We've now taken your classic, favourite soups and paired them with our delicious, premium meats.
We've souped up this a-maize-ing warm, rich chowder. With plump corn, vegetables and bacon pieces, it'll keep everyone sweet.
Hellers Soups, hearty yet nutritious combinations, bringing comfort to Kiwi homes this winter!
Water, Vegetables [Potato, Corn (10%), Onion, Celery], Bacon (9%) [Pork, Water Salt, Modified Starch (1442), Maltodextrin, Sugar, Thickener (407), Potato Starch, Natural Flavour, Dextrose (Maize), Mineral Salts (451, 450, 500), Preservative (250), Antioxidant (316), Honey, Yeast Extract, Citrus Extract, Dried Vinegar], Coconut Cream, Chicken Stock [Water, Chicken, Onions, Carrots, Celery, Peppercorns, Thyme, Bay Leaf], Corn Starch, Garlic, Salt, Spices, Yeast Extract, Flavours.
I have always been a fan of Heller's products and they don't last long in my household. I was surprised to see that they had brought out a range of soups now. Other companies had branched out and had limited success so I wasn't sure how these soups would be. The sweetcorn and bacon chowder appealed to me and as the only soup eater in the house I decided it would be a convenient lunch for work.
The packet says that it serves two so I divided the contents between two microwave safe Tupperware containers. That was Monday's and Tuesday's lunch organised in a flash. I heated it for two minutes in the microwave and that was piping hot. I loved that it had big chunks of corn and bacon. I was also immpressed to see that it is not a calorie laden creamy chowder, in fact to my untrained eye it appears to be dairy free. It states it is gluten free too which means more people can eat it.
The real thing that I loved was the taste. You could really taste the bacon and it smelt so good. The ingredients were mixed well together so you didn't have all the chuncks at the botttom of your bowl.One of my workmates commented how good my soup looked and when I told her what it was she said she would have to buy it for herself. I will certainly be buying it for my lunch again as it is so convenient. I will also be recommending it to my parents for an intant dinner that is still nutritious.
When presented with a range of the Hellers soups and chowders, this is the one that Mr Eight opted for us to open first. He is gradually getting there with eating soups and I like to encourage every opportunity to try out new flavours and brands. We do often make our own soups but it is handy to have some family favourites that we can simply grab from the supermarket shelf for dinner instead of going for a takeaway.
Both kids thought that this chowder was "amazing". The smell certainly caught everyone's attention and we were all looking forward to trying it. We found that it had a nice texture and a fabulous smell of bacon. The corn, bacon and potato were all very visible as pieces in the chowder. We find that it is nice to get something to chew on when having a soup of a chowder. Everyone enjoyed it with a big hunk of ciabatta bread.
The flavour was a bit simple and we all agreed that the smell of bacon was a lot stronger than the taste. My husband quickly added a bit of salt to the bowl (perhaps not the best idea when you read what I have written about the sodium content below). The kids demolished it quickly. Mr Eight declared that it was "top notch!". We did all agree that the chowder could have had more flavour in order to equal the expectation we had when we smelled the chowder.
When I let my friends know that I was reviewing these soups and chowders, one of them asked me what I thought of the salt and fat content of the products. It is always so hard for people (including me) to work out quickly what are good choices for our family. I sometimes have a quick look at the nutritional information at the back of the packets but more often than not, I don't know what I am really looking for. My friend inspired me to look a bit further into the items that she asked about. For this product, I have focused on Sodium. I found that because this chowder has 321mg of sodium per 100g, it would fit into the "medium salt food" category (as per the Nutrition Foundation NZ website nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/minerals/sodium. Something to consider is that the recommended daily amount of sodium is 920-2300mg per day. If one person eats the entire 500g pouch of chowder (which to be honest, I could happily do for a lunch or dinner), then that would be 1600mg of sodium for one meal. As a population, we need to reduce our salt intake, so I imagine that the chowder should therefore fit into a 'treat food' option rather than a regular in our diet. This can be confusing for consumers as people often think of soups as a healthy option for their families. Perhaps the health star rating on the packet could help people like me to assess at a glance how good it is for my family.
So, coming back to my thoughts on the actual chowder, our family enjoyed it and the kids would be very happy to have it again. I would possibly buy it again based on the reaction from the family but I would be very aware of the salt content when deciding how regularly to buy it. If all else was equal with the reactions from my family, I would definitely go for a soup in the range with a lower sodium level.
I have liked corn since I was a kid and have since found many ways to prepare and enjoy it. In a soup - of any thickness - was not anywhere near the top of my list... until now. Pairing it with quality bacon and making it into a thick chowder was not a new idea, but the combination turned out to be the very thing for my dinner last night.
With warmer weather creeping in, eating meals out on the patio is something I plan to do more often, and last night I tried my first 'outdoor seating' for the season. The weather was calm, the air mostly still - meaning wind-chill wasn't going to be an issue - but I wasn't in the mood to fire up the BBQ, especially as I still have not done the annual inspection of the gas pipes and rust check on the burner bars. So I took the opportunity to enjoy something that would help retain core temperature, but was easy to eat while sitting and didn't require me to remain outside for longer, standing at the grill beforehand.
