“ Type: Soups „
I'm always keen to try and eat a healthy balanced diet, with lunchtime meals during the week posing a bit of a problem as I have to prepare something rather basic that I can eat in my lunch break at work. I usually keep some instant soup in my desk for times when I want something warming that I can prepare quickly and consume at my desk. I've recently been trying this Ainsley Harriott World Kitchen Cup Soup, as it was on special offer at my local Tescos where I bought two packets for £2.00.
Product description: "Instant Thai style chicken flavour cup soup with coconut milk, lemongrass flavour and spices."
This range contains a selection of flavours to choose from and I opted for the "aromatic Thai style chicken and lemongrass" variety, because it sounded a little bit different to the rest of the more standard soup flavours. Each 92g box contains four individual sachets which are the perfect for a single size serving. The outer packaging contains all the information about the product, including the preparation guidelines, and the individual sachets are plain white with just the flavour description printed on one side so you can identify the contents. Admittedly, it is very straight forward to prepare the cup soup, so I was happy to chuck the outer box in the recycling and just store the sachets in my teeny tiny desk drawer.
+ Empty the contents of one sachet into a cup or mug.
+ Add 200ml of BOILING water and stir well.
+ Leave to stand for 1 minute.
The sachets contain a powdered soup mix which I mix in with boiling water. I find it works best to pour in a small amount of water first (maybe 1/3 of the mug) and give this a firm stir to make sure that all of the powder dissolves properly, before topping up to fill the rest of the mug and then stirring again. I like my instant soup to be quite thin and watery so it's easy to drink, and I will normally prepare this in a large travel mug, which holds more liquid than an ordinary ceramic mug or cup. This comes in handy as well if I need to prepare the soup in advance, as I can secure the lid to keep it heated until I am ready to drink the soup, and I can also take it out with me, which is nice if I have time to pop down to the nearby park during my lunch break and fit in some reading time (weather permitting, of course). The convenience of this product is its main appeal in my opinion, and I like that it is so easy to prepare.
The Thai style flavouring comes across strongly and it gives off a lovely aroma which is very appealing. The soup itself forms a light broth and has a thin consistency which I really like. You can see small pieces of ingredients floating on the surface of the soup but there are not many pieces and they are so small that they can be drunk down as part of the soup, without needing to be spooned out separately. There are little pieces of pepper, leek and even a chunk or two of dried chicken included if you are lucky! The soup has a spicy, zingy flavour which is a bit too hot for my tastes, as I only tend to enjoy mildly spiced foods. I was surprised that the spice came through so strongly as the chilli is listed last in the ingredients and I wouldn't have expected such an intense flavour from a dried soup powder. I find it suits me better to leave the soup to stand for a longer time than recommended so it cools down more first, or sometimes I even add in a splash of cold water after mixing up with the hot water, so that it is easier to drink. I always need to have a big glass of cold water ready to soothe my tingling taste buds once I've finished with the soup!
As could be expected, this soup does not exactly provide a filling meal. It is light and tasty, and suits my eating patterns quite well. I am a believer in the "little and often" approach, so I have three smaller main meals, and keep my appetite satisfied by grazing on snacks throughout the day. I will usually have one of these soup sachets for lunch, maybe with a few crackers or rice cakes to add some texture and help fill me up, and then I'll follow that with fruit or some sort of cake for dessert. If I'm hungry again later I may have a second sachet during the afternoon to keep me going until I leave work. These cup soup sachets are only really practical if you have other items to bulk out your meal, or if you are using them as a light snack throughout the day.
I like that this soup has such an unusual flavour, even if it is a little too far on the spicy side for my mild tastes! It is very quick and easy to prepare which makes it convenient to use during my lunch break at work. I'm not overly impressed with some of the nutritional content, in particular the high level of saturated fat, but on balance I think this is a good convenience food and I will keep the sachets on standby for times when I need a quick fix.
Typical nutritional values per sachet (as consumed):
Energy - 387kj - 92kcal
Protein - 1.2g
Carbohydrates - 16.1g - of which sugars - 3.1g
Fat - 2.4g - of which saturates - 1.9g
Fibre - 0.55g
Sodium - 0.55g
Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Potato Starch, Dried Glucose Syrup, Flavouring, Palm Oil, Coconut Milk Powder (6%) (contains Milk), Salt, Dried Chicken, Onion Powder, Dried Red Pepper, Milk Protein, Emulsifiers (Dipotassium Phosphate, Trisodium Citrate), Ground Ginger, Dried Leek, Natural Lemongrass Flavouring, Dried Coriander, Chilli Powder.
