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Digging into the Campbell Archives for Pie

This National Pie Day, our Assistant Archivist, Scott Hearn, takes a closer look into the Campbell Archives at one of his all-time favorite desserts—pie, of course!

I know what you’re thinking: A soup company that makes pie? But back in the late 1800s, Campbell Soup Company was known as the Joseph Campbell Preserve Company, and we sold canned pie fillings!

In the 1880s, we produced “Standard Pie Filler” which featured a variety of fruits, and “New Year Mince Meat,” a mincemeat pie filling that featured a blend of dried fruits, spices, and beef suet.

Label from “New Year Mince Meat” pie filling in the 1880’s

Following the invention of condensed soup in 1897—and the elevation of its inventor, John T. Dorrance, to President in 1914—the company focused solely on the production of condensed soups. Although we stopped selling pie filling, thanks to the creation of Campbell’s Home Economics Department in 1941, we didn’t stay away from pies for long.

The Home Economics Department, now known as the Consumer Test Kitchen, was tasked with developing and testing recipes that used condensed soups. Some have become culinary classics like the Green Bean Casserole, while others are not quite as well known. Here’s a look at a few of my favorite finds, which demonstrate some very creative uses for condensed soup:

Raspberry Cheese Pie Recipe

From 1978 we have a recipe for a Raspberry Cheese Pie, which features Campbell’s Condensed Cheddar Cheese soup. Maybe not the classic way to make cheesecake, but I wouldn’t mind trying a slice.

Raisin Pie Recipe

This recipe, also from the 1970s, uses one of our most famous soups: Campbell’s Condensed Tomato soup.

Meat-Shell Potato Pie Recipe

For the meat lovers out there, this inventive recipe uses Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup, and replaces the traditional pie crust with ground beef.

Today, the Consumer Test Kitchen continues to take a strategic approach to condensed soup recipes by creating relevant family-friendly recipes tailored to today’s cook and modern-day cooking trends.

Looking for a more modern pie recipe to try? Check out our recipes for Easy Chicken Pot Pie or Shepherd’s Pie. And for those with a sweet tooth, you can also find pie recipes using our Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.