* Prices may differ from that shown
I noticed that in recent months the price of canned soup has slowly been rising. Heinz soups now retail at around 89p a can, Campbells condensed soups at around 99p a can. It doesn't seem five minutes to me since they were both half that price. And what do you get? In my opinion, very average processed soup which both looks and tastes light years away from homemade. Not so with New Covent Garden soup, which I was delighted to see on offer at the weekend in my local Sainsburys. I purchased New Covent Garden Leek and Maris Piper Potato Soup 600g for just £1 on special offer.
There are many delicious sounding varieties of New Covent Garden Soups - but for the purpose of this review I am going to expound my thoughts on the Leek and Maris Piper Potato Soup. ( I did buy a couple more varieties which are currently sitting in my refrigerator awaiting their turn in the pan.) For details of all the varieties see www.newcoventgardensoup.com/our-soups/
Microwave - From Chilled
Microwave 900W (High 100%).
Give the carton a shake, open it up and place on a microwavable plate. Microwave for 3 minutes then stir and microwave for a further 3 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute.
Hob - From Chilled
Shake the carton, open and pour into a saucepan. Heat gently for 4 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Do not boil.
Once opened consume within 24 hours.
Do not exceed use-by date.
Freezing - suitable for home freezing.
This soup can be frozen, but is best eaten fresh. Freeze immediately and use within 1 month. Defrost thoroughly before heating.
Water, Potatoes (Sulphites) (25%), Leeks (18%), Onions (9%), Milk, Single Cream (4%), Salted Butter, Salt, Chives, Vegetable Bouillon, White Pepper, Vegetable Bouillon contains: Salt, Yeast Extract, Rice Flour, Dried Onion, Dried Carrot, Parsley, Ground Turmeric.
Suitable for Vegetarians
May Contain Nuts
Contains Sulphur Dioxide/Sulphites
Per 300g serving Energy 672kJ 159kcal 8%, Fat 6.6g 9%, Saturates 3.9g 20%, Sugars 5.1g 6%, Salt 2.2g.
This soup comes in a carton and must be kept chilled. Obviously, its shelf life is far less than a canned soup - and it contains a few sulphites for preserving - but generally there are few disadvantages to this soup. When you open the carton this soup looks and smells like homemade.
It was easy to cook (see instructions above) and a carton gave 2 of us a generous portion of soup which was enjoyed with some crusty bread.
The soup itself was thick and looked appetizing. You could clearly see as well as taste the potato and the leek. It was well seasoned and delicious - and not too salty like some soups. It was a leek and potato soup which you would have been proud to serve guests or even offer up as a starter for your Christmas Day or Boxing Day Lunches. It was a soup as all soups should be. For the £1 purchase price I would have struggled to buy the ingredients for a home-made version - so the value can't be beat. Even at the regular price though, I feel this soup is so good it's worth that bit extra. These soups generally retail around the £1.98 mark.
I have never been a big fan of canned soup.They usually taste full of chemicals , and leave a bad taste in the mouth for a long time afterwards. I only usually like tomato and minestrone. So imangine my surprise when I tried The Covent Garden Food Co soups.
While trying to find something to eat at my parents house we saw this soup for £1. I have never even thought to try a soup from the chilled section before, but the packaging was very appealing and so was the price. The soup comes in a 600ml carton with lots of nature loving images and wording. They do look very healthy! I thought this wouldn't be enough for 3 and a half of us but with a big chunk of crusty bread it was fine. I could probably eat half of it to myself to be honest , and that is how it is advertised.
I felt very doubtful at first as you can't beat a bit of homemade soup. The soup in question was broccolli and stilton. As it comes in a cardboard carton alls you need is a pair of scissors or a strong grip. No can openers that don't work properly, knives or sharp edges. It also can be squashed down to make more room in bin or recycling.
As I poured it into the pan ( or microwave if you prefer) it didn't look too pleasant. With the consistency of vomit and its fetching grey with green tinge it was not attractive. However the best foods in the world are not asthetically pleasing. The smell wasn't too good either. After a few minutes on the heat it did start to look nicer. I transfered it into some attractive bowls and sat down expecting the worst.
To my surpirse the first spoonful wasn't so bad. The next spoonful and you can really start to taste all the natural flavours, NATURAL flavours! NO chemical highlights. I was amazed and started to appreciate the taste a bit more. By the end I had been converted. Even my baby loved it and dipped her fish dippers in there.