As we have all noticed Winter has dragged it heels this year which has meant that I am still occasionally drinking hot chocolate and cup a soups. I normally just purchase a supermarkets own brand cup a soups but a few weeks ago the Ainsley Harriott brand was on a special offer of just 50p per box of 4 soups. I thought this was excellent value and purchased the New England style vegetable chowder variety.
The packaging of the soups is quite luxurious looking with the 4 individual sachets being contained in a black cardboard box. On the front of the box is a picture of a mug containing the soup and a picture of Ainsley himself. It states on the front of the box that the soups are 'a luxurious American style chowder, full of rich creaminess.' It also states that the soups contain 97 calories per serving. On the back and sides of the box you can find more detailed product information including full nutritional information, ingredients listings, storage and allergy advice as well as preparation instructions. You can reseal the box with the flap at the top but the sachets inside are made from quite thick foil so keep fresh as they are.
To make the soup you simply need to empty the contents of a sachet into a mug, add boiling water and stir. It states on the box to use 200ml of boiling water but I don't tend to measure mine I just use a standard mug and just fill with water.
The soup when made is a pale yellow colour and quite thick in consistency. There are dried vegetables contained in the soup which tend to float to the top which includes pieces of sweetcorn, carrot and red pepper. This also adds a little texture to the soup and makes it feel a little more substantial.
I personally really enjoyed these soups they have a lovely light golden flavour and are quite creamy. The thickness of the soup makes you feel quite full after drinking them so added with a sandwich they make quite a substantial feeling lunch. I think the only downside to these soups is that they do not have any croutons but if they had then I guess it would push up the calories.
Overall I really enjoyed these soups and would certainly purchase them again or in other flavours. You can certainly taste the difference between some of the cheap brands and if you can pick them up on special offer then they are no more expensive.
Us women do some terrible things in the name of dieting. Crash diets, calorie counting, exercise fads, soup diets...just pick up any glossy magazine and you'll soon be bombarded by the insanity that is the celebrity-influenced world of image worries and diet obsession.
I'm no different. Unfortunately at the moment I am a walking embodiment of the theory that happiness - ie being in love - makes you fat. Having found Mr Rarr early this year, we have been forced to have a long-distance relationship ever since and only see one another at weekends. Both being of a foodie inclination, those weekends have seen some fantastic home cooking and meals out. The result being? After a decade of being a size 10, I have found myself buying size 12 jeans and having to admit that they actually do fit.
So! Action must be taken! With Mr Rarr able to move in later this week, my entire work / life schedule is going to change and we can't just spend all the time we have together enjoying food the way we have become accustomed to, as we'll soon both be the size of houses! So as well as working out some healthy recipes to try, I've also been looking to cut calories at work to help get my weight back to something like it was before.
Thus it was that a box of Ainsley Harriott's range of cup soups came into my life - and how most of it got jettisoned in the direction of the nearest sink soon after.
Gurning buffoon chef Ainsley Harriott has stuck his grinning mug and his name on this range of soups which are free from artificial flavours and colours and preservatives. Wahey, I hear the masses cry. What else?
Well you get four sachets which are like any other cup-style soup - you rip them open, pour the dubious powdery mix and sad, tortured lumps of what you think (or hope) are dried vegetables, sling hot water on it and stir. Then you try to banish from your mind memories of the last time you thought one of these products would make a low-calorie, diet-friendly sensory contribution to your life, brace yourself, and take a sip when all the ingredients have had a chat between themselves and arranged themselves in some sort of suspectly-coloured soupesque liquid.
I tried the Scottish Style Chicken & Leek, which came in a mostly black cardboard box with individual sachets inside. The box had the usual beaming face of the TV chef, although after trying this I think that advertising standards should have forced him to have the photograph replaced with one of his face immediately after tasting this soup. He wouldn't look so blimmin' happy then, I can assure you.
Apparently, the ingredients are thus: Water, Leek 5%], Glucose Syrup, Onion, Natural Flavourings, Potato Starch, Carrot, Chicken, Garlic, Parsley, Salt, Vegetable Oil, Yeast Extract, Colour Curcumin], Black Pepper, Milk Protein, Emulsifiers Dipotassium Phosphate, Trisodium Citrate.
