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Whilst I am a fan of 'Cup-a-Soups', I had never tried Ainsley Harriott's 'cup soups' before. So I was quite curious when I discovered a box of Ainsley Harriott's Broccoli and Stilton Cup Soup in the cupboard.
The soup is very simple to make, and the box gives easy to follow instructions. Simply empty the contents of one sachet into a cup or mug. Add 200ml of boiling water and then stir well. Leave it to stand for one minute and enjoy. I did find that the soup did take a lot of stirring to get it to mix in, which was annoying, and still the powder didn't 'mix' in fully.
Broccoli and Stilton is one of my favourite soups so I was excited to try this soup out. I expected it to be 'bland' and 'watery' with no taste. However, turns out that the soup is not bad actually. It has a good thick and creamy texture with tiny little broccoli florets floating around. The soup tastes very cheesy; I found the stilton to be quite strong. The soup is nice, but I found it to be very strong (stilton) and it seemed to overpower the broccoli. As the soup is quite strong, I found that I couldn't eat it 'on its own' and had to have a roll or something else with it. Whilst I found it strong, another member of the household found it to be very bland and had to add salt and pepper to it. So I guess it all depends on your taste as everyone is different.
Obviously this is a cup-of-soup and whilst I always have it in a cup, I do think that you could easily serve it in a bowl and add cream and croutons to it.
To be honest I was actually really surprised that an 'instant soup' could be this good! Although it obviously isn't fresh soup, I couldn't really tell that much difference between this one and an actual fresh one. With other instant soups you can always tell that they are 'artificial', but I couldn't with this one, which has got to be a good thing.
Nutritionally, these soups aren't too bad. Obviously they aren't as healthy as fresh soups, although they are ok as an occasional treat. A sachet with water will provide you with just 89 calories (wooo!!) and 1.8g of fat (of which, 1.1g is saturated). There is 2.2g of protein and 15.6g of carbohydrates, of which 2.5g is sugars, per cup. There is 1.3g of fibre and 0.38g of sodium per cup.
This soup is great if you are on a low fat diet. It makes a great snack if you are feeling hungry or makes a great 'light lunch' with a bread roll. Sometimes when I am on a diet and feeling really hungry but can't wait until my dinner is ready, I will sometimes have a cup of this rather than pick at 'naughty foods' whilst waiting for my dinner to cook.
All in all, if you like broccoli and stilton soup then I would recommend this soup.
Thank you for reading!
Xdonzx / x-d-o-n-z-x
I felt I had to do a quick review of these soups as I have only fairly recently discovered them and I've been eating them like they're going out of fashion!!
They seem to be on offer quite a lot and are on sale in most supermarkets, I have usually bought them for around £1 for a pack of four sachets, although at Morrison's currently they have them on sale for just 57p a pack! There is a good range of flavours available, such as Schezuan hot & sour and Thai chicken & lemongrass, they are all quite unusual and interesting flavours, I have tried all of them I think and they are all really nice. They are all between 90-110 calories per serving which is pretty good.
This particular flavour, Broccoli & Stilton, as with all of them, is lovely. It is well seasoned and very tasty compared with other cup a soups. It isn't too strongly tasting of stilton, it just has a nice hint of it. In addition to the delicious flavours the consistency of this soup is just right, not really watery like some are but quite thick and rich. As well as this there is none of the powdery taste / texture that you get with many powdered soups. As with any type of cup a soup they are quick to make, you simply tip the contents into a cup, pour on boiling water (it suggests 200ml but to be honest I never measure it, I just fill the cup up and I suppose it would depend how thick / strong you would like it to be as to how much water you would add).
All in all it's a great range, at a good price and this flavour is very nice.
Since our flat is coming to the end of its lease, a few of my flatmates have already moved out rather than waiting for the end. I, however, have decided to stay until the last day so that I can help with all of the cleaning and making sure that everything's accounted for. Unfortunately, since giving up my job I have had very little money to live on and have been dipping into my savings account a bit more often than I would like to. Luckily for me my flatmates left quite a lot of food behind when they moved out, and so I have enough stuff in the freezer and the cupboards to last me the next couple of weeks. One of these things was a box of Ainsley Harriott's Broccoli and Stilton Cup soups, of which there were still three left. I like quite a few of the other soups in the range so was quite intrigued to try these. Despite the fact that my flatmate had said that these were quite poor compared to the mushroom or lentil varieties which we both enjoy, I tried this soup with an open mind. Since they were essentially free I decided that I could just pour it down the sink if I didn't enjoy it and I wouldn't have lost anything.
Like soups from Cup a Soup, these soups are actually dehydrated and come in small packets. You add one packet to a bowl or to a mug and add boiling water, and then the idea is that the powder dissolves into the water to make soup. Clever, eh? It means that these soups take up very little space and have very long sell by dates, though on the downside it means that they are not healthy like fresh soups are. Still, if you generally eat healthily then there's no problem having these from time to time.
I added the powder to a mug and added water, despite the fact that I know that it usually works better in a bowl. Fortunately the mixture stirred in well and it wasn't long until I had a soup which actually looked quite a lot like fresh broccoli and stilton soup, of which I used to eat a lot. I had to stir it quite a bit to get all of the powder to dissolve but luckily it did eventually. Fortunately there weren't any big lumps in this soup so I was able to eat it by drinking it and only used a spoon to stir it occasionally.
