We recreated the Polk County soup that went to space

Screen Shot 2020-02-05 at 11.05.30 AM

Moon Soup | Photo by @thelaltoday

Table of Contents

Hey Lakeland, Kaylee here. 👋 Today, we’re talking soup. (Soup-er weird topic, I know, but just track with me here for a sec, okay?) More specifically, we’re talking about a very spac-ial recipe from Polk County that pretty much ended up becoming the official soup for NASA astronauts.

🌝 The story on the soup

The long + short of it includes one Lake Wales restaurant called Chalet Suzanne, two aviators (WWI veteran Carl Hinshaw, who helped run the restaurant + Col. James B. Irwin, an American astronaut), and a 13-day flight to the moonotherwise known as Apollo 15.

When building out the menu for the Apollo 15 journey, astronaut James Irwin made a special request to the NASA food specialist for Chalet Suzanne’s “Soup Romaine” – as he had visited the restaurant + tried the soup, thanks to the handy landing strip (and cannery) Carl had built next door.

Since the soup met the nutritional requirements, NASA agreed + the food specialist recreated it. The creamy broth mixture was such a hit on the mission, that it made it to two more flights (Apollo 16 + Apollo-Soyuz), this time along with Chalet Suzanne’s Vichyssoise and Seafood Mushroom soups.

Soup Romaine became so popular – due to all that astronaut press coverage – that the public started craving it too. With support from the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, Chalet Suzanne created a special label for the soup, dubbing it Moon Soup + the museum started selling it in their gift shop.

🥣 Moon Soup Recipe + Results

Nearly perfectly timed for National Soup Day, I threw on an apron, grabbed some friends for support + attempted to recreate Chalet Suzzane’s famous Moon Soup and the results were…ehem...interesting, to say the least.

Although we couldn’t recreate the soup to an exact “T,” we based it off of this recipe, that aimed to get as close to the soup’s listed ingredients as possible.


Ingredients listed
on the back of a can of Chalet Suzanne’s Moon Soup:

  • Water
  • Diced mushrooms
  • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil
  • Chopped spinach
  • Wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Carrots
  • Onion powder
  • Turmeric
  • Yeast extract
  • Additive ingredients like Hydrolyzed soy, corn protein, and salt, food starch-modified lactose, propylene glycol, mono, diglycerides, and ascorbic acid + citric acid

What we put in our soup:

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Chicken broth
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Chopped spinach
  • Heavy cream
  • Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper

What we topped our soup with:

  • Parmesan crisps
  • Sour cream (mixed with lemon juice)
  • Heavy cream

(Here are the instructions we followed in making the soup). We also used an immersion blender first, and then a regular blender, for a creamy smooth finish. #ProTip: Create a moon, using leftover cream + make parmesan crisps on the stovetop in the shape of stars.

screen-shot-2020-02-05-at-6-18-07-pm-300x225.png

According to the back of Chalet Suzanne’s Moon can, the soup can be served either cold or hot. With a hot soup, it suggests adding black pepper to taste. When served cold, you’re instructed to “Empty contents of the cold soup into a chilled bowl and garnish with sour cream, topped with a chopped hard-boiled egg + dusted with paprika.”

What we thought, #ProTips + the final results

  • Color: At first, we were a little concerned it wouldn’t achieve its unique bright green coloring. The trick? Keep on mixing until it’s the color of a lime.
  • Texture: Smooth AF. #ProTip: Make sure to blend in a regular blender to achieve consistency. Also, take out any of the large chunks of Romaine lettuce stems.
  • Smell: Truth be told, we’ve never smelled purified lettuce. The soup smelled like salad, with a hint of tabasco.
  • Taste: Surprisingly the soup wasn’t bad. It was mild, light, and tasted like spinach and sour cream.
screen-shot-2020-02-05-at-6-20-28-pm-300x226.png

Our rating:
🌝🌝🌝🌜/🌝🌝🌝🌝🌝 (3.5/5 moons)

🚀 Our Moon Soup Challenge

Send us photos of your Moon Soup recreations to hello@laltoday.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter. Creating the soup may be just “one small step for man,” but it’s certainly “one giant leap for mankind.”

Quiz

– LALtoday team (Kaylee and Abby)

More from LALtoday