Description: “Smoked bacon, green lentils, tomato, celery, onion, garlic, organic vegetable bouillon, parsley, basil, oregano and thyme.” Yep – essentially salty chunky tomato and lentil soup with a good amount of bacon in there for additional umami.
Health: 272 cals for the pot, but decent protein, low sat fat, OK fibre. Bad on salt, as you’d expect…
Taste: Moreish; good level of gentle spices, tasty bacon… maybe a little too salty. Pretty well headache inducing, actually.
Full-o-meter: Good. Good lentil/protein kick. Eaten with artisan roll, taking overall calorie count to about 440.
Verdict: 4/5. Oversaltiness lets it down, but would have it again nonetheless.
Description: “A fragrant, lightly spiced chunky blend of vine ripen tomatoes, chickpeas, British chicken and red & green lentils.” Well, mostly right. It’s not lightly spiced, there’s about a metric tonne of cumin in there, but otherwise, about right.
Health: It’s OK – 390 calories for the 600g pot, v. low on sat fat (although reasonable about of actual fat), and obv. v. high on fibre.
Taste: Hrm. This isn’t the first “Moroccan chicken soup” I’ve tasted and IMHO this is inferior to both Pret & even Sainsbury’s attempts. Overkill on the spice front doesn’t make the soup spicy so much as heavy and sludgy and the tomato flavour is almost completely lost. That said, it’s “Moroccan style” and think it does serve as a kind of tribute; the consistency and textures (spicing notwithstanding) are otherwise OK and the chicken, chickpeas and lentils taste as you’d expect from M&S – good quality produce in action.
Full-o-meter: Very good. This is a heavy soup, it should keep you going.
Verdict: 3/5. Not bad, but simply not as tasty as other soups carrying a similar name. Won’t be high on my list to have again soon.
Description: “A thick hearty soup of red lentils, tomatoes and chorizo seasoned with garlic, black pepper and smoked paprika.” Yep.
Health: Not bad, although heavy-ish for a pot this size – 422 calories for 600g. Low in sat fat, good amount of fibre.
Taste: I do like these Waitrose soups. Rich, thick red lentils, with a nice sharp tang from the tomatoes and a good amount of seasoning accompanied every now and then with a rewarding salty chew of chorizo. Yum.
Full-o-meter: Only had a half pot (with toast) but imagine this would keep you going for a reasonable amount of time.
Verdict: 4/5. A good one; more chorizo, more spice would have boosted the score (I like the spicy chorizo!), likewise a slightly lower calorie count. But a good option!