These soup are very natural and contain no chemicals , preservatives or E-numbers. This one is suitable for vegetarians too. This is exactly what I am looking for when feeding my toddler and myself so it definaetly ticks all the boxes. A guilt free packaged food.
They bring out a new exciting soup every month , and I will certainly be trying them.
New Covent Garden are a popular premium soup company, you can buy their fresh soups in cartons in the chiller section in supermarkets. They do a wide range of classic but not boring soup flavous such as tomato basil, pea and ham and Scotch Broth.
Each carton is 600g which is claimed to be 2 servings but that will very much depend on the person eating. I'm currently having soups for lunch and have had half each day with a large chunk of bread which leaves me still feeling very slightly hungry, but a whole carton would be too much. My partner eats a whole carton in one go. I think a carton would be the ideal size for me to share with my toddler.
Cartons cost just under or just over £2 in Tescos depending what flavour you get although at the moment a number of them are half price and it is one of these that I tried. I actually ordered a Wild Mushroom in my online delivery but this was substituted with a Winter Vegetable which I wasn't particularly looking forward to but was pleasantly surprised.
The soup was thick and very orangey due to the red lentils in it. It was a smooth soup with some small pieces of carrot, peas and sweetcorn in. It can be heated on the hob in a pan or in the microwave in the (opened) carton which is useful on the second day that I eat it, but on the first day I have to pour half into a bowl to heat it. The base of the soup had a rich, flavoursome root vegetable flavour and the pieces of vegetable tasted of what they were. It tasted very much like a homemade soup so I was very pleased with it.
I have got flu at the moment and have lost my appetite, so when I was in Sainsbury's the other day looking for something quick and easy to do for my lunch for the next few days I thought of soup.
The usual tinned soups you can get are all very well but you get bored with the same ones, and as I'm ill I decided to treat myself. So I went to look at the fresh soups and found The New Covent Garden soups.
The soups come in cardboard cartons which are very well designed and look fab. They look fresh and that's important to give the impression of very fresh food inside, and that's exactly what I got!
The soups come in various interesting flavours - carrot and corriander, spicy butternut squash and sweet potato, winter vegetable to name just a few.
I chose carrot and corriander and was not disappointed!
The container holds two servings and therefore when I opened the carton I poured half of the carton into the saucepan to heat it up. The soup was a very bright orange colour, as you would expect for this flavour.
Once heated I began to eat and oh my, what a pleasure. The flavours are rich enough to give you a real treat, without being over powering. It is clear from the taste that the soups are made with very fresh ingredients. The soup has a very smooth consistency, with just a hint of bite which adds a great texture. There are no big lumps to try and eat so for me, who has a throat that is very sore, it was perfect.
I will definitely be going back to try the other flavours, and at the moment several of these flavours are £1 each in Sainburys so I will definitely be stocking up while the price is this good.
A definite must in the soup world.
I eat Covent Garden soups infrequently because I find them quite expensive at around £2 per carton. However, when I have eaten them I have always enjoyed them with the exception of the Broccoli and Stilton flavour which I found tasted quite disgusting. Although I love Stilton cheese I didn't feel it tasted right in soup, although this is probably just due to my preferences and not the fault of the Covent Garden cooks! Every other soup from the company I have tried has been delicious, especially the Cream of Mushroom and the Asparagus soups.
Anyway, this review focuses on their newest soup which is called "Chock Full of Beans" and is currently the soup of the month. Every month Covent Garden chooses one soup that is soup of the month and this soup is sold at a bargain price. I got mine from Co-op where it was on sale for £1.07. Bargain! Especially considering that you can buy several cartons if you're sure you'll like it as they are suitable for home freezing.
"Chock Full of Beans" soup is suitable for vegetarians. It is made from all natural ingredients and the types of beans it contains are red kidney beans, haricot beans, black-eyed beans. It also contains long-grain rice plus other vegetables and spices. Most surprisingly of all, it actually contains chocolate and a bit of sugar!
A half carton makes one serving and contains 168 calories. However I have now just scoffed an entire carton and am feeling quite stuffed. In general I would say half a carton is plenty as a starter or a whole carton for a main meal.
I heated my soup up in the microwave in a bowl (for 3 minutes on high power), but you can of course heat it on the hob or leave it in the carton (open it first) and put this into the microwave. To open the carton, which is shaped like an old-fashioned milk carton, open the flaps on both sides and then pull on opposite corners.