These seem widely available for £1.15 although I notice tesco.com are trying to shift the becursed product by sticking it in a "Buy Two For £1.50" offer, which to me is proof of the theory that if something is too good to be true, it probably is.
These are low calorie - I can't find the precise calorie information online which makes me wonder if this flavour is at the end of its line, but I know I was looking for a lunch that was under 100 calories and this ticked that box - I believe it was about 80-90 per serving.
Now, I learnt something when using this product. It is a very effective dieting aid, because frankly once you'd tried to get through a mug of this it puts you off any thoughts of food consumption for about the next 12 hours. It is, as I should have suspected and as every other cup-served sachet soup is, utterly vile.
To make, I poured roughly half a mug's worth of powder into said serving vehicle and added boiled water. Immediately upon stirring, the powder turned the liquid a slightly thicker, worryingly toxic green colour and up to the surface bobbed about ten small diced lumps of what I assume were meant to be dried carrot, all of whom looked equally depressed as the next.
Suffice to say, I was not exactly chomping at the bit to try this, but let it stand for a few minutes, wondering where the smell of chicken was hiding in this strange concoction. Indeed, to me it smelt basically of a very oniony - that'll be the leeks -vegetable soup, just not a very good one.
Looks were not, on this occasion, deceiving. I took a sip of this slightly too watery soup and found that, no matter what weird face you pull, there is no way to sip this without taking in one of the hideous, wasted carrots, a lovely vegetable presumably condemned to this torturous, pointless death for not being pretty enough to go on the shelf in its natural glory. The shriveled, rubbery re-hydrated chunks were devoid of flavour and the texture of eating them was disgusting.
As was the taste!! This certainly doesn't taste of a chicken and leek soup. A chicken and leek soup should be creamy, slightly zingy, comforting and warming. This was toxic to look at, disgusting to smell, had a grainy powdery texture, was too thin, tasted disgusting and is basically an excuse to perform acts of extreme cruelty to carrots.
So no, I will not be giving this product five stars. I wish I didn't have to give it one. I wish there was a negative star rating available on dooyoo, and above all I wish I had never tried this disgusting product!
The box took me a month to get through as, on days when I found I had forgotten to buy lunch and didn't have time to run out for something, I would be forced to make a mugful. Then I would look at it, from a distance, and remember how vile it actually is. And then, after trying valiantly to use it to placate my hunger regardless, I would do what I did yesterday to the last one - give up after three sips, chuck it down the sink and wash it away to get rid of the smell, and embrace a day's hunger with glee instead. Yesterday's was the last one, so the whole unpleasant, pointless experience has thankfully come to its end.
So, in this culture of obsessive diet gimmicks, I'm now going to buy the entire nation's stock of this vile product and rebrand it as a miracle diet cure and sell it to Liz Hurley or similar for thousands of pounds a shot. I promise you, there'll be screaming protests of the front of Heat about anorexic-looking celebs within a month, and I'll use my ill-gotten riches to just get liposuction and have done with it!
I recently tried one of Ainsley Harriotts French Onion cupasoups. It was rubbish. Full of rice and a few crutons but NO ONION TASTE. If it were not for the fact that I also had onion crispbreads which gave a slight onion taste, I could have been drinking brown tap water. I will NEVER buy this range again. Stick to Batchelors or Campbell, they are far superior in thickness and taste in all varieties.
Ainsley Harriott - Aromatic Thai Chicken & Lemongrass Cup Soup
Well with a flavour like that your not going to get a store brand version are you so best get the pennies out and treat yourself because Aromatic Thai Chicken & Lemongrass is one of the very best if not THE best flavoured cup A soup around , it's bloody gorgeous.
Stumbled upon this by accident to be honest with you , always been a tight wad been a Yorkie and so I would never have dreamed of buying the Ainsley Harriott brand if Morrisons didn't have them on half price ( stop lifting your eyebrows youv'e all been there ) so decided to stock up on a few flavours , at the time Morrisons were doing the Chicken & Lemongrass from his ' World Kitchen ' range , the other flavours by the way been French Onion Soup , New England Style Vegetable Chowder , Indian Style Mild Curry & Lentil Cup Soup , Szechuan Hot & Sour which is as its title suggest very hot and East Indian Mulligatawny Soup. I have since tried a few flavours and found the Onion Soup to be 'Meh' whilst the Mulligatawny is very spicy indeed.
