“ Type: Soups „
Sometime you just run out of time and even though you try your best to make homemade food, particularly soups, so at least you know what is in them, it isn't always possible. I very rarely buy cuppa soups but stretched for time one weekend I was running through Morrisons and saw the range of Ainsley Harriott Cup Soups. The first one to grab my eye was Szechuan Hot and Sour as my husband loves hot and sour soup, so feeling a bit guilty (I have often earned my living by cooking) I popped it in the basket.
Well we loved it ,full of taste and just on the edge of my hotometer rating, any hotter and I can't eat it. The next weekend ,not feeling as guilty, they were on special offer of a reduced price if you bought three packs so I bought two Hot and Sour and one Spicy Lentil for me .
What a let down, the box is colourful ,orange and black with a happy smiling photo of Ainsley alongside a photo of a mug of soup. It claims to be "so nice ,with a touch of spice...always welcoming" and on the reverse "the most sensational cup soup we've ever created" I think not. Inside the box are four foil sachets ,open up one and place the beige coloured powder with flecks of green in your mug, and, as instructed add 200ml, (1/3 pint) of boiling water and stir well .Leave to stand for one minute. Instead of a spicy lentil soup you get a vaguely vegetable tasting, thickish, beige liquid with flecks of green. Very dissapointing.
Having a look at the ingredients on the back of the pack you can read that there is 16% lentil flour and 2% lentils so there are some lurking in there. I can't think why this one is so bland whilst the Hot and Sour is so good unless it is because the Hot and Sour is made by Symingtons who is a very reputable food stuffs producer, I have used their dried soups on quite a few yacht delivery trips and found them to be very good and tasty and from what I can remember they do not contain artificial flavours ,colours or presevatives.
There you have it, cuppa soups are not noted as a healthy option so I will not bore you with nutritional values but this is low in fat and 89 cals per serving. It contains wheat glutenand cows milk and may contain soyabeans. This soup does not contain atificial flavours,colours or preservatives so that is in it's favour!
Not one to be discouraged I am going to try the Aromatic Thai Chicken and Lemongrass next!
Price is around 1.10pence for a box containing four sachets, widely available in supermarkets
Thankyou for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao under splishsplash
Well I have had a similar experience to the above writer, I never really buy cup-a soups but the orange packet stood out at the supermarket and I just love Lentils!As soon as I poured the water in I knew it wasn't going to be good. I expected a lot of lentils, but like the other review I think I only counted 2 or 3 at the most.It tasted full of processed spices and really no lentil flavour at all, I was quite hungry so I stirred in some salt, sour cream, cheese and some spinach and I managed to finish it off. My advice is to not buy this product at all, it is awful!
Being self employed and working from home sounds great but if I'm not careful by the time my customers have finished calling me during their lunch hours, I can forget about having anything for lunch myself. So I need something quick and nutritious (and unfortunately due to a medical condition it also needs to very low fat) and so soup and bread usually fits the bill.
Normally I make up a couple of soups over the weekend and freeze them for my lunch in the week but on the particular occasion I tried this product we had been away for the weekend so I hadn't had time. So I popped out to peruse my supermarket's range of cuppa soups and saw the striking orange and white box of Ainsley Harriott's "low cal - hi taste" spicy lentil cup soup amongst the sea of blue and green packets. The front of the box told me that there were no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours, it was 67 calories per cup and it was less than 1% fat and had 4 servings. It also says "luscious lentil...give it a go!" And what was even better was that it was reduced to 59p. "Oh", says I, "I shall have some of that". So I leg it home to try some before the phones start ringing!
Whilst I am waiting for the kettle to boil I read the packet in earnest.
On the back we have some blurb from the man himself who says "Tease your tastebuds with this delicious mouthwatering soup. Low cal and packed full of flavour too". You would like to think that if someone puts that kind of claim on a product it will be true - we shall see!
It says that it is an easy mix soup (oh something to test out!) and the "Make up instructions" (strange phrase I thought) are empty contents of one sachet into cup or mug and add 200ml (1/3 pint) of boiling water, stir well and leave to stand for 1 minute. Very standard instructions then! It also has a vegetarian sign on it.
I quickly look at the allergy advice on the side and it says it contains milk and wheat gluten. A quick look at the ingredients and I wished I hadn't - it is a lentil soup made up of 16% lentil flour and 2% dried lentils and the first ingredient is maltodextrin (luckily I found out what maltodextrin was after I consumed this as I am reasonably informed by WIKI that it is "a moderately sweet polysaccharide used as a food additive" - it might be natural but eurgh!). Flipping to the nutritional information on the other side one thing sticks out like a sore thumb - per sachet approx 1.0g of salt! Thank god I don't use much salt in cooking!
Upon tipping the greyish biege contents of the packet into my mug, I had a quick sniff - it was a musty, spicy smell but not much more could be discerned without being in danger of snorting it! So the kettle has boiled and in goes the water. For an easy mix soup there is alot of clumped up powder floating around. I give it a quick stir to disperse them but this turns into a full on squashing bits against the side of mug to break them down. I would probably have been better adding a little bit of water and making paste but the instructions said add boiling water so I did! After the initial struggle of getting it smooth though and leaving for a minute I had a pale biege with a tinge of orange soup with what looked like red flecks and the odd whole lentil (I counted 3).
Now I could really have a good smell. It didn't smell like any lentil soup I've ever made or had in the past. I could smell tomato and a cuppa soup tomato smell at that and sure enough there was tomato powder in it. It had a slightly earthy smell but it just didn't smell right.
So for the taste. Put simply I tipped most of it away. It was nothing like any lentil soup I have ever had - I accept it is dried and out of a packet but it was not pleasant. I could taste the spice and the salt - I could feel the spice as it burnt its way down my throat. It isn't hot (and I love really hot and spicy food), it's just badly added. There is no balance to it and it had a chemical taste - almost like you've left the smallest amount of washing up liquid in the cup and as the cup was thoroughly rinsed it wasn't that. It had a cloying aftertaste which is slightly sweet and earthy but mainly paprika and processed tomato and this aftertaste has staying power. I could easily taste it still after an hour and I had very little of it and what little I had kept repeating!
So lesson learnt I will make sure that I always have a supply of homemade soup in the freezer no matter how busy I am at the weekends because I certainly won't be having this again!
Ainsley Harriott Low Cal Hi Taste Cup Soup is free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Flavourful and low in fat. Also ideal for weight watchers, less than 80 calories pe portion.