This soup is very thick and contains loads of whole beans as well as pureed beans. The whole beans stick to the bottom of the carton so if you are going to only eat half of the carton you could try giving it a good shake before opening or else pour it all out, stir well, and then pour half back in.
The flavour of the soup is very good. It tastes quite like a chili but, like it says on the packet, with a slight hint of chocolate and it's a tiny bit sweet. I don't generally like sweet flavours in my savory food but found this was not at all overpowering and added to the overall taste of the soup.
The rice in the soup was the only part that was a bit disappointing. It felt like it was there to bulk it out and didn't really add much to the experience. If you like rice this won't bother you but I'm not a huge fan of rice myself.
I ate my soup with a simple cheese enchilada (grated cheese grilled in a tortilla) and also added some greek yogurt and tabasco to the soup. I felt these flavours matched the soup perfectly. What a lovely meal, and everything was ready in literally 5 minutes which is perfect as I'm usually starving by the time I get home from work! With a few more enchiladas, one carton of soup would make a great meal for two.
I recommend this soup, especially if you can get it on sale - and look out for future soups of the month as well!
I do like many different kinds of soup and I'm not very good at making them as I fail to get the right thickness most of the time however one company who have mastered the art of making soup is the New Covent Garden Soup Company whose premium range of soups are a nice treat that I enjoy buying from the supermarket every so often.
They have a huge range of flavours and there are some traditional soups and then there are some more exotic ones, it is the Thai Chicken Fusion that is my own personal favourite as it has a wonderfully rich flavour to it with some lovely spices as well.
They are also excellent for vegetarians as they have some great and innovative varieties, Mediterranean Vegatable and herb is a lovely filling soup with some great flavours as is the equalliy exotic Moroccan Spiced Chickpea soup.
You do pay a little extra for their soups which tend to come in 600g two bowl servings however they do have a 300g size as well however I have found these harder to find in the shops for some reason and there are a limited number of flavours in this size range.
I've always been a big soup fan (with some nice fresh bread and a decent amount of real butter on the side of course!) and when I'm feeling particularly fancy I head over to the chiller cabinets in Tesco and purchase a New Covent Garden Soup Company carton of soup instead of my standard Heinz tin.
These soups come in a fairly wide range of flavours; minestrone, tomato and basil,butternut squash, leek and potato etc etc. Basically there is a large enough selection to keep most people happy. Three flavours I had enjoyed in recent weeks are Vegetable, Chicken, and Chicken Mulligatawy.
The Vegetable one was very nice. The sort of soup where you can taste real veg, and real goodness going into you. The consistancy was not to thin, and not too thick.
The Chicken Mulligatawny was my first venure into the world of Mulligatawny, and I was pleasantly surprised. It seemed to me like the Weight Watchers Chicken Curry, only in a soup format. It even has the rice in it!
Now my favourite of the three has to be the Chicken soup. It is luxuriously creamy (however it does has a fairly high saturated fat content - half a carton gives you nearly 40% of your guideline daily amount) and comes complete with succulent chunks of white chicken. On first tasting it's clear that there are potatoes in there (sure enough, it's second on the ingredients list after water) and these help add to the 'filled up' sensation the soup gives, but certainly doesn't take away from the flavour.
The soups are often o offer in Tesco's, though they can have certain varieties on offer at different times, so my advice is to stock up when your favourites are on offer. The prices can range from £1 to £2 depending on the offers. A standard carton is enough to share between two, as long as you've some nice bread!
Covent Garden Soups are available in all major supermarkets, and judging by the ever-increasing range available, seem to be very popular. We eat a lot of Covent Garden soups in our house - they are almost always on offer in either Sainsburys or Tesco at 2 cartons for £3, which is a good deal as they usually cost £2.19, and they keep for a relatively long time for a 'fresh' soup. We tend to try out most of the new flavours at one time or another, although we do have our favourites which we return to over and over again.
The standard Covent Garden soup carton is 600g which makes it comfortably big enough for two people to share, or you can save half for the following day's lunch. They are easy to cook - you can cook them in the microwave by just opening the lid of the carton fully and then cooking for the recommended time or, if you prefer, you can cook them in a saucepan on the hob.
There is a good range of flavours, ranging from fairly standard types of soup such as Minestrone, Tomato and Basil, Leek and Potato or Chicken to the more exotic flavours of Thai Chicken Fusion, Toulouse Sausage and Puy Lentil or Moroccan Spiced Chickpea. They also do a 'Soup of the Month', at the moment this is Vegetable Balti, which claims to be packed full of chunky vegetables, Balti spices and rice - sounds good, and I'm hoping the carton in my fridge lives up to expectations!