From his ' Classic Kitchen range ' Morrisons stocked the Broccholi & Stilton Soup which is lovely as well , very cheesy flavour and not as sickly as you may think , other flavours to get in this range are Spicy Butternut Squash ( bought some of these at Poundland and in my AH league Table they are in danger of relegation ) , Cauliflower Cheese , Scottish Style Chicken & Leek ( really pushing Chicken & Lemongrass for the title this one ) , Wild Mushroom which was just ' all right ' and Tomato & Grilled Pepper which was just a very slightly spiced tomato soup but not spicy enough to pay a lot extra for.
So basically that covers the Harriott range , for my review I have decided on one of my personal Favs the Chicken & Lemongrass soup.
The packaging is a very nice box , black in main colour which might not seem like much but it gives it a classy look , it never gives the impression you are buying something cheap or ordinary which i think is a good start for the product.
You get 4 sachets of each soup you buy , each sachet comes in a plain white bag holding the powdered soup. On pouring the powder you do notice you get a lot for your money.
On the back is a list of ingredients as long as your arm which slightly puts you off the moment if you decide to read them all , unless you have any allergies ( Also tells you that it contains Cow's Milk , Fish and Shellfish ) now I have absolutely no idea what Chicken and Lemongrass has to do with Fish or Shellfish but there you go.
On poring the boiling water into your mug the first thing that hits you is the lovely smell of Lemon , this is quite refreshing for two reasons , 1) It's the Lemon taste that sets it apart from the normal Chicken and what makes it so great and it's nice to know it's there and 2) A lot of flavours add extra to the title when they all taste the same , with this it really is a partnership to savour - think more Morecambe and Wise and less Cannon and Ball.
It stirs really easy as well , you never once think the sludge is still at the bottom and i need to remove the bottom part of my mug to dissolve all the powder which you do with cheaper versions.
That nicely leads me onto another huge PLUS with these soups, not just this one but all the flavours iv'e tried , when you come to the bottom of the mug there is never any sludge from undisolved powder , your mug is so clean you could make a cup of tea in it straight after without washing the Mug first ( only kidding Iv'e never ever done that before )
For the Health conscious amongst you each sachet contains only 96 calories , 2.9g of Fat and as little as 1.23g of salt.
Any complaints about any of his soups then know that they are put together in Leeds from local and imported ingredients.
Are they worth the price you pay? Well if i had to be honest with you I always wait till they are on offer then stock up so I never pay full price, useally get them when half price at something like 50 to 60p a packet.
As i mentioned before , a cup a soup is a cup a soup is a cup of soup to me BUT the Ainsley Harriott brand of soups really are something special and if you try both the Chicken & Lemongrass or the Chicken & Leek you can't go far wrong.
When it comes to soups you make up yourself in cups they are something that I like the idea of, buy and usually end up binning them after simply no longer fancying them or having had one and not liking powdery soup.
However the other day I spotted these Ainsley Harriott soups and in many different flavours with two packs (meaning you get 4 sachets in each outer box further meaning you get 8 cup of soups) for £1.00 instead of a pound a box in my local Poundland store. Thinking this was rather a good deal and being frozen solid at the time I decided to pick up a couple of boxes of them and so the flavour of the ones I am reviewing here is the Winter Vegetable variety.
The box the sachets come in is black an with a photograph of Ainsley on there smiling away and a picture of the made up soup and we are told that they are Ainsley Harriott 'Classic Kitchen' Winter Vegetable Cup Soup and 'A homely winter warmer. Enjoy anytime' and that the box contains 4 servings, weighs 88g and that the soups do not contain any artificial colours or preservatives. On the rest of the box other information listed includes ingredients, allergy advice, there is a full nutritional chart listed along with being told how to make a cup of the soup up and contact details for the manufacturer are given. The sachets are large and white with foil inside them to keep the powder fresh and on each one we are told simply what they are. Nice enough, informative packaging this is and the sachets are easy to tear open etc.
The Soup Itself:
What you get when you tear a sachet open is lots of beigy colour powder with flecks of dried green parsley in and little dark green peas and tiny cubes of carrot. You simply pop the contents into a cup or mug, pour on boiling water and give it a good stir and give it a minute or so before starting to consume it to allow it to thicken up, which it really, really does. I found the first one that I prepared to be really lumpy which I soon learnt was my own fault as you really do need to give it a good fast stir to stop this from happening.
I like the thick consistency of this soup alot and find it to be both very warming and filling and although I wouldn't normally dunk some bread and butter into a soup such as this you really can with this one cos it really is thick and creamy and for me this makes a lovely little lunch and one thats very easy to prepare lol!
