show.) The soups are sold in the refrigerated case, with a packaging note to keep them frozen or refrigerated.
Big ingredients, big flavor.
We tried the Turkey Chili with Beans and the Split Pea with Ham, using the boiling bag cooking method, and found them both to be bold and flavorful, if a bit salty. The turkey chili has generous chunks of turkey, plenty of plump beans, carrots and celery. The Split Pea was thick and creamy with big hunks of ham.
I guess our only quibble is the high sodium content, which is certainly not unusual for any prepared soup. The Turkey Chili contains 910mg per 8-ounce serving, while the Split Pea with Ham has 1,260mg per serving, more than half the recommended daily value. So for those watching their sodium intake, SoupMan soups may not be suitable.
The soups are a bit pricey, but then they are premium gourmet soups, with quality ingredients, adapted from Yeganeh’s personal time-tested recipes. If you’d like to try SoupMan soups for yourself, just look for the package with the picture of the glowering chef…soup master Al Yeganeh.
For more information, visit originalsoupman.com.