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Low Fat, Fibre Source - Nothing Artificial
Water, black beans, white navy beans, corn, onion, pork, capsicum, tomato, sunflower oil, garlic, lemon, salt, jalapeno
May contain traces of soy, gluten and tree nuts
I do like me some soup, though the watery ones leave me feeling somewhat cheated because as a child my mother would make soups you could let go of the wooden spoon and it would stay standing! So, when I tried this soup I honestly wasn't expecting a whole lot of satisfaction. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a seriously substantial soup indeed, full of beans, veges and flavour... and a little bit of meat. There was my one disappointment - this soup is so healthy, in large part because it's majority ingredients are not-meat.
None the less, I had to give it a fair shot... so ate a few spoonfuls to see how it was going to taste. In fairness, it was quite tame compared to what I was hoping for, but I do like the jalapeno flavour - regardless of the amount of spiciness it may or may not have - and since that flavour was easily detectable for me, the soup won me over. Still... I do like a bit of piquancy, so after about half a bowl as-is, I had to have a wee play with the taste. In went some chilli sauce and a dash of dark soy sauce, and that really bumped it up a notch for me. I was tempted to add some extra meat, but knowing that I eat way to much of the stuff as it is, I thought I would rebuild a little karma by sticking to eating it as-is.
Overall, I was actually very pleased by this, and while it is great on it's own, a total carnivore could easily boost the meat content by adding some bacon or pulled-pork... or, considering the low level of meat in it, you could probably add cooked chicken which would give you even more protein without really changing the flavour too much at all. Tasty, filling and with a solid shelf-life - well worth keeping a few in your pantry for those "What am I going to eat that is quick and doesn't require serious cooking time?" days.
It had been one of those days when things happen one after the other with no chance to stop for a meal. That is often the reality in my job; I try to anticipate these times by stocking my freezer and cupboard with proper food that can be speedily prepared by a half-starved weakling (me!) who needed to eat ten minutes ago. But sometimes even that is too much bother. So tonight I was relieved to see that there was a SOUPER packet lurking in my fridge. I had thought I had finished them all, so was delighted to see it - luckily, the bright packet alerted me.
Preparation was so quick and easy that the soup was actually into the microwave, heated and ready to go before the bread had finished toasting! I was keeping it very simple - toast, with fruit to follow, and the added assurance that I was eating proper food free of preservatives and other undesirables. I really liked the texture of the beans; they were chewy and just as satisfying as meat. I have to admit to being surprised that the soup was really mild; when I had seen that the flavour was jalapeno, I had expected a bit of heat, but the spice was totally understated.
Like the other soup I have tried in this range, the effect was more that of a stew than a soup. Although the main ingredient is water (as listed on the packet), a lot of the liquid is actually absorbed by the beans. There is quite a lot of meat in the product (5.5%) but I did not see it, so I presume that it was finely shredded into very small pieces. However, I could taste the meat along with the other flavours - notably tomato and spices. In fact, the result reminded me of a gourmet meal of baked beans.
The best before date was a good ten months away so this would be a useful emergency meal to have on hand. Not just for emergencies of course; it would also be a good staple to have available. The price is very reasonable; I had one packet with two slices of toast, and felt I had eaten a hearty meal. The packaging is robust, enough to withstand being dropped on the concrete (which I actually did so I know it is true!), and colour coded by flavour so you know what you are getting. Altogether a highly successful product that does what it sets out to do.
I struggled through work yesterday because I have an important audit next week to prepare for, but I woke up this morning after only managing to get a hour of irregular sleep, surrounded by two toilet rolls worth of tissue paper. I had been trying to avoid it, but alas, I was doomed; I had caught the man flu.
Calling in sick, I decide I need to stay in bed to maximise the speed at which I can recover. But as a single male, I had neither a significant other to look after me, or a large budget, so the food at home was rather limited. Luckily, I still had one review sample left to try from my current batch. The Souper Pulled Pork and Jalapenos. With a best before date nearly a year from now, it's definitely a product that you could keep for such a situation. A chunky soup is so much nicer than those powdered packet things with the dried veges.
With so little sleep and suffering from a sickness, I did have a little trouble tearing the top off of the packet. I eventually got there once I made the initial break with my teeth, but at least I know the packaging is secure. Heating instructions are simple; place in microwaveable bowl, and heat until hot. Simple.
I enjoy spicy foods, so people assume that I love jalapenos. In a way, they are right, as I do enjoy the heat, but at the same time, I don't like pickles because of the overpowering sweet/sourness. Jalapenos will often come pickled or in a brine, so I wasn't too sure how I'd feel about this product. Interestingly, taking the time to look at the ingredients, this soup is 5.5% meat (pulled pork in this case), the highest proportion of meat in this brand of soup out of all the flavours I've tried.
Looking at the meal before I start consuming it, it looks very much like a chunky beef chili (but with pork instead obviously). And you can immediately see the soup is predominantly sweetcorn and beans. There is definitely meat visible, but with the dark sauce and small size of the chunks, it blends in really well with the beans. Bell peppers and jalapenos can ruin a meal for those with more european heat sensibilities, so it was interesting to see the bell peppers and jalapenos were few, and cut into reasonably long strips. This would make for easy removal if it was a concern.
I'm not a fan of capsicum either, so I bit the bullet and made sure that my first spoonfuls, included bell peppers to be rid of them early. Surprisingly, there was no strong flavour from it. No intense overwhelming flavour. Curiously, I grabbed another spoonful with jalapenos AND bell peppers and the flavour of it was present, but not at all overpowering or even what I'd consider a primary flavour.
Overall, the soup is very chunky. The sweetcorn and beans maintain their shape during the cooking process. As with the peppered beef variety, I would have loved to have had more meat in it. I get a little hit of pleasure when I bite and feel the texture of the pork between my teeth, but the other flavours overpower it completely. Beyond seeing it, and feeling it occasionally, it is difficult to tell the soup actually has meat in it. The flavour of the soup is very consistent; each spoonful tastes the same next. No huge bursts of flavour coming out of left field. The jalapenos and peppers do leave a slight warmth on the tongue that is noticeable once you've finished eating the meal, and the meat adds some nice depth and fullness to the flavour, but I would struggle to really be able to separate any of the speceific flavours otherwise. It is soup flavoured.
Easy to prepare, the peppers don't make it hot, it has a nice chunkiness to it, and has a long shelf life. Ideal for combating the man flu.
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