So now, most importantly: the taste. Although my friend hadn't been too keen I was delighted to discover that this soup is actually quite nice. It's not as nice as homemade or even fresh bought soup but it had a nice flavour and I enjoyed it. The taste of broccoli and stilton didn't come through as strongly as when you make the soup yourself but they were both there and were pleasant. There were tiny pieces of broccoli found throughout the soup, which added a bit of flavour and made the whole thing feel a bit more authentic. All in all it was a pleasant soup and I was glad that I had tried it.
I find that all of the soups in this range make great snacks due to how easy they are to prepare as well as their low calorie content. This soup in particular only contains 87 calories per serving (one packet with water), which is amazing if you're trying to lose weight or maintain and irrelevant if you aren't. I felt a bit peckish late in the evening so I tried this and now feel quite full without any of the guilt of having snacked on chocolate or ice cream.
In conclusion, these soups are pretty tasty and easy to make. I couldn't find where to buy these online but I believe my friend bought them from Waitrose. All the soups cost £1 or less for a box of four (I want to say that they're only around 60p at Asda sometimes), so they're amazing value for snacks or even small meals. I would recommend this soup as well as others in the Ainsley Harriott range due to their tastiness and easiness.
Any regular readers of my reviews will be aware by now that I suffer from poor health a lot of the time. Due to feeling unwell and suffering from very bad nausea, I struggle to eat a 'proper' meal a lot of the time and so rely instead on smaller snacks and soups to maintain my nourishment.
I will confess that I do tend to get a bit fed up with the 'same old' items in my larder cupboard and so am often looking out for new items to try when I am shopping in my local supermarket. It was with the intention of buying some 'alternative' brands and flavours of soup recently - instead of my usual tomato or lentil flavours - that I noticed the row of brightly-coloured boxes of Ainsley Harriott's cup soups in my local supermarket.
There was a good variety of flavours to choose from, but the one that appealed to me was the broccoli and stilton flavoured cup a soup. Having not tried a cup a soup in this flavour before, I thought it would offer a nice change from the slightly more mundane offerings in my larder at home.
I noted that the box of cup a soup contained four individual sachets - so, four servings - and this was going to cost me in the region of 90 pence. I thought that this was slightly dearer than other brands of cup a soup that are available to buy but as I was wanting to try a different product altogether, this didn't deter me from making the purchase.
Deciding to make the soup the following day, I followed the instructions on the reverse of the box which were extremely straight forward. I had to simply empty a sachet into a mug and pour over boiling water. I then had to stir well, and leave the soup to stand for a minute. The minute standing time seemed like a good chance to butter a small slice of bread to accompany the soup.
The ease of preparation where this soup is concerned is a plus point for yours truly. If I am feeling unwell, I am quite often faint or feeling weak, and struggle to stand for more than a minute or so. This means that this choice of soup is an easy snack for me to prepare for myself without any assistance, on those times that I am struggling physically. Top marks on that point!
Another plus point I found with the Ainsley Harriott cup soups when compared to alternative brands was that the Ainsley soups didn't seem to 'clump' up too much when the water was added to the powder. This is a significant problem I have found with alternative brands in the past - in particular brands at the cheaper end of the market - and I will admit that it makes the soup in a cup somewhat unappetising... Who wants to come across a lump of powder in amongst a mouthful of soup? The Ainsley Harriott's soups, I was pleased to note, seemed to 'blend' together well when the boiling water was added, and all lumps seemed to be mixed in sufficiently.
The appearance of the cup a soup was very attractive looking. The liquid was a silky pale green shade, and I could clearly see that there were small pieces of broccoli floating in the liquid. I could smell the soup too, and thought that it was a fairly appetising smell, although it wasn't a particularly strong aroma that I could detect, more a subtle scent.
Settling down to enjoy my soup, the first thing I noticed was that the texture/consistency of the cup a soup was much more watery than I had expected. This disappointed me a little, as the colour and sheen of the soup had given the impression of something thick and creamy, but overall I thought the texture was a little thin for my personal taste.
The second disappointment was in terms of the flavour of the soup. Considering the full title of the product is "Flavoursome Broccoli and Stilton Cup Soup", I felt a bit cheated after I had sampled the soup. To me, stilton and broccoli is quite a strong-flavouring for a soup and so I was somewhat let down by the creamy-coloured broccoli water that was before me. I could hardly detect the taste of the stilton at all, and this was a huge let down.
I did make allowances for the product being a cup a soup as opposed to a tin or packet of soup, as I find cup a soups in general are often not as flavoursome as their tinned opponents. That said though, I did feel that this particular cup a soup could have delivered more in terms of the flavour and taste, particularly given that the soup is being marketed as being 'Flavoursome'.... indeed it was not!
Overall, I was disappointed in the Ainsley Harriott cup a soup. If they were on a lower priced special offer, I may be tempted to try an alternative flavour in the future, but I certainly wouldn't buy the broccoli and stilton variety again. I am happy to finish the box and try an alternative brand altogether next time and I wouldn't recommend the soup any higher than a couple of Dooyoo stars.
I can see from the packaging that each sachet of the Ainsley Harriott cup a soups contains only 87 calories which I think is better than many alternative brands on the market. This variety of soup is suitable for vegetarians and there is allergy advice and information on the reverse of the box.
There are other flavours available in the range of Ainsley Harriot Cup soups, and they are available from all major supermarkets.
I think I will perhaps stick to other brands from now on as I didn't find these to be as flavoursome or as tasty as I had hoped... A bit of a let down, Ainsley!