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I was out shopping yesterday in the freezing cold when it unexpectedly started to snow. Luckily I was in our local Qualitysave, in the food section, when I spied a few cans from the Baxters soup range including Minestrone which I thought would warm me up quickly when I got home.
Although the cans had a printed circle on them stating '89p special price' they were actually only 59p each - not sure why as they sell-by date is next year & they weren't dented or damaged. After having tried this Minestrone I'll be going back to stock up because it was really good. The can can be re-cycled & the top has a ring pull.
The can is 415g & I guess you could get 2 good sized portions out of it but I ate the total contents (without bread I might add!) as it tasted so nice, filled me & I was as warm as toast after eating it. I say 'eating' rather than most soups that you can drink, because it was nice & chunky with loads of pasta,swede, carrot, potato, haricot beans, yellow peas & leeks. I'd say the texture is similar (if not better) than Heinz Big Soup range & there wasn't too much liquid so the veg & pasta stayed whole.
You could actually tell what veg were included as they weren't squashed or pulverised like some cheap soups. I admit to being a bit of a kid when it comes to minestrone as I like to have a good play with the bits!
There's a nice tomato flavour which combines well with the other flavours & isn't too sweet. It wasn't too salty either but, although the label tells me that there's garlic in the soup, I didn't detect this. There are also 'dried herbs' (not described) plus oregano & basil - these again complemented the soup I thought rather than taking over the flavour.
I have to say that this is the best pre-made minestrone I've tasted but obviously it in no way compares to home-made. My only criticism is that there was rather a lot of thick pasta & I prefer the thinner type of penne or vermicelli when I make it.
It's only 140 calories per can & because it was filling I think it's good for those watching their weight. Although 'fresh is best' at least I felt as if I'd had some form of veg for my late lunch & didn't feel hungry again until later in the evening.
I shall definitely buy this again & may try the other Baxter's soups whilst they're on offer. I'd recommend trying a variety if you like your soups & want something reasonably healthy, very quick & reasonably filling.
One line summary of the product in case you don't want to read any further: Baxters minestrone soup is a vegetable and pasta soup in a tin.
Before I started trying to avoid dairy foods, I would never have bought this minestrone soup - at about £1 a tin, I figured I may as well buy fresh soups if I wanted to spend that much money and didn't have time to make my own. But, since vegetarian non-creamed soups were few and far between at my local supermarket, and it was on special offer of 3 tins for £2, I figured I would give it a go.
Baxters are a fairly upmarket soup company, which is reflected in the packaging and the price of their products. The tins are the convenient sort which has the ring pull at the top, which means you don't need a tin opener. So, top marks for convenience. The serving suggestion looks very appetising - a thick soup, with large pieces of pasta and vegetables in.
Once it was out of the tin, the reality of the soup was somewhat different from the picture - the soup is not thick at all - it splashed everywhere as I poured it out, and just carrying it without slopping it around was tricky. The chunky vegetables and pasta were much smaller than I expected and in a lot more liquid.
As you'd expect from a tinned soup, the cooking instructions are basically to heat it (without boiling) through for a few minutes. This part lived up to the expectations - it was very easy to cook, though it did boil over inside the microwave no matter what I did to it.
I found this was a little bit too watery for my taste - I would have thickened it a bit more with corn flour if I were making this myself. It tastes generically savoury and you can taste the tomatoes, but mostly it just tastes far too salty. I can see the vegetables floating in it, and they do have a little bit of bite to them, but I can't actually taste them over the salt.
I didn't find this tin particularly filling and I thought that the serving size of half a tin was too small, unless you were having this as part of a three course meal.
===How did it compare with the description on the tin?===
The can says that it is "full of Mediterranean flavour". I say that they've put far too much salt in - I basically can't taste anything else.
They say that they "season tasty vegetables and pasta with garlic, oregano and basil". I say that I can see the bits of vegetables, the pasta and some nameless herbs, but I can't actually taste them because of the salt.
The tin says that it has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives - this part at least is good.
As previously stated, it doesn't have any dairy in. According to the packaging, the listed allergens are wheat, gluten and celery. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and contains less than 1% fat. Per serving of half a can (who on earth eats half a can?), it has 70kcal, 3.1g protein, 12.2g carbohydrates, 1g fat and 0.44g sodium. That is equivalent to a huge amount of salt.
The ingredients are water, pasta, carrots, tomato paste, onions, cabbage, swede, celery peas, potatoes, green beans, red peppers, haricot beans, yellow peas, corn flour, leeks, salt, oil, yeast, herbs, garlic, pepper, basil, oregano.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed in them. If they just would cut down on the salt and thicken it up a bit, this has the potential to be a really nice soup. As it was, it was not something I found terribly enjoyable. Bonus marks for being suitable for vegans and for having an easy to open tin. But I didn't really feel it lived up to Baxters reputation as selling posher soups and so I didn't really feel it deserved the extra price.
Review may be cross-posted elsewhere.
I recently wrote a review on Heinz Minestrone Soup stating it was one of my favourites from their range. Having now tried Baxters version of this soup I can say without any doubt I prefer it to each of any of the Heinz range that I've tried so far.
The soup comes in a 415g tin so is slightly larger than its opposite number from Heinz and is enough to share or to have as a decent sized lunch. A full tin contains 140 calories, 2g fat (less than 1%) of which 0.4g saturates and 2g salt. The label also advises that it contains wheat, gluten and celery and that it doesn't contain any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It is also suitable for vegetarians.
What I particularly like about the soup is that it has lots of "body" to it with pasta tubes and chunky vegetables (mainly carrots, potatoes, various beans and swede). The liquid aspect of the soup is very tomatoey and very tasty and the very slight hint of garlic really adds to it. The soup is not as thick as some others and is quite watery but there is definitely not a weak taste.
The label on the tin is also quite attractive with a good image of the soup. With a lot of foods, you often find that the end product does not mirror the image portrayed on the packaging but that is not the case here with the soup looking and tasting as good as I'd hoped.
As with Heinz Minestrone, the Baxters tin recommends a serving suggestion of adding parmesan cheese but goes further by also suggesting garlic bread. My personal indulgence is to add small chunks of a strong cheddar, allowing it to soften and begin to melt before eating. This, in my opinion, makes a great soup taste even better!
The tin comes with a ring pull lid meaning no tin opener is required however if you prefer to open it with one, the tin can be turned upside down and opened in that fashion.
The heating guidelines are similar to those found on the majority of tinned soups. It can be heated on a hob (the best method in my opinion) until hot but it should not Microwaving takes 4-5 minutes depending on your microwave output.
I bought this soup for 82p in Asda and I believe this to be an average standard price for the product.
All in all this is an excellent tinned soup that is full of flavour and good value for money.
Minestrone soup, the bowl of goodness sent from the heavens, has never tasted better than it does here. Sure the price of this Baxter's Minestrone is a little above average, particularly in the current economic climate, but the taste sensation and the fact that it may well be the most filling brand out there makes the extra outlay all worth while.
I'll not go into details on calories and nutritional content as that is available elsewhere and instead I will focus on reviewing the taste and enjoyment obtained from the dish.
I believe you can tell a lot from how something smells whilst being cooked and this is proven here as the smell is amazing but the taste is even better. You can taste the extra quality that Baxter's Minestrone contains and the large chunks really hit the spot. Perhaps the best aspect is that, for the money, youend up feeling remarkably full. As soups go, there are none better than this.
"This soup is full of Mediterranean flavour; we season tasty vegetables and pasta with garlic, oregano and basil to create this classic variety. For the full effect, I enjoy it with parmesan cheese and garlic bread."