Tag Archives: chicken

Heinz BIG SOUP: Fiery chicken and chorizo – reviewed

heinzchickenchorizo.jpgLet’s be honest. Tinned soups don’t compare to fresh ones, so my scoring system here is somewhat separate from the ones I judge the shop-bought fresh soups by. I am somewhat disorganised at home, so rather than ensure I have an interesting fresh soup ‘in date’ and ready to go if I happen to be working from home, I have a nuclear bunker of emergency soups. This is one such emergency soup, and a staple of my emergency soup store-cupboard.

Description: The marketing folk at Heinz are pulling no punches – “A delicious fiery recipe made with tender pieces of chicken and chorizo with green pepper, onion and chunky vegetables. This great tasting soup is packed full of chunky ingredients and is full on flavour. GO BIG OR GO HUNGRY!” Superlatives aside, this is fairly accurate as descriptions go, and the meat and veg proportions are as generous as any I’ve ever seen in a tinned soup.

Health: ~330 calories per can (let’s not pretend there are two portions in a can, Mr Heinz). 12.4g of fat (4g saturates), 35g carbs (10.2g sugar), 3.6g of fibre, 2.8g of salt. It’s not winning any awards for salt or fibre, but for the heartiness of the soup I think this is a respectable scorecard.

Taste: Well, it has that somewhat glutinous texture that all tinned soup has. Why is it that tinned soup has a weird surface tension, like it’s being held in place by some internal gravity, in a way few other liquids do? As to Heinz’s superlatives: delicious is strong, though it is tasty… the pleasant taste is somewhat marred by some strange property of the way they’ve dropped the paprika bomb to imbue this soup with its ‘fiery’ flavour – it has an almost gritty aftertaste which is hard to explain and not entirely pleasant. That said; big healthy chunks of chicken and chorizo in a thick flavoursome soup (mostly flavoured with salt and paprika and tomato, but there’s nothing wrong with that) makes for a satisfying lunch from a can.

Full-o-meter: Needed toast due to the lack of fibre in the can. But it is a big soup and most people with more modest appetites would probably be sated by this.

Make it yourself: Would probably be improved, and probably not too hard to do – make a tasty, paprika spiced veg and tomato soup around some pan-seared chicken and chorizo and you’re away. And you’d deal with the weird surface tension and gritty spice issues, no doubt.

Verdict: 4/5 – pretty much as good as tinned soups get, IMO.

Eat Mexican chicken chilli soup review – Big Bold @eat_news

Description: “A spicy Mexican chicken soup with haricot, cannellini and butter beans. We add jalapeno chillies and lime to keep it authentic. Garnished with a freshly made tomato and coriander salsa. Dairy / Spicy.”

Health: 360 calories for big (16oz) portion . Highish on fibre, highish on fat, high on sodium. On balance it’s not bad, but not one of their best.

Taste: Wow. It’s got a creamy, spicy kick – which feels like a contradiction in terms. The chunks of chicken are meaty and a delight, the beans are well-cooked and add great depth and texture, and the coriander in the garnish explodes in your mouth. Wonderful.

Full-o-meter: I think it’ll be reasonable, but I missed breakfast this morning so had to have a 180 calorie roll as a supporting act. Pretty full with the bread.

Verdict: 4.5/5. A strong contender. I’d recommend this unhesitatingly.

Eat Mexican Chicken Tortilla soup review – Big Bold @eat_news

Description: Chunky chicken and tomato soup with Mexican-style seasoning topped with tortillas and cheddar cheese.

Health: OK, ish – at 408 calories for the big bold it’s a modest lunchtime portion and has a good amount of fibre. However, it is a tad high on the fat front, ditto sodium.

Taste: A little taste of Mexico. It’s OK, tomato is the dominating flavour and texture and so its not massively exciting, but there is a good amount of chunky chicken in there and a tasty tortilla topping (which would be better when crisp – they sog up fast). Fundamentally under-spiced though…

Full-o-meter: Not bad. Fibre and protein/fat content should keep me going.

Verdict: 3.5/5. A good soup, I’d have again, but there’s room to refine this one, Eat.

Waitrose green Thai chicken soup review

Description: “A warmly spiced soup of choi sum, British chicken and coconut with ginger, lemon grass and chilli.” Hells yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

Health: Erm, not great. 460 calories for the pot, loads of fat and sat fat, quite a bit of sodium. On the plus side, reasonable amount of fibre and protein.

