“ Brand: New Covent Garden / Type: Soups „
Chocolate soup- I can almost hear you saying whatever next? I must admit the thought crossed my mind but I was lured into buying it after reading an excellent review on Dooyoo-ah the joys of this website. I have tried so many new things since I joined!
I actually love New Covent Garden soups having been buying them for many years. They are brilliant when I want a quick and filling lunch, and since their beginnings the range has expanded so much there are so many to choose from you never get bored. They were formed in 1987 and prior to this it is hard to believe that fresh soups were unavailable in supermarkets. Growing up in the 60s and 70s soup was either home made or Heinz in a tin, and steaming bowls were often served to keep icy hands warm on snowy days. I am quite a soup lover and often make them at home especially with beans and pulses as being vegetarian I find these are protein rich and satisfying. I still like the odd tin of Heinz but when you compare it to the fresh soups it really is a different product altogether in a different league.
Yes things have moved on and although I love to make home made soup it isn't always possible and this is where these are a real asset in my fridge. The soup ranges are not all vegetarian but many are and they have beans in some of them which makes them almost like a meal in themselves and close to what I like to make myself.
This soup is called choc full of beans. The basic recipe is a spicy chilli soup laced with dark chocolate. It is this November's soup of the month but there is plenty still around and in Tesco it is buy two for £3. Good value as it serves 3 to 4 if you heat up both cartons.
This soup contains tomatoes, onions, red kidney beans, haricot beans, black-eyed beans, long grain rice, tomato paste, dark chocolate and spices.
The colour is a rich red/brown with a packed soup full of hearty ingredients. The flavour is Mexican and fiery and warming. You can't pick out the chocolate flavour at all but you can tell there is something special in there.
I must say I had heard of Chilli Chocolate before now but in scanning the internet have discovered chilli is quite often flavoured with dark chocolate so the next time I am planning to make a chilli I think I might experiment with the odd square of dark chocolate to see if anyone notices!
I served it to my son and husband this weekend and I must admit the look on their faces when I told them what is was was really quite amusing, but they tucked in as usual with gusto and cleaned their plates so I think I can testify to the fact that they loved it!
You can freeze the soup so I am planning to raid the shelves in Tesco and freeze some of this before it goes off the menu for a while.
New Covent Garden pride themselves in making soup with all healthy ingredients as if you have just made it yourself.
This Xmas they are also supporting the Salvation Army in their work with the homeless.
I think it's great that there are companies out there who are striving to provide healthy food for when we are living busy lives.
Recently my mum had a stroke and although she is making a good recovery she is severely disabled and my dad has found these soups a joy. They are so useful to serve at lunchtime as he grows accustomed to doing more of the household chores. They are also good for weight loss being low in fat and calories.
Soup is great, isn't it? Warming and comforting, but pretty much guilt free. Soup is forming the staple of my lunches at the moment, and whilst I like to make my own most of the time, New Covent Garden soups provide a nearly-home-made alternative. A carton of this fresh soup is made with 'all natural ingredients' and provides two portions.
This variety, Choc Full of Beans, is one of New Covent Garden's 'Soup of the Month' range. At the moment I am quite keen on beany soups, as I am a Vegetarian beans provide protein and make for a filling soup. Then I noticed that the 'Choc full' actually refers to real chocolate in the ingredients, and I was intrigued! Small quantities of dark chocolate are often used in Mexican chilli recipes and the principle here is the same. Like all New Covent Garden soups, it needs to be stored in the fridge (although it can be frozen) and can be easily reheated in a few minutes either in the microwave or on the hob. For this reason I have found these soups to be a great option for taking to work, as we have a microwave and it is lovely to have a hot meal at lunchtime.
The carton describes this product as 'Mildly spiced mixed bean chilli with a hint of chocolate'. The ingredients include tomatoes, kidney haricot and black eyed beans, rice and spices, as you would expect from bean chilli. The amount of organic dark chocolate included is less than 1%, so this is not a sweet dish, rather it adds a smoothness and depth that you might not be able to put your finger on without knowing the mystery ingredient.
I found this to be the nicest chilli bean soup I have tasted and if I make my own in future I'll be tempted to try adding a square of chocolate! For now, if you see any of this soup for sale I suggest you grab some, as it won't be around for long. A half carton serving of this soup provides 168 calories and is low in Fat, Saturated Fat and Sugar. A carton costs around £1.99, but is frequently on Special Offer - currently some varieties are half price at Tesco.
New Covent Garden Food Co. are currently fundraising for the Salvation Army in support of their work helping homeless people get back on their feet, making their soups an even more attractive choice this winter.