It has a nice vegetable aroma to it, the dried ingredients plump out and no longer taste dried at all and for me this tastes like a potato soup really and I can really detect the parsley flavouring within it too. The bits of carrots add a nice natural sweetness to it along with the peas and all in all this is a very nice blended soup which is nicely and gently seasoned too.
I have no quibbles with this soup at all and will certainly at even full price buy this one again as its tasty, only means I'm only consuming 80 calories a cup and only 0.9g of saturated fat which means its healthy as well as being tasty and substantial! Nice one Ainsley I really like this one and will run down to my local Poundland store to stock up on a few more boxes of these and your other flavours before they sell out or go off their offer!
Widely available in all good supermarkets etc though Poundland is doing a mighty fine deal on these at the moment!
I am quite the connoisseur when it comes to Cup a Soups, they're a great lunchtime snack and the majority of them are pretty healthy to eat too. I have tried a lot of terrible tasting soups that I would never buy again, but the Ainsley Harriott cup soups that I have tried so far cannot be put anywhere near this category.
The flavour I am reviewing is the Szechuan Hot & Sour cup soup, a relatively new flavour to his collection. The box is black and gold with an oriental feel to it and inside contains four sachets of the flavoured soup.
The dried powdered soup is a pale blood-red orange coloured with dried pieces of red pepper, tomatoes and leek included. To make the perfect cup of soup add the sachet contents to your favourite mug and add approximately 200ml of just off the boil water and stir well to completely absorb the powder. I tend to fill half the cup and stir vigorously then top this up to avoid spilling it over me. A great feature I have found about Ainsleys soups is that they don't clog up and become lumpy after adding water, it all dissolves really well in your cup.
Note there are no croutons in this soup; they would'nt go well with the flavours anyway. The consistency of the soup is just thick enough to make it feel like you are definitely having something to eat rather than just drink!
The smell of this soup is not as strong as I thought it might be which is good if you're having it in the office. There is a tangy scent to it and some subtle spices such as chilli, ginger and paprika. On eating this soup a taste sensation occurs! It is exactly as the name suggests, hot and sour in your mouth. It is a strong tangy taste of tomato with lots of zest along with a sweet and sour taste from the Szechuan pepper flavour. This soup flavour is bold and really works, for me I could eat a lot more than just one cup of this soup. It is nice to have an oriental based cup soup flavour available.
Not only is this delicious, it is one of the lowest calorie cup a soups I have come across. Per sachet there is only 57kcal, a trace of saturated fat and 1.88g of salt for which I can easily allow myself to have two a day without feeling guilty! The price of four sachets of soup is £1.15, however they are often on offer and I got two boxes for £1.50, a bargain from my local supermarket. As you can tell I am a huge fan of this flavour and it is the best I have had from Ainsley's range so far (though I have yet to come across a bad one).
Found these on special offer at the local supermarket so thought I'd give them a try. My main motivation was a diet to try and lose weight.
I found the Ainsley Harriet variety to be slightly less flavoursome than equivalent Bachelors products but in fairness it is not a bad soup overall. It has very good texture and the taste is real good. The mushrooms did seem to be rubbery and slightly chewy. Also, not sure if I can taste the difference between plain mushrooms and wild ones.
For me one of the benefits is that less sludge remains at bottom of my mug compared to Bachelors. Having said that, this may be down to my improved stirring technique and growing experience!
However, the lack of croutons is a negative point compared to other leaders in the market place. But if I find these on special offer at my local supermarket again, I will certainly be buying these more often... and hopefully losing some weight in the process.
I LOVE these, so much more exciting than the standard minestone or chicken options. My favourite is the Thai Chicken and Lemongrass one, but also love the French Onion and Hot and Sour soups.
They actually taste of what they are meant to, and in many cases are far nicer than premium pre-mixed varieties you can buy. I find mixing in a little bit of hot water to the powder to form a paste, then topping up with hot water gives a really smooth consistency. They are lovely and thick, which is the best part, and feel like a proper treat. I find it's hard to find some of the flavours I like in the local supermarket, so order them from Ocado: they have them all, so I now look like a freak and bulk buy them! Only 100 calories as well, I eat them for lunch every day and keep them in my suitcase when I'm travelling for work. perfect.
