You ate Campbell's soup growing up, right? Admit it.
It was completely NORMAL in my house. Mom could make some nice soups from scratch, sure, but the larder always had several red and white cans.
I sampled lots and lots of flavors of Campbell's soup, but my two favorites were cream of mushroom, and then bean with bacon. (Later I adored the black bean soup, but that was a transitional time and I've transited out of it.)
Bean with bacon. That was the hands-down winner. For a little kid, it wasn't too sweet, too salty, too creepy. I liked it.
A little ashamed to say it's still a benchmark soup for me, even if I'm cooking from pure, robust ingredients at home. My mom liked to make Navy bean soup (probably because my dad was in the Navy and it beefed up his credentials). But the Campbell's bean soup was a little pinker, a little more complex.
Today's lunch was bean with ham soup. That looks like a mega-blob of meat in the spoon, but there was probably no more than an ounce or two of ham in four servings. They just all ganged up for the photo.
You don't need a lot of meat. Whiz it with your immersion blender to get a greater meat-to-liquid distribution. If it's really tasty ham, the whole pot of soup will be adequately perfumed. More than that and you've just got a mouthful of smoky protein, ya doof.
But the secret, the way to get that nostalgic Campbell's allure, is to squirt some tomato paste in there. A little. And while you're at it, grab the anchovy paste tube, too. Umami it up. Check carefully for salt. Homemade, good food is sweet. You might need a little salt. We actually used Thai fish sauce! Not too much, you're not going for cartoon food, just a mysterious salt/umami.
I was having a childish, needy day. This fixed it.