There are a huge range of soups to buy these days. They come in powdered form, chilled cartons, frozen and the traditional tinned variety.
I have been sent four tins of Baxters Hearty Soup range to evaluate. Let me start by giving you a bit of information about the company.
Baxters first started way back in 1868 when the first Shop opened. As the website states:-
'25 year old George Baxter has been working as a gardener for the Duke of Richmond and Gordon on the Gordon Castle Estate when he decides, with encouragement from friends and family, to start his own grocery business. George Baxter borrows £100 from family members to open a small grocery shop in the village of Fochabers. Here, in the back shop, his wife Margaret begins making jams and jellies with fruits from the local area. They are an instant hit with the Duke and his many guests and this quality ensures Baxters delicious products find their way to the table at Gordon Castle.'
Starting off with producing jams, then cans of fruit, the first soup was made in 1929. This extract from the website states 'Inspired by a the sheer abundance of fine local produce, Ethel Baxter begins creating a range of high quality soups including the original recipe for the now famous Royal Game soup with venison from the hills of Upper Speyside. Orders from the likes of Harrod’s and Fortnum and Mason’s soon come flooding in.'
Do continue to read all about Baxters products on the website, plus recipes, news, competitions and lots more!
I often enjoy a dish of nourishing soup for lunch with some crusty bread. My favourite at the moment is Baxters Chefs Selection Asparagus.
The new Baxters Hearty range which features no less than ten delicious flavours is now available to buy nationwide. Here is an extract about the soups. 'The nutritious and wholesome soups contain up to three of the recommended five a day fruit and veg, offering a nourishing and convenient choice.'
So what did I think of the flavours I tried?
Country Vegetable Soup
This wholesome soup contains 7 varieties of vegetables - Carrots, Potatoes, Onions, Parsnips, Celery, Petit Pois, Sweetcorn Water, Vegetables (54%, in varying proportions) The other ingredients are Tomato Paste, Red Lentils, Yellow Split Peas, Haricot Beans, Butter (Milk), Yeast Extract, Cornflour, Sea Salt, Salt, Garlic Puree, Parsley, Black Pepper and Turmeric.
It was a filling soup and I did not add bread as this was not necessary with all the vegetables. The soup contains 48 calories per 100 grams.
Chicken and Sweetcorn Chowder
This was a creamy tasting soup made with chicken, potatoes, sweetcorn, and a splash of double cream. The ingredients are Water, Potatoes (19%), Sweetcorn (17%), Onions, Double Cream (Milk) (2%), Skimmed Milk Powder, Chicken (2%), Chicken Fat, Cornflour, Yeast Extract, Stabilise, Salt, Garlic Purée, Thyme, Black Pepper, Turmeric.
The addition of thyme gave this soup a lovely flavour. I thought that the percentage of chicken could have been higher than 2%. I found that it was not as filling as it should have been, but nevertheless is more than enough for someone with a small appetite. The soup contains 74 calories per 100 grams.
Chicken and Country Vegetable Soup
This soup was very flavoursome and with the same amount of vegetables (54%) as there are in Country Vegetable soup, plus chicken and parsley, it made for a meal in itself with no additional accompaniments required. Maybe a bit more chicken though please Baxters! 4% in this recipe. Other ingedients are Water, Sweetcorn (4%), Chicken (4%), Cornflour, Yeast Extract, Sea Salt, Flavouring, Parsley. The soup contains 46 calories per 100 grams.
Tomato, Chorizo and Mixed Bean Soup
This soup was delicious. The depth of flavours shone through especially the tomatoes, the chorizo provides added 'punch' and I loved the combination of the beans.
The ingredients are Tomatoes (28%), Water, Mixed Beans (14%) (Pinto Beans, Haricot Beans, Red Kidney Beans), Carrots, Onions, Celery, Leeks, Chorizo (2%) (Pork, Water, Salt, Paprika, Stabiliser (Sodium Lactate), Garlic, Dextrose, Acidity Regulator (Glucono-delta-lactone), Milk Protein, Oregano, Antioxidant (Sodium Ascorbate)), Tomato Paste, Mushrooms, Salt, Cornflour, Garlic Purée, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Rapeseed Oil, Parsley, Onion Powder, Potato Starch, Black Pepper, Acid (Citric Acid), Lovage Extract, Nutmeg, White Pepper, Turmeric. The soup contains 56 calories per 100 grams.
So what is my verdict?
I enjoyed all the soups, however if I had to choose just one, it would be the Tomato, Chorizo and Mixed Bean variety. The calorific value of each of the soups is perfect if you are trying to shift a few post Christmas pounds!
I will try the remaining six varieties over the next few weeks which are:-
Tuscan Style Bean, Bacon and Pecorino Soup,
Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, Chilli & Lime Soup.
Smoked Bacon and Three Bean Soup
Chicken, Pepper & Black Eyed Bean Soup,
Beef, Bean & Vegetable Soup,
Spiced Red Lentil & Smoked Bacon Soup.
The RRP for each soup is £1.49 which represents good value for money. With the winter weather with us for probably another three months, all these flavours are suitable for a snack on their own, or for a main meal eaten with crusty bread as described above or incorporated into one of the many recipes on the website.
Why not try them for yourself?
Photos copyright Baxters and reproduced with permission.