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Monday, 6 November 2017

Healthy, Autumn Soup!

One of my favorite things to eat in autumn is soup. It’s quick, easy, nutritious and healthy. When I was in my final year of University last year, picture a freezing cold me, in a dressing gown, wanting a hearty meal but without always having the time to make it. I was looking around the supermarket and that’s when I clicked: soup. Gone are the days of heavy sugar-added soups with preservatives, but nowadays, I see soup as hearty, healthy and usually a good way to get my vegetables. Cosy up with me for a lunch-time snack, autumn style.

My Mum taught me how to make my own vegetable soup last year, it was pretty easy but it didn’t have the vavavoom of shop bought soup, it was however, fully healthy. As easy as it was to make, I tend to live out of hotels at the moment so rarely have the time to make it. I'd like to start by saying on this post, soup can be very easy to make in the comfort of your own home, it just depends which type you make. 

This week I have been challenged by Heinz to re-create their natural soup, to show how much easier it is to buy their soup. Disclaimer: One of the best and most affordable soups I used to buy was Heinz, their tinned spring vegetable soup beats every other soup when it comes to sugar, salt, calories etc so I used to stock up on it in my University flat and know I’d always be getting my veggies on rushed days. I'm that girl who looks at the nutritional values on everything so I don't put any added nasties into my body and this one was always so low. I’m already a consumer and customer of Heinz so was really excited to hear about Heinz Soup of the Day, a range of delicious, fresh-tasting soups that taste as good as the day they were made. 

making soup at home
Every recipe in the range has been made by chefs from natural ingredients, carefully combined and gently simmered to let their flavours shine through. There’s no added sugar across the whole range which is a big yes yes for me. I always say on all my health and fitness posts, when looking for things to buy, simply look for saturated fat and sugar amounts. Usually, if they’re low, you’re good to go. The crazy amount of added sugar in so many things angers me, which is why I’m always cautious with soups but they do exist. I like sugar, but in my cake please, not in my sandwich... 

When I first got the new Heinz Soup of the Day, I wondered how they’d kept it fresh? But they seal the fresh soup into cartons, meaning there’s no need for any artificial preservatives, colours or flavours. 

They don’t even need to be kept in the fridge. It’s quick, convenient and tastes good too. 

There’s also 1 of your 5 a day in 1/2 a carton when eaten as part of a balanced diet. I tried Carrot and Coconut but you can also get Tomato, Roasted Garlic & Black Pepper, Green Garden Vegetables Chicken, Parsnip & Rosemary Potato & Leek with Chives Spiced Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Carrot too.

Heinz have chosen myself and a few others to do a 'Souper Fresh Taste Test', to make soup at home using the exact same ingredients and recipe as Heinz Soup of the Day uses and then rate it. 

Recipe for the Fragrant Thai Carrot & Coconut soup if you fancy making it at home, because let's face it, when we do have the time, the satisfaction and taste of homecooked food is so delicious. 

1 x tablespoon of olive oil
One small white onion, peeled and diced
1 x clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon Thai yellow curry paste
4 x medium / 3 x large carrots, peeled and diced
1 X topped and tailed stick of celery, chopped
1 low-salt vegetable stock cube plus x 1.5 cups (350ml) water
1 x tablespoon (15ml) coconut cream
1 x tablespoon (15ml) single cream
1.5 x teaspoons cornflour

Knife for chopping
Vegetable peeler or knife suitable for peeling Chopping board

Measuring jug Measuring spoons Hand blender

Wooden spoon Kettle
Add the oil to the pan and heat on medium / high heat until oil is shimmering
Add the diced onion, garlic and Thai curry paste
Fry gently until onions are soft and light brown in colour Add the carrots and celery and fry for 2-3 minutes

Put the kettle on to boil and when ready, dissolve one stock cube in 350 ml of boiling water
Add to the pan, stir, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes

Take the soup off the heat and blend it to an almost- smooth consistency
Add the coconut cream, single cream and cornflour and stir through

Take the pan back to a gentle heat and let it simmer for 2 minutes
Pour into a bowl, add a small pinch of salt to taste 

Heinz soup of the day natural
There are a lot of ingredients inside this soup, which is probably whilst it tastes so good but it is a real faff to make it at home due to the amount of flavours and ingredients within it so I'd say this particular soup is a medium on the scale of hard-to-make-soup haha. You'll definitely feel a sense of accomplishment and of course, home-made soup is delicious but I rarely have the time. Must make time. 

I've rated my own home-made version below: 

Time - Having to go to the supermarket for all the separate ingredients and preparing = over 2 hours out of my day, it wasn't just vegetables I happen to have in my house but it would be easier if you already had the items or ordered them online.

Taste - Delicious but hard work to get there because it does need all the different spices and stuff to make it taste nice.

Heinz Soup of the Day rated:

Time - Obviously it's much easier, order it online with your online shop or pick it up when doing your shopping and as it doesn't even need putting in the fridge, stock up on it for those 'I can't be bothered to cook but want to put goodness inside my body' days. Slice some fresh sourdough and enjoy for a nutritious and quick meal. 

Taste - Obviously delicious, it tastes fresh and smooth, just how I like it. Warming, autumnal and good for me. 

So there we have it, of course, making fresh soup at home is delicious and satisfying but we don't always have the time or the ingredients, with the Heinz soup at home, of course, it's easier to grab a carton than to make it yourself and of course, making one at home yourself may taste *slightly* better because your blood and sweat have gone into it and there's that sense of accomplishment, but this is a great healthy and natural snack when you just don't have the time. I'm big on fuelling my body with goodness and I love that I can grab a carton of hearty soup now that's got nothing bad added to it. Bravo Heinz and thank you!

Do you make soup at home? Do you like soup? What are your favourite autumn foods? 

*I worked with Heinz on this post but as always it's 100% my honest opinoon. 

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