AINSLEY HARRIOTT CUP SOUP
On my last trip to the supermarket I noticed on the soup isle Ainsley Harriott cup a soups on offer at 2 boxes for £1.50 I thought the offer was quite reasonable and noticed quite a few flavours to choose from, so I decided to try some. One of my choices was the 'East Indian Mulligatawny', which was described on the front of the box as "An Exotic blend of spicy curry flavours - cumin & coriander" and since I love spicy food I thought this would be perfect.
The soups are easy to make you just need to add hot water and stir, I tend to put the water in a cup first then add the sachet bit at a time to make sure all the powder is stirred in thoroughly because I hate when eating soup you get to the bottom and get a mouth full of powder. I found the soup dissolved quite easy and there was no powder once I finished the soup. I also found once I made the soup the consistency was thick and delicious and the aroma was mouth watering, and just like it says on the box the taste was perfectly spicy not too hot.
There is just one disadvantage with this soup in my opinion and that is it doesn't contain croutons which in cup a soups I think just adds that bit extra taste, but like I say just my opinion.
The box is easily noticeable as it has a picture of Ainsley Harriott on the front and also a picture of what the soup should look like. The flavour of the soup is also on the front in purple capital letters (each flavour soup is in different coloured lettering). The back of the box has the preparation instructions which are easy to follow and the ingredients. Other flavours include French Onion, Wild Mushroom and Szechuan Hot & Sour, there are more flavours but these are the ones I've tried. The box contains 4 sachets and each sachet has 105 calories.
These soups are delicious in taste and will fill you up for at least a couple of hours and at only 105 calories make the perfect lunch time meal.
I will be reviewing Ainsley Harriott's "Country Style Shropshire Pea Cup Soup".
I have bought lots of different types of cup a soups over the last year in particular in an attempt to rectify some bad eating habits I have gained.
I think that they are quick and easy to prepare, so if you are busy, in a rush, or at work on a break they are perfect for a quick snack or a light lunch without consuming a lot of calories. In effect quite a healthy option compared to a packed of crisps or a chocolate bar, and more filling.
This pack of Ainsley Harriot's cup a soup comes in a pack of four paper sachets, in an attractively designed cardboard box weighing 108g. Each satchet does one serving and contains 98 calories and less than 2% fat. This seemed an attractive proposition, as the calories seemed low enough for what I wanted although not as low as some of the diet/light choices that are also available.
However, from my previous experience of cup a soups (I have tried a lot!) I have found that the majority of "diet" ones are very, very watery and lack an authentic taste. As such I was willing to try Ainsley Harriot's range as the packaging seemed to clearly promote it's benefits, e.g. less than 2% fat and free from any artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. I would rather have 20 or so more calories than a "diet" version and actually enjoy it, thus more likely to stick to this choice in the long run over the chocolate bar!
The front of the packaging states " A creamy creation... and bursting with pod-popping flavour!"
I made the cup a soup as per the following instructions given clearly on the back of the box:
Empty the contents of one sachet into a cup or mug.
Add 200ml of BOILING water and stir well. Leave to stand for 1 minute.
The aroma of the soup once water had been added smelled delicious, and I even had other employees asking me what I was having! I have been previously dissapointed by some branded cup a soups claims of a creamy or thick texture, but this certainly wasn't the case with this soup!!
After about 20 seconds of stirring once I had added the water, the powder had dissolved nicely and had came together in a thick, very creamy consistency. I was very pleased that it had lived up to what it said it would for once!
In terms of taste, I enjoyed the soup, although I was unsure for the first couple of sips but that is because I had never had pea soup before so I suppose the taste of peas pureed up into a soup tasted slightly peculiar to me at first. However, I quickly became acustomed to this flavour and enjoyed it's creamy texture. It tasted true to it's stated flavour of pea and not artificial. This will be down to the fact that it has no artificial flavours. Thumbs up from me!
Concerning the packaging, the box is black,with light blue accents highlighting various information, e.g. amount of serving and weight of product. Ingredients and nutritional information are clearly presented as follows:
Ingredients: Water, Peas, Potato, Glucose syrup, Onion, Potato Starch, Vegetable oil, Salt, Sugar, Yeast, Natural Flavourings, Mint, Milk protein, Emulsifiers (dipotassium phosphate, trisodium citrate), Colour (curcumin), Black pepper.
Allery advice- Contains cows' milk (stated on the packaging).
Nutritional information (per sachet): Calories 98, Protein 2.3g, Carbohydrates 17.3g, of with sugars 2.3g, Fat 2.0g, of which saturates 1.1g, Fibre 2.0g, Sodium 0.59g.
