“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Soups „
Tesco Finest Garden Pea and Wiltshire Cured Ham Soup.
Well for my lunch today I have just had this really lovely soup. I usually do make my own soups as they really are very easy to make but as this was on offer in Tesco I thought why not give it a try. Sometimes time dictates too that we cannot all get the time to make our own and this Tesco finest range are really the closest thing I have found to home made soups.
This soup comes in a clear pot about 6" in height with a black lift off lid. It is found in the refrigerated part of the shop as it is a fresh soup as opposed to the tinned variety. It provides 600ml of soup which is a good size portion for each of two people.
To prepare the soup you can do one of two things. Firstly and my favourite way is to empty the contents into a saucepan and gently heat through on the hob for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure that the soup doesn't boil or overheat as this impairs the flavour. The second way is to empty the soup into a microwavable container and heat through in the microwave for a couple of minutes based on an 850w power or more time for a lower rated microwave and then leave to stand for 2 minutes before serving. I prefer not to use the microwave though as I think this too impairs the flavour.
The soup itself has a lovely rich dark green colour to it and it looks very thick and creamy. It has quite a few little chunks of ham in it about 1/2 cm squared and little dots of dark green herbs in too, .... the mint. There is a variety of other good ingredients in there also namely veg and ham stock, Wiltshire ham hock, onion, potato, butter to name just a few things. It contains all good ingredients and nothing artificial. It will add to your 5 a day intake and at just 185 kcals per serving of half the pot is very good for your waistline too.
The taste of this is just so lovely, it has a very sweet pea taste reminiscent of a sugar snap pea and a very slight minty taste too. I was a little disappointed with the ham though as I really couldn't distinguish any flavour in the ham although there are plenty of little chunks of ham in it, it seemed a little flavourless and a bit chewy. This is a soup that stands fine on its own merits, it needs no seasoning added to it as a lot of soups do, to add that bit extra, in fact a little salt or pepper in my opinion would spoil it, it's just fine as it is.
All in all this is a very fine soup in my opinion and I would definitely buy it again but only when it is on offer. It is very quick and easy to prepare as with all soups and is delicious especially when served alongside a chunk of crusty bread with lashings of butter. It really does make a very tasty lunch or snack. The only downside to this soup I would say is the price as at £1.99 its normal price I think is a little excessive, but when it's on offer at 2 for £3.00 is it is worth buying and enjoying.
This is available in Tesco only at the usual price of £1.99 or on offer occasionally at £3.00 for any two soups in the range.
Thanks for reading!
WHERE CAN I BUY THIS SOUP?
Tesco finest garden pea and Wiltshire cured ham soup is a fresh soup in the refrigerator section sold in a plastic pot which is clear with a black lid in Tesco of course. In this clear pot you will find a generous 600ml of soup which gives a good portion to each of two people. The soup was the colour of thick green pea soup that I make myself which could easily be seen through the clear pot.
WHY BUY THIS WHEN YOU COULD MAKE YOUR OWN?
I do make my own soups regularly as they are cheap, easy to make and are really healthy and good for you however there are times when I need to have a meal more quickly than I can produce from scratch. One of those times is when we have been out all morning or even all day travelling back from visiting relatives and we return and want something warm for a meal very quickly so I buy a different soup from the Tesco fresh soup section regularly. I have been buy them more often of late as they are on special for the price of £3 for two pots which I find very good value. They are normally £1.99 which I would think twice about but I suppose is a lot cheaper than in a restaurant still.
These fresh soups provide the next best thing to home - made soup and taste far more natural than tinned or packet soups as they have not been processed to the same extent. They seem to have a fairly long shelf life as I bought my tub on Dec 15th and the use by date on the pot is 29th December which is far longer than I would keep my own fresh soup in the fridge. However it states categorically on the back of the pot that there are NO artificial preservatives, colours, flavours or hydrogenated fats.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THIS POT IN ORDER TO ENJOY?
The black plastic lid lefts off quite easily and then you can pour the contents into a saucepan and heat as usual or you could pour it into a bowl and heat in the microwave or you can lift the lid and heat the entire contents in the container it comes in. This soup did not pour out quite as easily as the others in the range and I had to use a spoon to scrape out the last quarter of the pot.
It is essential that the soup is heated to piping hot rather than just warmed as this will ensure that the food is heated to the heat to kill any dangerous bacteria that may be lurking. Personally I prefer to use a saucepan and heat thoroughly while stirring towards the end as I want to really ensure that my food is properly heated through.
Once heated then serve in bowls with bread, toast or bread rolls as preferred for a tasty, filling and healthy meal.
HOW DOES IT TASTE?
While pouring the soup from the pot in to the saucepan I noticed that is was very thick, full of quite a lot of ham pieces. I could also see green leafy herbs which I believe were parsley and mint, but there was not an obvious flavour of either when eating the soup. As I was heating the soup the smell was not obvious in the kitchen either so no tempting aroma to set my juices going.
While it was heating I micro waved a couple of Tesco dumplings to pop into the soup for a change from toast or a bread roll. There was enough interest in the way of solid bits of the Wiltshire cured ham to make you have to chew each mouthful a couple of times. It certainly was quite thick and creamy and with the two dumplings I had added I felt pleasantly full after my bowlful and so did my husband
The soup actually consists of vegetable and ham stock, Wiltshire ham hock, onion, butter, crème fraiche, corn flour, potato, sugar, water, mint, parsley. There is not a single ingredient included in this list that I would not put in a home -made soup myself. Reading the ingredients list there are other things such as celery extract, onion concentrate and other things but nothing too artificial sounding is mentioned anywhere so I felt quite happy that I was not eating anything I was not sure of. I was also impressed that the ingredients were very similar to those I use to make my pea and ham soup too so I did feel it was quite natural.
IS THERE ANYTHING I NEED TO BE AWARE OF?
There is an allergy warning about the fact there are no nuts in the recipe but they cannot guarantee that it is nut free as the equipment in the factory had previously been used to manufacture something with nuts.
You can freeze this soup and you need to use it within a month, although it does have a very long shelf life when it is kept in the fridge which it must be of course. Also if you freeze it then you must defrost it for a minimum of 12 hours in the refrigerator.
IMPORTANT: If food has thawed, do not refreeze
A bonus is that half a pot of this soup is one of your 5 a day fruit and vegetables so that is a tasty and easy way of enjoying one. The calorie content for a portion which is half the pot is 185 calories which is not bad for a satisfying meal in my book.
Having bought a few of these over the last couple of months I have washed out and kept the pots and lids. They do very nicely for freezing homemade soups in just the right quantity for two. I now have 6 of these pots with Turkey stock ready for making in to my own soups when we need them and we have forgotten the taste of turkey again. My son also takes soup to work and these pots are not totally liquid tight but if he is careful it doesn't tip over then he has soup for two days at work in one of the pots and only has to take a bread roll of something to have with it. He does drive to work; I'm not sure I would try to carry this in a bag on a train or the tube but you could freeze it then carry it frozen and allow it to thaw at work.
My husband and I both enjoyed this filling, warming and tasty soup for our lunch today. I would certainly buy this again. I think it was about £1.50 for the pot -on special two for £3.00 at Tesco only as it one of their own product range. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys good creamy soup that tastes a bit more natural than tinned or packet stuff.
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