So, which soups do I like best? I tend to like my soups to be relatively well packed with ingredients, preferably the type that actually fill me up and make me feel like I've eaten a proper meal. I love the Pea and Ham soup which is bright green and has a delicious, thick texture. I also like the Winter Vegetable soup which is a similar texture to the Pea and Ham, but is an orange colour - this contains carrots, potatoes, parsnips, celery, peas and sweetcorn and really makes you feel like you're getting a good portion of vegetables towards that all-important five a day. Of the chunky-style soups, I also like the Toulouse Sausage and Lentil, the Moroccan Spiced Chickpea, the Lentil and Smoked Bacon and the Broccoli and Stilton, which is interesting as I was adamant I hated stilton until my husband encouraged me to try the soup.
I haven't actively disliked any of the soups I've tried, but I think that the chicken one is quite average - it's not as comforting as I'd expect a chicken soup to be and it tastes a bit bland. The Thai Chicken Fusion is far nicer in my opinion, so if you're looking for chicken soup, I'd recommend trying that one instead. I'm not that impressed with the Minestone either, I think there's something missing but I can't quite identify what that something is - it definitely doesn't have enough pasta so I tend to cook a handful of that and mix it in with the soup. I didn't really enjoy the Smoked Haddock Chowder either as it just didn't taste how I expected it to taste.
The Covent Garden Soup Company say that their products are all about the ingredients. They only source their ingredients from farmers / suppliers who care about how their food is produced, and I do believe that they taste better than other soups on the market. I think this is probably because they taste fresh and more like you would expect a homemade soup to taste - my husband once spent ages making a homemade asparagus soup for dinner with my parents, only for my Mum to ask him if it was a Covent Garden one. Needless to say, after all that effort, he was not impressed, but it does illustrate how close to homemade soups these products are.
You can also buy four of their soups in an individual sized 300g carton which is perfect for lunches - the varieties available are Leek and Potato, Winter Vegetable, Plum Tomato and Basil and Spicy Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato. They have also launched the Winter Vegetable and Plum Tomato and Mascarpone versions in a 1kg family-sized tub. Alongside the soups, the Covent Garden Soup Company also do a range of risottos. I haven't tried these yet though.
Overall, I am very impressed with the consistently high quality of these soups. There are so many flavours to choose from, the soups taste fresh and healthy and most of them make you feel like you've had a good meal, especially when served with a big chunk of freshly buttered bread (unfortunately, as I am on Weightwatchers, I usually eat them with Ryvita which is not the same at all). I will definitely be buying lots more of them in the future.
I love soup. Especially on a cold winters day with some fresh crusty bead. Of course, homemade soup is my top choice, but Covent garden have a range that comes so close!
The soups are found in the chiller section of the supermarket in cartons (like the old milk cartons) which are fairly easy to open if you follow the instructions.
They tend to cost around £1.99, but they are often on 'buy one get one free' offers so I tend to stock up and freeze them (they freeze really well!), so become compariable to the price of own brand or even tinned varieties.
The range has all the usual flavours, but they also have unusual ranges which are all worth a try. They also produce seasonal varities, i.e. halloween specials with pumpkin, which make a change if you fancy something different to leek and potato!
The majority of the soups are really thick and easily make up a good meal, but the odd one is dissapointingly thin (tomato and basil springs to mind), but overall I would certainly recommend these soups as a tasty lunch which can also be bulked up with some bread to satisfy a grumbling tummy!
The New Covent Garden Soup Company has always been my alternative to homemade soups when I don't have the time or inclination to make. They really became popular with myself once I finished university and was able to afford more than super saver tinned tomato soup.
The New Covent Garden Co. seems to have a similar ethos to Innocent, in that is really puts emphasis on fresh, natural ingredients with little or no preservatives and fun packaging. The soups are often very interesting and although yes you do get your basic leek and potato, tomato and basil or broccoli and stilton, you also get other more interesting variations such as spicy butternut squash and sweet potato, Thai chicken fusion and their seasonal varieties such as the pumpkin one they did around Halloween.
TNCGC began around 20 years ago as a reaction to an obvious gap in the market for fresh soup you can buy in the supermarket and take home - as opposed to the tinned stuff that could be found everywhere. They seemed to spawn a revolution, as all supermarkets now do a similar sort of thing (although never as interesting or as nice, in my opinion!) They also do other things such as risottos now and are really expanding themselves as a brand not to be reckoned with.