The fat seemed slightly higher than "diet" options, so if this is a concern for you, I would keep this in mind.
Overall a great product, tasty, creamy and satisfying. True to it's flavour and lives up to it's claims.
Thanks for reading :) x
Ainsley Harriott Flavoursome Broccoli & Stilton Cup Soup
The box is made of cardboard and is mostly black and blue. On the front of the box is the brand and product name, a picture of Ainsley Harriott, a picture of what the soup should look like along with some broccoli and stilton, that it is 4 servings and has nothing artificial. On the back of the box is information about the product, directions, ingredients, allergy advice, the fact that is 87 calories per cup and less than 1% fat. On the sides are the nutrition information, suitable for vegetarians, contact information and weight of box which is 94g.
Whilst being pregnant I have been looking for healthy things that I can eat little and often as I have no room for my food. I came across the Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup's on offer in ASDA and decided to give them a go. I went for the broccoli and stilton and the chicken and vegetable which I will review at a later date. After reading the instructions which were really easy I made my soup, just pour the contents of the sachet and add 200ml's of boiling water, stir well and leave for a minute. I did this and the smell coming from the soup was lovely although it smelt mostly of the broccoli. I like to use a spoon first whilst the soup is cooling down and found the soup to be quite thick in consistency. Now for the taste test and all I can say is where was the stilton I could barely taste it but maybe that is just my pregnancy hormones playing havoc with my taste buds. I found the soup to still taste nice but I would prefer a little more cheesiness. Also by the time I had come to the bottom of my cup there was some powder that still hadn't dissolved even though I gave it a good stir and kept stirring throughout eating it. The soup was nice and filling though and filled me up for a good three hours but that is about right for me at the moment. If you like a thick cup soup which tastes of broccoli and not much cheese then this is for you but if like me you would like more stilton then I would try to find another.
The is the information for one sachet
Energy - 87Kcal
Protein - 2.2g
Carbohydrate - 15.6g
Fat - 1.8g
Fibre - 1.3g
Sodium - 0.38g
Price and Availability
It is available in most supermarkets and is priced at 85p onwards but are on offer in all supermarkets at the following prices. Tesco is 3 for £2.50, Sainsbury's is 33% off making them 58p and ASDA is 2 for £1.50
I am always looking for something different to have for lunch at work. We have a great canteen, but I have put myself on a strict budget for the New Year and costly lunches, when I usually end up chucking stuff out at the end of the week, had to go.
I decided to buy a couple of instant soup varieties to stick in my drawer at work, so I always had something on hand when I got a little peckish. I have tried the various brands before - some better than others, but I thought I would give Ainsley Harroitt a go.
As with other soups, you open the packet, put in a mug, add boiling water, stir and leave for about a minute. Unlike some of the more watery varieties, you get soup packed with flavour and a great texture.
There are a number of varieties available -my personal favourites are Shropshire Pea, Chicken and Leek, East Indian Mulligatawny and Moroccan Fusion with Cous Cous. The latter two give a great kick of spice - perfect on the recent cold, miserable days we have been having.
I find the soups quite filling (normally have with a roll) and the ones I have tried seem to vary from 70-100kcal. They are all less than 1% fat too.
Packs are around 80p a box for 4 servings, but I have found a number of times they are on offer (I picked up two boxes in Sainsbury's today for 53p each).
I am not usually a big fan of package, prepared food and tend to make everything from scratch, but I have to say for convenience, value and, more importantly, taste you should certainly give these a go.
This review is for the East Indian Mulligatawny flavour. I had tried several varieties of soup powders in a sachet, including a few of the Ainsley Harriot ones, and really wasn't a fan of any of them. Then people at work started raving about the Ainsley Harriot East Indian Mulligatawny flavour, and I had to go out and buy some. I'm so glad I decided to give these a try.
These soups come in a black and violet cardboard box with a picture of Ainsley Harriot smiling out from the box. There is also a tempting picture of a bowl of soup on there. Now, I thought the final product would look nothing like the thick, rich bowl of soup pictured, but I was wrong about that.
To prepare the soup, you take one of the sachets out of the box (there are four sachets total), and dump it out into a mug. IThen you pour in boiling hot water and stir well. I ended up stirring for over a minute because the soup was very gloupy to start with and it took some time for the powder to dissolve. Then you let the soup sit for a minute before eating.