Taste: Awesome! You can smell the lemongrass from across the room even as it microwaves, and whilst the texture seems a little weak on initial pouring it thickens as the soup cools from boiling (the all important “let stand” period). This soup is tasty, well textured, spicy, meaty and full of useful chunks of veg – deliciously soft and tasty choi sum and still-crunchy water chestnut that actually serves a purpose in this context!

Full-o-meter: Good, as you’d expect from a more substantial soup.

Verdict: 4/5. It loses a point for health. Otherwise this soup is outstanding.

Marco Pierre White Glorious Indian chicken soup review

Description: “A warming curry soup with tender pieces of chicken breast, red pepper, coconut cream and authentic indian spices, finished with coriander. GLORIOUS.” I think the descriptions writer got a bit curried [sic] away!

Health: 404 cals for the pot, which is OK, but low fibre, high sodium, middling protein makes this a bit average.

Taste: Less good than the first time I tried it, I think. The soup is a bit thin and suffers from the absence of a strong binding veg in there (some potato or some curried squash or even a few more lentils). The salt-level, whilst not overbearing in the taste, is headache inducing.

Full-o-meter: Not brilliant. Not thick and substantial enough without bread.

Verdict: 3.5/5. Downgraded on original verdict now that I’ve given it a full review.

Marks & Spencer Moroccan style spiced chicken soup review

Description: “A fragrant, lightly spiced chunky blend of vine ripen tomatoes, chickpeas, British chicken and red & green lentils.” Well, mostly right. It’s not lightly spiced, there’s about a metric tonne of cumin in there, but otherwise, about right.

Health: It’s OK – 390 calories for the 600g pot, v. low on sat fat (although reasonable about of actual fat), and obv. v. high on fibre.

Taste: Hrm. This isn’t the first “Moroccan chicken soup” I’ve tasted and IMHO this is inferior to both Pret & even Sainsbury’s attempts. Overkill on the spice front doesn’t make the soup spicy so much as heavy and sludgy and the tomato flavour is almost completely lost. That said, it’s “Moroccan style” and think it does serve as a kind of tribute; the consistency and textures (spicing notwithstanding) are otherwise OK and the chicken, chickpeas and lentils taste as you’d expect from M&S – good quality produce in action.

Full-o-meter: Very good. This is a heavy soup, it should keep you going.

Verdict: 3/5. Not bad, but simply not as tasty as other soups carrying a similar name. Won’t be high on my list to have again soon.

Marks & Spencer chicken, barley & root vegetable soup review – simply fuller longer

Description: “A light broth of chicken of chicken, vegetables, pearl barley and smoked bacon.” Other than the bacon, which was missing, this is about right. Emphasis on the carrots and potatoes.

Health: 200 calories for a 400g pot, which is good, but not particularly high on protein or fibre, so… meh.

Taste: Meh. Vegetables suspended in light, heavily spiced broth. Cabbage in broth does taste pretty good but when that’s the height of praise… it’s basically standard chicken soup and therefore totally uninspired.

Full-o-meter: Rubbish. 200 calories, low fibre, low protein… needed toast to top me up to 400 calories AND I broke and had a cookie too, which is my own damn fault, but not helped by the meagreness of the soup.

Verdict: 2/5. Not having this one again. It didn’t taste actively unpleasant, but wasn’t good in any substantive way.

Pret Malaysian chicken soup review

This one’s a couple of day’s late – sorry – been a bit manic.

Worth flagging that I had this at least in part to contrast with Eat’s chicken laksa soup – a very, very tasty Eat option which only scored low for me beccause it scores so high on the saturated fat front…

Description: A coconut based Malay-style curry of a soup thick with rice. Pret lists ingredients: chicken, rice, coconut milk, onion, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, lemon grass, red chilli and galangal.

Health: Not bad at around 243 calories. Pret’s soups and portions seem to be better suited to healthy eating than Eat’s.

Taste: It tasted of disappointment. Thick with rice, thin on chicken and flavouring, this slurry was as far removed from Malaysia as I am (I’m Malaysian, but live in London). Boo. What a let down.

Full-o-meter: With roll, it was fine. Not great; the absence of fibrous vegetables and even enough chicken results in this not feeling like the most wholesome of soups.

Verdict: 2/5. Shame on you, Pret. You can (and usually do) do better.