The soups are all made with fresh ingredients. The one I have in front of me right now is the Spicy Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato, and the ingredients are nothing more than vegetables, water and some spices to give it a kick. They're also very good for you - around 3%-5% fat.
Now for good quality, fresh soups, you have to expect to pay a bit more than just a tin. The NCGSC's prices range from £1.80 - £2.10 depending on the supermarket chain. However, they are often on offer I see at either buy one get one free, or 2 for £3. A carton gives you about 2 portions.
I've always thought that I would rather make my own for a fraction of the price, but if this isn't possible, then these soups are certainly the next best thing.
My husband & I really like soup, especially in the winter; it can make a really nice simple meal with little effort. I like to make my own soup because then I can have absolutely everything in it the way I want and not have to settle for only liking half of it because the supermarket didn't have the perfect flavour. It can also be a very good way of using up the odds and ends in your kitchen as you can put almost anything into a soup and it'll still taste good. Sometimes though I do like to buy some soup, especially as it costs more to make it from scratch now than it does to buy it ready made. My favourite soup is of course Heinz but sometimes the supermarkets will run out. On one of these occasions I didn't really feel like eating any of the other tins of soup as they just didn't look very appealing so I gave in and went to look for some good bargains in the cold section. That's when I came across a range of New Covent Garden Soup.
I know, it seems strange to keep soup in the chilled department and I thought so too when I first saw it but as soon as you read the carton it all becomes clear. The soup isn't in a nasty tin can or dried out in a packet where you have to add boiling water, this soup is fresh, that's why it has to be kept in the refrigerated section. I really liked this idea as personally I don't like to think of how many nasty preservatives and chemicals go to the tinned and dehydrated versions of soup. Fresh soup sounds so much nicer and healthier.
It comes in a carton, a bit like an old fashioned milk carton, which is actually recyclable, a great benefit compared to the plastic wrapping of dried soup. The cartons are an off-white colour with pictures of vegetables on the front to show you the ingredients that go into it. There's also some writing on the front, the New Covent Garden logo and the name of the soup. The carton is designed to look homemade and the writing on it looks as though somebody could have hand written it. It's a very nice effect as it makes it look the product will be really good quality rather than just some factory made junk.
The cartons come in 2 sizes; 600g for £1.65 and 1kg for £1.95 which is very good value considering that it is great quality soup. The two sizes are really great because it means that you don't have to waste any. If there's just one of you then the 600g carton would be a great lunch or it could serve two if you are going to have some big chunks of bread with it, yum. The 1kg carton is great as part of a meal or a starter for up to 4 people which is great considering it only costs £1.95.
Covent Garden Soups taste really great in general, there are some flavours that I don't like but that's probably more due to personal preference rather than a reflection upon the quality of the soups. The flavours available are:
Asparagus - creamy asparagus with potato and onion
Broccoli & Stilton - broccoli, tangy stilton and black pepper
Beetroot & Redcurrant
Carrot & Coriander - carrot spiced up with nutmeg and coriander leaves
Chicken Soup - chicken sprinkled with white wine complete with double cream, garlic and onion
Chilli Bean - a nice warm and not too spicy soup
Creamy Parsnip - parsnips with roasted garlic and cream
Gazpacho - tangy tomato, pepper and juicy cucumber
Leek & Potato - melt-in-the-mouth potatoes, leek, onions, mil and cream
Lentil & Smoked Bacon - a thick soup with lentils, bacon, garlic and mustard
Moroccan Chickpea - complete with exotic spices, chickpeas and apricots
Minestrone - garlic chunks and Mediterranean herbs
Pea & Ham - chunks of smoky ham with peas
Pea & Mint - peas with rich green mint
Plum Tomato & Basil - tomatoes with basil, oregano and rosemary (my favourite)
Plum Tomato & Mascarpone - sweet plum tomatoes with silky mascarpone cheese
Red Pepper & Thai Basil - a light Thai basil and red pepper soup
Summer Vegetable - potatoes, onions, broccoli, broad beans, courgettes, peas, spinach, green beans, cheddar cheese, cream, mint and lemon thyme
Smoked Haddock Chowder - smoked haddock, potato, carrot and cayenne pepper
Soup of the Month - changes every month but this month it is - Carrot and Crème Fraiche - carrot, crème fraiche, double cream, onions and ginger
Salmon & Watercress - flakes of salmon, watercress and creamy potato
Spicy Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato - squash, sweet potato, mascarpone cheese and red chilli
Spinach & Nutmeg - spinach, onions, cream, lemon juice and nutmeg
Sweet Potato & Corn Chowder - sweet potato, sweetcorn, and red peppers
Thai Chicken - chicken, coconut, lime, jalapeno peppers and ginger
Three Bean & Red Lentil - cannelloni beans, red kidney beans, black-eyed beans, red split lentils, garlic and sun dried tomatoes
Tomato & Chunky Veg - tomatoes, potato, broccoli, sweetcorn, carrots, onions, leeks, swede, parsley, celery, cream, garlic and parsley
Toulouse Sausage & Puy Lentil - Toulouse pork sausages, Puy lentils, tomatoes, flageolet beans and garlic
Wild Mushroom - mushrooms, white wine, cream, parsley and garlic
As you can see there are a lot of New Covent Garden Soup flavours, to be honest I think that there is something for everybody as there's such a variety of different soups there. My favourite is the Plum Tomato & Basil one although I normally prefer a chicken soup. It just has such a lovely taste to it and my husband and I will happily eat our way through a carton together with a nice bit of chunky bread.
