Vintage Cookbook | Cooking with Condensed Soups – 1952

So, it should be no secret to anyone that thrifting is a hit-or-miss activity. Sometimes you come away with absolutely nothing… a lot of times you come away with nothing… but sometimes you find pure gold. This find was very shiny indeed.

Well, not literally. It was actually pretty dusty. But that’s beside the point. The vintage cookbook I found, Campbell’s Cooking with Condensed Soups, is pure vintagy goodness.

Now, I had to do a bit of detective work, since there’s no date on the recipe booklet itself. The original date for the first edition, as far as I can tell, is around 1952. The booklet features in “the Magic Shelf”, a video advertising various soup creations, and is from 1952, according to my research. Unfortunately, mine isn’t a 1st edition, but rather a 2nd edition that was printed later, but I can’t find any differences so far.

It’s not a very long cookbook, only 49 pages overall, but it’s pretty nice, with lots of color used throughout.

Let’s start with the cover. It’s got that 50s aesthetic going on, with a softened color palate and the sort of recipes that aren’t surprising for the time period: some sort of soup, a meatloaf, and a cake with some uber-fluffy icing. I mean, wow.

The cover of Cooking with Condensed Soups.

The pictures continue on the back, showing the rest of the meatloaf, along with… well, I’m not exactly certain initially. Little pointy towers of dough?

back cover of the cookbook, featuring a meatloaf with ample ketchup, croquettes, and soup cans.
list of dishes found on covers

Ah… croquettes… gotcha.

The inside cover gives us a letter from Anne Marshall, the Director of Home Economics for Campbell’s soups, evidently.

Anne Marshall, a smiling woman with light blue collared blouse, white pearls, and short brown hair.

Was she a real person, I wonder, or a creation a la Betty Crocker or Anne Pillsbury? I have honestly no idea, and I haven’t been able to find much information on that, so research mission for another day.

For such a small cookbook, there certainly is a variety of recipe types. Just to name a few, we’ve got sauces, breads, chilled soups, and fish. Each section is introduced by a cute little Campbell’s kids illustration, which is… okay, it’s adorable dangit.

A campbell's soup kid with short curly hair, a red dress, and a white apron. She carries a decorated cake.

Also a little bit scary, the longer you look at those eyes. It’s like they stare into your soul.

A campbell's soup kid at a butcher's block, staring forward and holding a cleaver.

Anyway, there’s also quite a few photos of the actual recipes in here. One full page spread for almost every section, minus sauces and desserts, which… that omission was a little surprising actually. Most cookbooks that I’ve ran into are sure to have pictures from their sweets sections. The only one that appears in here is a tiny picture of Spicy Shortcake in the corner of a two-page spread. Well, that and some donuts,… and the cover… so I guess overall, they’re fairly well represented.

At least they don’t shy away from some of the more…. unusual recipes, like some other cookbooks do. Eggs a la King…. yum.

A plate of hardboiled eggs, halved, with a chunky pink sauce drizzled overtop.

And boy are there some interesting recipes in here. You’ve got the standard fare of course, and a few recipes that tried to elevate Campbell’s soup to more lofty heights… or at least more French sounding names. And then they got creative.

The Average:

A rectangular pink salmon loaf, with two slices cut out. It is covered with a chunky white sauce.
Celery Salmon Loaf
  • Tomato Beef Stew
  • Master Meat Loaf
  • Perfect Tuna Casserole
  • Broccoli with Chicken Cream Sauce
  • Easy Stuffed Peppers

The Fancy:

  • Vichyssoise
  • Lamb Curry
  • Prize-winning cheese soufflé
  • Eggs a la King
  • Mushroom Eggs Benedict

The Wait-what?

  • Ham-Asparagus Shortcake
  • Jellied Consomme with Tomato
  • Liver Creole
  • Celery Salmon Loaf
  • Steamed Tomato-Fig Pudding

I’ve actually got some plans in the future for this one. Any guesses about which recipe from this list will make it to the blog?

4 thoughts on “Vintage Cookbook | Cooking with Condensed Soups – 1952

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