Let’s be honest. Tinned soups don’t compare to fresh ones, so my scoring system here is somewhat separate from the ones I judge the shop-bought fresh soups by. I am somewhat disorganised at home, so rather than ensure I have an interesting fresh soup ‘in date’ and ready to go if I happen to be working from home, I have a nuclear bunker of emergency soups. This is one such emergency soup, and a staple of my emergency soup store-cupboard.
Description: The marketing folk at Heinz are pulling no punches – “A delicious fiery recipe made with tender pieces of chicken and chorizo with green pepper, onion and chunky vegetables. This great tasting soup is packed full of chunky ingredients and is full on flavour. GO BIG OR GO HUNGRY!” Superlatives aside, this is fairly accurate as descriptions go, and the meat and veg proportions are as generous as any I’ve ever seen in a tinned soup.
Health: ~330 calories per can (let’s not pretend there are two portions in a can, Mr Heinz). 12.4g of fat (4g saturates), 35g carbs (10.2g sugar), 3.6g of fibre, 2.8g of salt. It’s not winning any awards for salt or fibre, but for the heartiness of the soup I think this is a respectable scorecard.
Taste: Well, it has that somewhat glutinous texture that all tinned soup has. Why is it that tinned soup has a weird surface tension, like it’s being held in place by some internal gravity, in a way few other liquids do? As to Heinz’s superlatives: delicious is strong, though it is tasty… the pleasant taste is somewhat marred by some strange property of the way they’ve dropped the paprika bomb to imbue this soup with its ‘fiery’ flavour – it has an almost gritty aftertaste which is hard to explain and not entirely pleasant. That said; big healthy chunks of chicken and chorizo in a thick flavoursome soup (mostly flavoured with salt and paprika and tomato, but there’s nothing wrong with that) makes for a satisfying lunch from a can.
Full-o-meter: Needed toast due to the lack of fibre in the can. But it is a big soup and most people with more modest appetites would probably be sated by this.
Make it yourself: Would probably be improved, and probably not too hard to do – make a tasty, paprika spiced veg and tomato soup around some pan-seared chicken and chorizo and you’re away. And you’d deal with the weird surface tension and gritty spice issues, no doubt.
Verdict: 4/5 – pretty much as good as tinned soups get, IMO.