These soups are really easy to store and to prepare. As you may have guessed due to the fact that they are kept in the chillers in supermarkets, these soups do indeed need to be refrigerated. Then once you've opened the carton you need to keep it in the fridge and eat it within 24 hours or it will go off. However if you don't want to eat it within the few days after you've bought it then you should freeze it. It can be kept frozen for up to a month. I should warn you that none of the soups seem to taste so good after they have been frozen, after all they are fresh soups and so are best enjoyed whilst they're still fresh. However once they've been frozen they do still taste good and are especially useful as the base of a meal, for example if you stir some noodles into it you can get a thick full meal which makes up for the soup becoming more watery in the freezing process. These soups are really easy to heat up which you will need to do thoroughly before eating them. You have the choice to either microwave it or cook it on the hob. Cooking it on the hob lets you pretend that you've actually made it from scratch as though it really is homemade soup, however I prefer to cook it in the microwave.
On the hob:
Empty the contents into a saucepan and cook for 5 minutes
Don't let it boil
Remember to stir so that it doesn't stick to the pan
In the microwave on full power, these instructions will of course vary depending on the power of your microwave, just remember to make sure it's hot all the way through before eating it.
Shake the carton, open it up completely and then stand it in the middle of the microwave (or empty the contents into a microwavable dish)
Cook from the fridge for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through
Cook from frozen for 25 minutes or until it's defrosted then stir it and cook for a further 5 minutes.
You must NOT reheat this soup as it will not go down well and will probably make you feel quite ill. I personally don't like to eat this after it's been frozen, the whole point, in my mind is that it's fresh soup, if I wanted soup that I could store for ages then I would buy a tinned version. I advise you to eat it fresh that way it won't lose any taste. This soup does indeed have a much better taste than the tinned or dehydrated versions, it tastes a lot fresher and is almost homemade, it's definitely my favourite soup and I think that it's the best for a full fresh flavour. You can really taste each of the main ingredients in the soup which is great as I have all too often bought a tinned soup only to find I could only taste one of the ingredients.
All of the soups above have their ingredients and nutritional information on the carton or on their website. New Covent Garden is really good with what they put into their food. There are no additives, preservatives or genetically-modified ingredients. Plus there are no chemicals at all, if you read through the ingredients you will see that all of them are normal everyday food items. I must however warn you that quite a lot of them contain things that people with allergies will not be able to eat. If you are allergic to anything that means you normally have to check food packaging then please take a look at this website before buying them:
Although the carton will state any allergy information, on this website you can select the thing you are allergic to and you will be given a list of which soups are okay for you to eat. I think that's a very thoughtful thing for New Covent Garden to add to their website as it will really help those who have allergies. If you want any other information about the soups or thye New Covent Garden Range then you can visit their website at:
Overall I give the New Covent Garden Soup range 10 out of 10 because it's absolutely delicious. I recommend them for anybody who likes a full flavour and enjoys homemade soup. They're also a lot healthier than most soups so if you're trying not to fill your body with junk then these are worth a try. The best fresh soup on the shelves, well you can find it on the shelves in:
Go and buy, give them a try and happy soup eating!
I was so relieved when I discovered this product! At last I thought! I can finally buy ready made soups that actually taste good and actually taste like the ingredients stated on the packaging!
