I was gutted a few months ago to learn that Tesco's had stopped selling New Covent Garden Soup - but it wasn't all bad news because they have started stocking New York Soup Co instead. They sent us through a pot of each of their Fully Loaded soups to try out.
The official blurb on their website says : "Inspired by the soup bars of New York, we’ve packed our Fully Loaded soups with chunky fresh ingredients to provide you with a hearty and warming lunch. Made from scratch using the best quality ingredients, we spend a lot of time peeling, chopping, stirring and seasoning. Full of flavours, we know you’ll love each of these exciting chunky soups."
Sounds great, but the proof of the pudding - and the soup - is in the eating.
First of all, we tried the BBQ Pulled Pork & Bean. This is a lovely chunky mix of pinto beans, red peppers, pulled pork & smoked bacon, with a lovely smoky BBQ-flavoured stock. It's a really filling soup, perfect for fighting off the winter chill.
I wasn't sure what we'd think of the rather more unusual Nacho Chilli Chicken soup but it's actually very tasty. Inspired by the cuisine of the Southern US states, it is made with tomato, cooked chicken, tortilla chips and a dash of sour cream. That may sound like a strange mixture but the flavours all blend together and complement each other nicely. You get a definite tangy cheese flavour which works well with the chicken. I love the large chunks of meat in this one too.
On to a more traditional recipe - the classic Italian Tomato & Meatball soup, which is inspired by the streets of Lower Manhattan’s Little Italy. This soup is made with tomatoes, pork and oregano meatballs, pasta and the smallest hint of chilli. It's a total meal in a bowl and is the perfect light lunch or dinner that is ready in minutes. It didn't blow me away quite as much as the others but it is still very tasty.
And to finish off, we tucked into the hearty Chunky Lentil & Bean soup, containing Borlotti beans, Cannelloni beans, red lentils and Puy lentils with a hint of chilli and Pecorino cheese. This is packed with beans and is really filling so it's the ultimate low-calorie comfort food.
Taste aside, I love the fact that a 300g portion of any of the Fully Loaded varieties provides one of your 5-a-day and only 165-225 calories, so whichever one you choose, it's a low-fat and low-calorie option. I was actually surprised to learn how low in calories they are, given how filling and chunky they are.
New York Soup Co does even go even lower in calories with the Skinny Soup range - three recipes (Route 66 Red Pepper, New England Butternut Squash and Chunky Chicken Minestrone) at just 123 calories for a 300g serving.
I'll definitely be looking out for the rest of the range - the Chicken Jambalaya one in the Classic Soups range sounds lovely. They also have a frequently changing limited edition and the newest release - Smoky Bacon & Herby Tomato - really appeals to me too.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £2.10 for 600g
for more information : http://www.newyorksoupco.com
Disclosure : I received the whole New York Soup Co Fully Loaded range in order to write an honest review.
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