“ Brand: Heinz / Type: Soups „
As a treat for having to work this weekend, I thought I would wander away from my usual soups and try one of the Heinz "Big Soups". Browsing the selection in my local Tescos my eyes quickly settled on the "Exciting New Flavour" of Mexican Chilli Beef and Bean. I think my hopes were that this would actually be a chilli in a tin rather than a soup!
The soup comes in a 515g tin and is therefore just over 25% larger than a standard Heinz soup. The labelling is very different to the iconic red Heinz labels found on the vast majority of Heinz soups and is, instead, predominantly a dark green colour. The front of the label depicts an appealing picture of a deep red (tomatoes account for 25% of the ingredients) bowl soup packed full of vegetables and dark red kidney beans (8%) and advertises that the product is low fat and contains 181 calories per serving (a serving being deemed to be half of the tin). Looking at the nutritional information on the rear, I was particularly surprised to find that the soup was indeed low fat containing, per whole tin (that is a serving as far as I am concerned!), 8.2g of fat of which only 1.8g saturates. I was expecting these figures to be higher. The remainder of the nutritional information is as follows (per whole tin) - 21.4g protein, 50.8g carbohydrates of which 18g sugars, 5.6g fibre, 12.6 sodium with the salt equivalent being 3g. The salt levels are notably high with this equating to half of the 6g that is the guideline daily amount for adults. However, whilst I ate this as a lunch, it could quite easily form a larger meal if accompanied by some nice crusty bread.
On opening the tin, which as with most soups has an easy open ring pull lid, I was met with both a pleasant sight and mouth-watering aroma. Even in the tin, the soup resembled what was depicted on the label - which is not always the case - and there was a meaty and garlicky aroma coming from it. When poured into a bowl it was notable that whilst there was a lot of vegetables with the kidney beans, pinto beans (8%), onions and red peppers all standing out, this could not be the same for the chilli beef. With the soup being called Mexican Chilli Beef and Bean I presumed that there would be plenty of chilli beef within. Unfortunately this is not the case and I had to look hard to spot the small pieces dotted around sporadically. Looking back at the label, I was surprised that I hadn't noticed it in the image where this is also not a lot of beef pictured - at least there was no false advertising! The beef accounts for only 5% of the ingredients.
Heating the soup takes a little longer than regulation size soups. Using an 850W microwave it takes approximately 4 minutes in total and I would imagine 5-6 minutes if being heated gently on a hob.
After being heated the soup smelt even better than it did when cold and without trying to sound over the top, I was very much looking forward to trying it. Unfortunately, I think the combination of the attractive appearance and appealing aroma had built my expectations up a little too much! My first thoughts on eating it were that it tasted like I was eating something chargrilled and that the taste no way matched the smell. It was not unpleasant but not as I hoped. After the first few mouthfuls I think I just got used to it and overall I enjoyed it. The different beans improved the taste and thankfully these were plentiful!
This was my first venture into the "Big Soup" range and it will not be my last but I don't think I will be rushing to try this one again. This product would be available in most shops and costs around £1.18.