Product Type: Ainsley Harriott Sauces / Soups
Newest Review: ... store the sachets in my teeny tiny desk drawer. Preparation instructions: + Empty the contents of one sachet into a cup or mug. + Add... more
Great For Dieters - They'll Put You Off Food Forever!
Ainsley Harriott Premium Cup a Soups
Member Name: missrarr
Ainsley Harriott Premium Cup a Soups
Advantages: Low calorie and not that expensive
Disadvantages: Looks disgusting, tastes disgusting, is an act of cruelty to carrots and presumably leeks too
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!
Summary: I wouldn't try this again if you promised me Jennifer Aniston's figure at the end of it!