Covent Garden Soups can be found in the chiller cabinet in most supermarkets and have a relatively short use by date which reassures you that they are fresh (panic not though! they CAN be frozen!)
They are a London based company that believes in creating top notch soups (and also risottos and pasta sauces) using high quality, fresh ingredients.
They do a variety of flavours, some suitable for vegetarians and out of all of them my personal favourite is the Plum Tomato & Basil.
The soup is a rich red colour and has chunks of tomato and basil leaves floating in it so you know that you are getting the real deal. It has a sweet taste to it and a gorgeous aroma and is really filling without feeling too heavy.
It is sold in 600g cartons so easily serves 3 people (or 2 if you are extra hungry!).
The only downside is that, like most pre-prepared foods, they have a high salt content so those on a low sodium diet should be aware of this.
I am a big fan of soups and if you are trying to lose a bit of weight they are some of the best things to have as a lunchtime snack. We quite often make our own soups, especially with left over vegetables from the Sunday Roast, but if we're not able to manage this, I need look no further that the New Covent Garden Food Co. for a really tasty range of alternatives.
One of the best things to say about these soups is that they are made from all natural ingredients. They are about the closest soups to homemade ones that I have tried and I'm sure it's down to these healthy ingredients.
All of the soups are packaged in cardboard cartons which I think already gives a better taste than tins or packets. The ingredients are clearly labelled along with all the nutritional values you might want to know. We've just had a wild mushroom soup which in half a carton contains 115 calories, 4.8 grams fat, and 2.1 grams salt. I also have a Broccoli and Stilton variety in my fridge, and for this one, as it is definitely a richer soup, all the values are that bit higher. Two examples are 167 calories for half a carton and 11.1 grams fat which is starting to sound a little bit high,
The cartons contain 600 grams of soup which really does provide for two generous adult portions and could even serve three people. We quite often share a carton between me, my husband and our two small girls. This is probably the most you would want to eke out one carton but that still provides resonable portions.
The soups can be kept in the fridge for quite a long time, although once a carton is opened it should be used within twenty four hours. When I bought my soups last weekend, they both had sell by dates at least two weeks in advance so that is good as you can plan to use them later in the week. The soups can also be frozen and if you do this you can cook them direcly in the microwave without having to defrost them first.
As far as cooking is concerned all varieties have instructions for cooking either on the hob or in the microwave. If you use the microwave you can even cook it directly from the carton, provided you open up the top completely, thus saving on the washing up! Good move! It probably takes about five minutes to cook in the microwave, stopping for a stir in the middle.
There is a wide range of flavours you can choose from. I can't name them all because there are about twenty flavours but some of our favourites include cauliflower and mature cheddar, leek and potato, chicken and the broccoli and stilton. I quite like the wild mushroom although I do think that this one leaves a bit of an after taste. All of the soups have a wonderful consistency - not too thick and definitely not too thin! Also, quite often you have nice chunky bits of whatever meat or vegetable is in the soup.
All of the cartons have lovely tempting descriptions on the side as well. The wild mushroom one says 'enjoy the heady aroma of wild mushrooms and crisp white wine and you're ready to dive into a bowl of sheer decadence!' How tempting is that? The broccoli and stilton is described as 'endlessly warming and comforting - the creamy, pale green of softened broccoli florets marry perfectly with the lively tang of mature Stilton cheese'. It sounds almost poetic doesn't it?
Although they are probably best known for their soups, the New Covent Garden Co. does also make a range of other products too which include ready meals, risottos and porridge. We don't really go in for ready meals but I have tried a couple of their delicious risottos Wild mushroom and parmesan is very tasty although probably an acquired taste as it is quite strong and the sun dried tomato and mascarpone one is a bit lighter. These are a bit more tricky when cooking in the microwave as they seem to stick for me but they can always be emptied into a pan and stirred. We have yet to try any porridge, but as my husband has a liking for that I might treat him to either the original or the honey variety.
Whatever product you are buying though you can be sure that it will be made from only natural ingredients from the best farmers and growers. Because of this I do find that the'r products are a bit more expensive than similar ones, but sometimes it's worth paying a little extra. All soups and risottos are sold in Sainsburys at £1.99 although they do often have multi buy offers and as the use by dates are good it can be worth stocking up.
Overall, I think this is very good company selling tasty, wholesome and natural foods. If you want to find out more you can visit the company website at
Eye of toad,
Wing of bat
I'm a veggie ,
I don't fancy that.
