Product Type: Clearspring Food
Newest Review: ... our palates for a lot of the afternoon. As well as the organic soup I purchased Clearspring also make two other variants - Clearspring Mel... more
A Vegan Instant Soup And A Dietary Challenge For Machair!
Clearspring Organic Miso Soup
Member Name: Machair1
Clearspring Organic Miso Soup
Advantages: Full of nutrients and low in calories.
Disadvantages: A weird taste
Clearspring Organic Miso Soup is an instant soup you make simply by adding water. It is, however, not something you normally see work colleagues diving into at lunchtime, and if you do decide to try this then be prepared for some interesting comments and questions!
My daughter is a vegan and Miso soup is something she regularly has at lunchtime. I had seen sachets of this in her cupboard which she had when she was at home, and so recently I decided to purchase some to see if it was something I could enjoy.
I purchased the Clearspring organic variety in the whole foods area of my local Tesco, where a box containing four sachets was £3.59. This is a make I am familiar with as I have purchased many of their foods over the years, and have always found them to be high quality.
The company have a goal to try to really get organic food more widely available, and to ensure that what is available mirrors the high quality of that which our grandparents enjoyed. They are an ethical company who treat their suppliers well, and they are passionate about what they do.
Miso Soup is a thin soup popular in Japan, and is this version is made from brown rice miso which is itself made from whole soya beans, brown rice, and sea salt. The soup also contains sweet white miso, which is made from white rice and whole soya beans. What really gives this soup its distinctive flavour are sea vegetables, which are kombu (powder) and wakame, and just for good measure dried green onions complete the ingredient list.
So you can see from this list that the soup is a very low calorie option, in fact a sachet made with boiling water is only 26 calories.
So having just returned from a very windy expedition to the shops my husband and I decided to try this soup as it offered a warming alternative to a traditional soup.
We both had the same initial reaction to the first taste which was uncertainty and an element of horror! It is unlike anything I have ever tasted before because although the soup is vegan it really does have an immensely savoury and almost Bovril like taste to it. My daughter assures me that it is an acquired taste, and that after several sachets you find yourself really enjoying the flavour, but my husband was less convinced!
What really does hit you is the salty flavour which is due to the seaweed. It is very salty and certainly you can't say the soup is lacking adequate seasoning or is bland in any way. At the bottom of the mug lie the sea vegetables, which you can eat with a spoon. These are cabbage like and not unpleasant, and do add a different texture at the end of an otherwise thin soup. Sea vegetables are exceptionally good for you and are bursting with minerals. The photo on the packet shows these floating on the surface, but mine sunk like a rock to the bottom!
There is no doubt that these sachets are very handy for travelling and for taking to work, as the preparation is simple and they are warming and nutritious. They dissolve so easily into the boiling water, and no lumps at all were in the soup that I made. This is important as soups which are instant are often not easy to make without leaving some powdery residue, which never quite dissolves in the bottom.
I am afraid to admit that I will not be buying these again except for my daughter to enjoy on her visits home, as they were not something I would really seek out again. My husband and I both agreed that there was something weird about the taste, and neither of us were particularly keen on it. We did finish the mugs that I made and didn't waste any, but the intense salty flavour was left behind on our palates for a lot of the afternoon.
As well as the organic soup I purchased Clearspring also make two other variants - Clearspring Mellow White Miso Soup is a popular light soup with tofu and spring onions and Clearspring Hearty Red Miso Soup is a darker variety with wakame sea vegetables that has a stronger flavour. I might try these in due course but I must be honest and say I won't be rushing to the shops.
If you have ever seen the healthy eating programme presented by Gillian McKeith you may remember that Miso soup was suggested as a good breakfast choice. I have to be truthful and say that I could not bring myself to eat this first thing in the day, it would be an odd choice to say the least and one I wouldn't relish.
I have got quite adventurous tastes where food is concerned but this soup was something which I found difficult to really enjoy. I do remember many years ago buying sheets of seaweed and attempting to cook them, but found the smell in the kitchen so bad that I put the pan and the contents in the garden to cool off! So maybe seaweed and I are not ideally suited. The soup is, however, a dieters best friend at only 26 calories and with all the minerals it is certainly a healthy option. The soup is bursting with manganese, vitamin K, protein, zinc, copper and fibre so it is a product worth looking at if only from the nutritional aspect..
There was some research published in 2003 which suggested results had shown that women who ate Miso soup regularly showed a lower incidence of breast cancer. Japanese women have a very low incidence of the disease, and although the results were not conclusive it makes interesting reading and provokes thought, as so many of my dear friends have been touched by this disease.
I wish I could tell you I enjoyed it, it was more a question of tolerating the taste and telling myself it was doing me good. How my daughter consumes this every day is a mystery to me, but I will certainly try the others in the range as maybe I am missing something that she enjoys.
Buy it for an experiment - you might really like it and it certainly has health benefits. Personally I am on the fence about it, it's weird and salty and has a taste all of its own.
Summary: Try it if you dare!
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