Tag Archives: heinz

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.

Heinz big chicken & veg soup review – @HeinzUK

heinzchickenvegDescription: From website: “A deliciously hearty Chicken & Vegetable soup made with tender pieces of chicken, chunky potatoes, carrots and garden peas. This great tasting soup is packed full of chunky ingredients creating the perfect meal or snack.” My take? It’s definitely chunky, with generous pieces of meat in and amongst the copious veg. But the meat has that slightly preserved taste you get from all tinned meat, including dog food (or so I imagine, it certainly smells a bit like it). And my wife was less than generous about what chunky-ness it resembled…

Health: 200 kCal for the tin, lots more protein and fibre than the other Heinz soups I’ve had, so good for it. Again, 2g of salt though.

Taste: I think I’m reaching my limits with tinned soup. The chicken is reminiscent of Fray Bentos pies and pet food, neither of which are things I tend to eat with any regularity. Like the other Heinz tinned soups, the vegetables are boiled/stewed to a point of generic, salty blandness. Needed pepping up with something; toast/croutons were necessary on the side.

Full-o-meter: As with all these 200kCal soups, you need some toast to make it a meal.

Make it yourself?: To be fair to Heinz, chicken soup is just *boring* unless you take a deliberately different take on it. I’m sure if I was feeling ill and needed something bland and comforting, this would fit the bill nicely. As it was… I may need to have a go at eating fresh soups for a while or I’ll struggle to maintain my soup diet mission.

Verdict: 3/5 on the tinned soup scale.

Heinz Farmers’ market slow-cooked lamb and root vegetables soup review

11085064_1618177708394061_1264477083_nDescription: “Quality lamb is slow-cooked to perfection & partnered with wholesome chunks of root vegetables sourced from our favourite British farms. A touch of rosemary brings out the natural flavours for a delicious & wholesome soup. Packed full of vegetable goodness, this mouth-watering recipe has 2 of your 5 a day and contains absolutely no artificial colours flavours or preservatives.” My description? Tiny pieces of lamb in a salty, rosemary tomato-based soup are surrounded by generic, bland lumps of root vegetable. Don’t expect to be able to differentiate swede from carrot by taste alone.

Health: Like the other Heinz soup I reviewed, low on pretty much everything. 220 calories to a can, mostly in carbs, some limited fibre and protein. Bad on salt again – 2.2g for the can.

Taste: There’s certainly a fullness to the flavour of the lamb that adds a depth to the soup; however the aforementioned blandness of the root vegetables – anonymous lumps of mushy texture – do little but add mass to the soup. Salt predominates and I actually struggled to finish this one after the blandness overwhelmed me. I will need to wheel out the chiu chow chilli oil (my elixir for bland food – makes everything taste like chinese take-away) to deal with these soups in future.

Full-o-meter: Mediocre. More fibre or protein needed to make this one last. Toast/bread was essential; fortunately Amanda had picked up one of M&S’ finest french loaves to give much needed

Make it yourself?: Imagine this would be a relatively trivial soup to replicate and improve upon with the leftovers of a roast. I’d be inclined to add lentils for some better thickness and texture for the soup itself, and a hint of heat to add a bit more complexity to the soup.

Verdict: 2.5/5 on the tinned soup scale.

Heinz Beef Broth Big Soup review

InstagramCapture_b162a8c7-be01-4f69-9d37-5bca87a620f7Description: Not ones to overstate things, Heinz simply says this is “Beef, barley and vegetable broth”  on the can. I concur.

Health: 180 calories for the can. Nutritionally relatively insubstantial – low protein and fibre scores, low in fat (it’s only 7% beef, so…), but pretty high on the salt front – 2.2g for the can. So, y’know, points down.

Taste: Like beefy, barley, stocky, salty, utterly generic soup. But it’s not insubstantial thanks to the chunky veg (which gives Heinz ‘big’ soup its name), and the barley gives it a good depth and texture. You have to play ‘Where’s Wally’ to find the beef.

Full-o-meter: As you can see from the pic, requires supplemental toast. So, y’know, not great, but thanks to low calorie count of the soup itself, this is acceptable.

Make it yourself?: Clearly home-made soup would be better, but this stuff was quick and convenient and would outlive a nuclear winter, so hey, points for that. It’s a heck of a lot more substantial than your average “tin o tomato” soup, or even the Oxtail soup I used to love when I was a kid.

Verdict: 3/5 on the tinned soup scale. This is *not* comparable to the scale I use for my other soup reviews! Fresh soup clearly is in a totally different league, but I’d pick it out of a line up of tinned soups. Not for a crime, obviously, but… y’know what I mean.