It's October already (where has the year gone?) so Halloween is almost upon us. I'm sitting at my cauldron cackling away with my designer pointy hat on and I'm wondering what potion I can create. Luckily the Covent Garden Food Company has come up with a suitably seasonal warming, fresh and natural soup, who really wants to eat spiders legs or blood of dog anyway? Its appropriately named Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble and is a pumpkin and pepper soup with an underlying sweetness of apricots. It sounds unusual and delicious and best of all new Covent Garden soups were on special offer at Tescos as they were 2 for £3. (they are usury around about £1.80 normally.
I've always liked the packaging of New Covent Garden soups as they are fun and the tetra pack design reminds me of old fashioned milk cartons. This one is suitably resplendent in autumnal orange with little images of bats and pumpkins to get me into the spooky spirit of Halloween. I found the carton very easy to open and started pouring the rich orange liquid into my hi tech cauldron known in non witching circles as a microwave. It was easy to cook . You just put it in for five minuets and it comes out steaming hot. For those traditional witches you can always heat it up over a bonfire or perhaps on the hob. There are supposed to be two servings per 600 ml carton but I found the carton was enough to fill one soup bowl near enough to the brim and wold make a filling lunch with a nice crusty bread roll.
I'm not sure what pumpkins really smells like. This soup smelled lip smackingly good. It smelled fairly sweet with a hint of spice and a good dose of coconut thrown in for good measure. I like coconut so I was looking forward to this soup. It was a feast for my eyes as well as my nose. It was a nice muted orange colour with a number of red and green bits (mostly the peppers) strewn throughout the soup. It's a really nice consistency. It's neither too watery that it runs off the spoon nor too lumpy that you would mistake it for stew. It is by no means a chunky soup but th bits that were in it were big enough to identify what they were.
Would this proton have a strange effect on me? I dug my spoon in and was satisfied with the warming taste. Pumpkin is quite a neutral flavor so could easily be quite bland, this soup is far from that. It is slightly sweet but not overly so. This must be a combination of the pumpkin, peppers and apricots although the apricot must have been very subtle or were there more to contribute to the colour as I could barely taste them. This was mixed with the spiciness of the cayenne pepper and coriander and the distinctive tastes of coconut. I found the spice factor subtle at first but it heated up nicely by the end of the bowl without being a mouth burner. There is salt in the soup but it was just the right amount to give it flavor without tasting like you have swallowed half of the dead sea. The bits in the soup were plentiful I had at least a couple of bits in each spoonful. Along with the colourful pepper there was onion and sweetcorn (a favourite of mine) and long gain ric that gave the soup a bit of substance and for all the vampires reading this a bit of bite. It might not be suitable for them though as there is oak smoked garlic in th brew.
What I love about New Covent Garden soups is that they are like home made soups without the hassle. They really are a treat that contain very few tricks at all. I like the fact that I can read the ingredients list and know exactly what everything is, as there are no confusing preservative, additives or e numbers. Due to this they do need to be kept refrigerated and they do have a much shorter shelf life than tinned soups but the taste is far superior. This particular soup is vegan and just about allergy free apart from maybe the coconut. It would be ideal for someone on a die as it is only 1.3% fat and a serving contains only 112 calories. The only thing that might be of concern is that there are 1.2 grams out of your recommenced limit of 6 grams of salt a day.
The one major downside with Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble is that it is a seasonal soup of the month therefore is limited availability. My tip is to rush out and buy a number of cartons whilst socks last as it can be frozen. You really will not regret it. Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble is just what the witch doctor ordered!
I've seen this soup is Sainsburys and always thought it was really expensive...£2.50! for one little carton. I thought i'm not paying that.
Then one day I was in my local Costcutter and was just having a browse when I noticed they had a "Plum tomato & Basil" flavor of this soup...only 49p!! I double checked that it wasnt out of date or anything, and it wasnt so I bought it.
I was well chuffed. I have to say the soup was very nice. I love tomato soup, well I just love soup in general. although because it was made with plum tomatoes, it was very sweet and I needed to add a bit of salt to it (which I dont like doing; adding salt to food but I made sure it was lo-salt).
But the taste wasnt bad or anything. I am just a salt-freak. It was actually a very taste delicious soup. And the fact I only paid 49p for it, instead of the usual £2.50 was great!
So check your local shops people before going out to buy this!
Fresh soups available from the chiller cabinet.