“ Brand: Batchelors / Type: Soups „
Being away from home as we are at the moment and staying at our caravan at the seaside we like to prepare quick and easy meals that taste good but have the minimum amount of effort in creating them. Soup therefore is quick, nutritous and always filling meal that ticks all the boxes for us and having recently strayed away from our usual favourite - Heinz we bought a couple of Batchelors Spoonfulls as a change.
As a rule I normally find Chicken soup to be disappointing as there usually isn't that many chicken pieces visible in the liquid and the flavour is generally on the bland side. What caught my eye with this Spoonfulls variety was the attractive picture on the side of the pouch (no tins here, the soup comes in a plastic pouch) the illustrated bowl of soup had visible chunks of chicken and a generous amount of sliced mushrooms in and looked very tasty.
Having had a simple lunch today of soup served with a bread roll I can confirm that the picture on the pouch is a true representation of the soup contained in the pouch itself. Opening the pouch with a pair of scissors I was impressed to see a thick, white sauce which contained plenty of chunky pieces of white chicken meat and a smattering of what looked like fresh mushrooms. Flecked through the soup I noticed green herbs and pouring the contents from the pouch to a pan I was impressed with the overall sight and looked forward to tasting it once it had heated through.
Heating soup is the same whichever brand you opt for; simply heat on a hob or zap in a microwave for a few minutes. Favouring the hob method I waited and stirred my soup until it had had become hot (but not boiling) and served it into a bowl. As the soup became hotter and hotter in the pan it released a delicious smelling aroma of herbs and chicken and by the time I was ready to eat it my mouth was watering.
Taking an initial spoonfull I noticed a good mixture of thick liquid with lovely chunks of chicken and my first thoughts were that it appeared as good as home made soup and certainly a lot better looking than any tinned variety that I have eaten in the past. Working my way down the bowl I encountered many pieces of chicken and chunks of fresh mushroom and overall I was very impressed with the taste, consistency and flavour. Unlike other chicken soups which normally taste quite bland this had a lovely balance of flavours and each complimented the other perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed this soup from Batchelors.
Soup is always a meal which tends to be low in calories and fat and indeed a whole pouch of Chicken and Mushroom will provide just 248 calories and only 5.2 grams of saturated fat, which as a main meal is more than reasonable.
My pouch was the same as the one illustrated above so no need to describe and this range from Batchelors also comes in other varieties so there are plenty to chose from. For me this was a delicious, filling lunch that I really enjoyed and would definitely recommend this to anyone who is already fond of soup.
The only slight negative for me would be the price; at around £1.50 - £2.00 for a 400g pouch this is on the expensive side when compared to the usual tins of soup, however, like the 'Covent Garden' range this should be considered a premium brand which contains the best quality ingredients and therefore worth its cost. I would buy this again, perhaps not on a regular basis, but for a once in a while hearty meal it certainly gets the thumbs up from me.
Batchelors Spoonfulls are available in supermarkets alongside other tins of soup and from me the Chicken and Mushroom rates an excellent 4\5 dooyoo star rating only losing one for the price.
Thanks for reading my review
Well it's the new year (written on 2nd January) and I'm back at work...things will get a bit busier next week, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to write my second food review of the year.
Since hubby and I haven't had a chance to go shopping yet, there isn't any salad in the house. There is homemade ham and pea soup in the freezer, but I wasn't going to defrost that for one! Anyway, whilst tidying the cupboards and throwing out stuff that's well past it's best before date I came across two packets of Soupfulls which I no doubt bought when they were on special offer in Tesco.
Today I will be having the Chicken and Mushroom Soupfull.
---What's a Soupfull?---
Soupfulls are made by Batchelors. They are supposed to be more of a meal than your usual tinned soup. However, the packaging (a kind of pouch) means that they are still relatively long lasting - mine's best before October '09, so I'd estimate (from when I might have bought it) they last about 11 months - plenty of time to eat! According to the packet Soupfulls are "a delicious range of filling and wholesome soups that are sure to satisfy".
The pouch weighs 400g and is a portion for one which is good - a tin of soup is usually meant to serve 2 but I end up eating the whole thing. So, to have a Soupfull and know I'm meant to have the whole thing has got to be good!
---How to cook the Soupfull---
Like most soups this can be heated up in the microwave or on the hob. Like most soups I'm sure it tastes slightly better being heated on the hob. However, I am at work, and don't have that luxury, so the microwave it is!
The Soupfull can NOT be heated up in its pouch as it's not microwave safe (I haven't tried it, but the packet told me so!) Open the packet (it's very easy and mess-free to open), pour it into a microwaveable container (you'll need to squeeze to get it all out), heat on full for 2 minutes, stir, then heat for another minute. Simple!
---The Nutritional Stuff---
The main ingredient is water (no surprise there then!) followed by potato (well it is called Creamy Chicken, Potato and Mushroom in full) at 17%, Chicken (9%) and Sliced Mushroom (6%), then double cream (3%).
For those with allergies it contains milk, barley and gluten. Obviously as it has chicken in, it isn't suitably for vegetarians (unless they are hypocritical people who don't believe that chickens have feelings too). There is a warning that it might contain bones despite every care being taken to remove them - I really hope not, that would certainly be offputting.
Each Soupfull contains 248 calories, 13.6g fat of which 5.2g are saturates. Scarily it contains 2.6g salt which is a lot (especially since it's only lunchtime), and doesn't bode well for the taste (I'm not a fan of tinned soup due to their saltiness).
---The Eating Experience---
It's lunchtime....so here goes! I noticed when pouring it into the container how thick the soup was. It's cream in colour with little green specks.
My first mouthful (sorry, Soupfull), and I'm overwhelmed by the saltiness)....the potato chunk has a nice texture, but all I can taste is salt. In my next spoon I have some chicken - it's like normal tinned soup chicken - i.e. it's been a long time since it was a chicken.
There isn't really much of a mushroom flavour, although that could be because I have a bit of a cold.
To be honest it seems to be getting a bit more bearable as I eat it. I do like the nice big chunks of potato. The chicken I'm not such a fan of. The sauce has a nice consistency, but I'm not really sure what it is - salt and sauce I think.
It's a shame as I really am hungry...but I've now eaten all the potato chunks and don't think I can manage the rest, I've eaten about two thirds of it. Of to the toilet now to pour it away.
I'm not sure why I bought this, I seem to remember I tried one before and wasn't impressed then either - I think I thought it was a good thing to have in the cupboard. I'm not too optimistic about the other one in the cupboard.
I have to admit that I have no idea how much this cost - I've been browsing on the Internet and they seem to retail between £1.08 and £2.05 (wow!). I seem to remember it being a BOGOF offer, so I probably paid about £1 per pouch - this is far too much.
Unless you love salty processed foods then avoid. I don't think it lived up to its claim to satisfy - but it could have been worse I suppose. I'd much rather have had a Cup a Soup - in fact I might go and have one anyway!