Pret Sag Aloo soup review – @pret

1509316_10155428493145224_7912898807842365845_nDescription: “Red chilli, ginger and garlic, gently sautéed with finely diced onions and curry spice. Simmered with potato, tomato, leaf spinach and thick creamy labneh yoghurt.” Hrm, ‘curry spice’, eh? No sign of thickness or creaminess to this somewhat watery, generically curry-y (how do you adverb curry?) soup. But it’s not all bad.

Health: I’ve no idea how this soup gets up to 244 calories a pot, thin as it seems on substance. It’s low on salt, low on fibre, does OK on the protein front (5.9g) and surprisingly high on fat (11.4g… perhaps from the labneh?). Pretty low in fibre. So a mixed bag, leaning towards healthy, if insubstantial.

Taste: A pungent aroma and a decent heat on first tasting was promising… but it degenerated a bit as the grittiness of chilli powder came through, I suspect a sign of overzealous spicing in the initial fry-off. The soup was watery, though the potato was done perfectly and the spinach somehow retained structural integrity despite being ‘souped’ – this gave substance to what was otherwise little more than a brothy stew. I tend to think these sorts of soup do better if they are at least partially blended; this would have helped the watery texture and probably contended with some of the spices’ grittiness. Perhaps the labneh was meant to serve to thicken and smooth over the taste… but in this it failed like a thing that fails unspectacularly and unobtrusively (like so many culinary mishaps).

Full-o-meter: Poor. Even with the (typically indulgent) artisan bread I can feel myself getting hungry again and I’ve only just eaten lunch.

Verdict: 3/5. Despite my somewhat damning criticism above, it’s not all bad. It has a certain salty moreishness that is not unpleasant, it feels quite healthy and the gentle heat makes it at least slightly interesting. But It’s not the best soup I’ve had in recent days, and it bears very little resemblance to its North Indian vegetable side-dish namesake.