I chose this flavour from those I had on hand, as it sounded like one that would fill me up a little more than a thinner soup style, and wouldn't really need any bread to sop up drips to avoid giving myself a soup-tie. With my desire to eliminate leavened bread from my diet as much as possible, this was another good point in my book. Heating it can be done a number of ways - microwave and stove top, of course - but because I have a wet-back wood burner, and the house was a tad nippy, I had the fire going to reheat the hot water cylinder and bring the lounge temperature up to comfortable as well. The added bonus is that I can put a pot on top and cook food at the same time. So... I did.
I ran with the 'stovetop' instructions, but because there is no 'medium heat' on a blazing woodburner, I stirred continuously, rapidly and with maximum attention. I have found that even with the utmost care and attention, some soups don't react to rapid heating very well. I thought this would be a great test, but didn't want to risk missing out, so I started with a half-portion. I was very pleased to see, in just over 70 seconds the chowder had reached a high simmer, so I lifted the pot off the surface slightly and kept stirring for another minute. By that time I decided that the meal was ready as there was a good even heat throughout. I poured it into a bowl, threw a light sprinkle of freshly chopped chives on top and a grind of black pepper, and sat down out on the patio to look at the stars while I ate.
I have to be honest, the flavour was a lot more subdued than I would have liked, but the corn was crisp and bright in my mouth every time I chewed on one, a sweet little pop of flavour between your teeth. The bacon had a nice salty sweetness and wasn't too chewy or crunchy. They were carried by a thick, creamy chowder base with nice herb and spice highlights flickering throughout. For my personal preferences, I popped away and came back with a nice garlic salt mix I have on the rack at the moment, and a gentle dash of that gave this chowder the perfect extra lift for my taste buds.
Overall, this worked out so well I went ahead and prepared the rest of my portion in the same manner, then enjoyed a second helping outside. The perfect way to end a busy day mowing lawns and working on the garden in preparation for fresh plants to come. I was able to look out over my handiwork and feel a deep sense of satisfaction, while enjoying a nice hot bowl of chowder to keep the cool night air at bay. The perfect dish for this magical transition phase of the year.
Soups are one of those foods that my family and I like to enjoy on a cold Winter's night, so luckily for us, we had the Heller's sweet corn and bacon chowder ready and waiting for us to heat up after work one night, the perfect meal for when you are short on time. Having previously tried 2 of the other Heller's soups in the range I was looking forward to trying this one as sweet corn is right up there as one of my favourite vegetables and well everything is better with bacon right?
Like the rest of the Heller's soups in the range the soup comes in a clear plastic packaging which can stand up in your fridge easily for easy storage and is see-through it means that you can actually see the product you are buying which is something I love to see when I'm purchasing a new product for the first time. The label is well presented and features a very mouthwatering image of a serving suggestion of the chowder, and amazingly it actually looks like the product within the package.
The chowder was easy to heat and prepare it only took 3 minutes of heating in the microwave and it came out piping hot, the aroma that filled the room was divine. To make the soup a complete meal I decided to cook up some cheese puffs to go alongside it and the pair made for the perfect combination. The chowder was lovely and thick just as a chowder should be and it was filled with the most generous amount of corn and bacon, and by bacon, I mean nice big chunks of bacon not tiny bits, potato and onion were also evident in the chowder which helped to add flavour. The soup went down really well with the whole family we all enjoyed, however my partner and I did agree that it did lack a little in the flavour department, however, we found that adding some Raptor Rubs vege sprinkle helped bring out a lot more of the flavours and really improved the overall taste.
Overall this chowder was beautiful with enough flavour and texture to please those who are eating it, mild enough for children to eat but easy enough to add to if you think it needs something more. A yummy quick Winter meal I will absolutely try again.
After a long journey that had lasted eleven hours, ending in a two-kilometre walk in a thunderstorm, we arrived home more than ready for a hearty dinner. We were looking forward to trying this product and were hoping it would live up to the description on the packet. When we went past the dairy we had picked up two meat pies which we planned to have with the soup so that there would be no waiting around.
Preparation of the soup and reheating the pies was speedy - in the time it took to shower and dry off, dinner was ready. Initial impressions were good; the kitchen was fast filling with savoury smells, and in no time at all dinner was served. That first taste was heaven. I had expected a watery soup with a few vegetables and one or two pieces of bacon floating in it, but this was completely different. This was no soup; this was a proper chowder, thick and creamy, with real chunks of bacon and plenty of corn. With a pie as well, there was plenty there for a hearty meal for two people.
I did think the flavour could be a little stronger. There was a smoky aftertaste from the bacon, but I would have liked it a little more intense. The packet outer did suggest adding oregano and no doubt this would have helped, but we did not have time for that - it would have required another trip to the shop. In the end we both added a shake of Ass Kickin' Bacon Hot Sauce, and that did the trick: as if by magic, the flavour was intensified and therefore much more interesting.
This would be a good chowder to serve as an entree (when it would be enough for three or four people) on a cold night when the main meal is a salad or similar. It would also be nice as a lunch dish with bread rolls and hunks of cheese. It would travel well in a thermos for a picnic meal, and could be useful to take on cold mornings when watching the kids play rugby.
Next time I will try the chowder with oregano and ciabatta bread as suggested on the packet, but I also think it would go well with croutons, baked potatoes or cheese scones, depending on whether it is being served as an entree or a main. There are lots of possibilities!
Random listing from 'Food'...
Maketu Pies, made in the Bay of Plenty, and distributed to fine food outlets, for you to enjoy.
Available in a wide variety of flavours, there's a pie for everyone.
Note: Sample image only. Actual product may vary.
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