This soup is absolutely delicious. It tastes a bit like curry but somehow unusually rich. It is kind of spicy but not too hot. There is a lot of cumin in there, and some coriander, plus a good bit of carrot and tomato as well. There are also little bits of parsley floating on the top. Rehydrated textured soya protein also gives a little hint of flavour and a nice chewy texture to the bits in this soup.
The funny thing about it is how thick and rich the soup is. I wasn't expecting this in a soup made from a powder but somehow it really thickens up. It has the texture of a much more expensive soup that you would get in a carton or maybe a tin. But it's hard to believe it came from a powder.
This soup is suitable for vegetarians - however it contains cow's milk so vegans won't be able to have it. There are only 105 calories in each sachet of soup. This makes a perfect winter lunch with a sandwich, and since you only need boiling water to make it, it can be prepared easily in most offices - no need for a microwave.
These cost 98p for a pack of four, so at less than 25p per soup it's an excellent bargain. In all, I highly recommend this soup.
If you follow my reviews then youll know that at lunchtime at work I like to take a liquid lunch!
Now I wish that meant a trip to the local but alas my liquid lunch comes in sachets and is mixed with boiling water!
At the weekend I ventured out to morrisons, which is a little out of the way for me, and filled my trolley with there weeks bargains. Its an easy way to shop just walk through the middle aisle and pick up your groceries from the aisle ends where the offers are always displayed. I got so carried away that I almost bought dog food until my daughter reminded me that we dont have a dog!
It seems that my ability not to be able to pass up anything on offer has spread to my grocery shopping trolley!
Anyhow, this week Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup's were on offer for 42p a box! Thats a half price promotion and one I was unable to resist.
In fact instead of saving money I actually bought 3 boxes ... you women will understand my logic there ?!
My choices were Country Style Shropshire Pea, Scottish style chicken and leek, spicy lentil.
Each box contains four sachets / servings and can weigh between 80 - 110g.
You can immediately spot Ainsleys range as on the front of each box is the chef himself grinning at you - I imagine he's thinking along the lines of 'Cant cook , Wont cook - then Ill make money from your laziness oh bored hosewife ' !
The boxes are all of the same design a colourful strip on the top third of the box with Ainsley grinning and and the product in a cup for you to see. THe rest of the box is black with the wording / flavour. This is really clever as instantly these look up market if it is at all possible to have upmarket cup soup! Each different flavour then has different colour writing. THe other 'up market' thing about this product is the made up fancy names! For example its not just chicken and leek - no, its Scottish style chicken and leek. Its not just Pea soup, its Country Style Shropshire Pea soup... you get the idea?
Comparing the boxes that I bought the soups seem to be around or under the 100cal mark which did suprise me a little as somehow I thought thered be dried cream and butter and allsorts in these famous chefs soups. If you check the back of the box, to the bottom left hand corner the fat content is actually written in quite large lettering and is easy to spot.
Yesterday I had the Scottish style chicken and leek cup soup (I keep wanting to call it cup-a-soup!)
On tearing open a sachet the smell hit me like opening a bag of chicken flavour crisps. Now I dont know about you, but if I smell chicken crisps then my mouth waters and I have to have some.
The soup is easy to make, hence ideal at my work desk in the office. Simply empty 1 sachet into a mug and add 200ml of boiling water. Stir and leave to stand for a minute.
My soup had plenty of leek and carrot floating on top and I must say was rather tasty. Quite a subtle chicken flavour but tasty never the less. It was also a nice consistency. Not watery but not so thick that you feel you should be using a spoon either.
This particular flavour consumed only 70 of my daily calorific allowance!
JUst to compare - Batchelors slim-a-soup contain around 60 cals so tis flavour really is a low cal option without compromising on the taste.
Today it was the turn of the Shropshire pea. Same instructions to make. THis was of a thicker consistency than yesterdays soup and half way down my mug I added another drop of boiling water. It tasted of pea and potato in my opinion but was Ok for a fast lunch. Im unsure as to why it contains 2% fat to the chicken soups 1% and 98 calories to the chickens 70.
Ainsleys 'creamy creation bursting with pod popping flavour' wasnt the senation Id imagined, Ive got to say my favourite is his Scottish style chicken and leek but I havn't worked out yet what is Scottish about it , the chicken or the leek!
Ive another 10 sachets to get through and can imagine that by the end of them ill be fed up with soup for lunch but I would recommend them even at full price and must say I enjoyed displaying my 'posh' soup box at work!
Several flavours to choose from: tomato, chicken and vegetable, spicy lentil, creamy chicken and carrot.