Tag Archives: eat

Pret Moroccan chicken soup review

Today being Hungarian goulash day at Eat, I had a look over at Pret‘s menu and decided I’d give it a try, despite some concerns over the size and flavoursomeness/health of the soups from friends on Twitter.

Description: A thick, tomato based soup dominated by Moroccan spices (cumin, chilli, paprika) and onion, with the odd lump of chicken and floating chickpea. Pret’s website lists ingredients: chicken, chick peas, onion, tomato, apricots, garlic, organic vegetable bouillon, jalapeno chilli, paprika, cumin, mint, coriander & cinnamon.

Health: At 306 calories for a 14 oz portion, this weighs in heavier on the calories but lighter on the portion than many Eat soups. But not terrible – it is pretty high in fibre and low on saturated fat and salt, which is good stuff.

Taste: Actually pretty good. Despite having spoiled my taste buds with the salty moreishness of Eat soups, this Pret offering manages to be tasty without needing to slap you in the face with sodium chloride. The soup is well spiced, the texture of the tomato and onion is just right and its a good eat the whole way through. That said, it is not as chunky as it should have been – more meat, more chickpeas, definitely needed.

Full-o-meter: Seems pretty good for a small portion – maybe the fibre content/chickpeas help.

Verdict: 4/5. A good first experience of Pret soups. I’ll probably go back there. However, the marketing hype is overplayed… on the cup is a message from someone (their founder?) talking about a customer complaining about their soup not being tasty enough, big enough, etc…. and how they’ve hired a big time soup chef, Nick Sandler, to sort them out. Well, Pret, good as your soup was today I think Eat still has you beat. So let’s see a bit more effort and yes – even bigger soup cups!

Eat Goan potato soup review- Big Simple- @eat_news

Description: From Eat – “Based on the classic Indian Aloo Gobi dish – this is a warming combination of potatoes and cauliflower, flavoured with fragrant spices and fresh herbs.” Yep, that’s about right.

Health: Hrm, not ideal for my diet – which wants high fibre and protein, low carbs & fat – this is v. low on protein as you’d expect from a veggie option, and surprisingly high on saturated fat. It suffers a bit from standard Eat salting too (lots of = good for flavour, bad for blood pressure). But 293 calories isn’t a terribly high score on the caloric front, so it made the cut.

Taste: It tastes good. Nothing outstanding – for me the absence of meat and variety in the texture prevents it blowing my mind. The chilli adds a pleasant kick, the texture is rich and gloopy, and the salt-loading ensures that every mouthful tastes good. Think smooth-blended lentil curry with potatoes (not sure if there are any lentils in there, but that’s the hint). Not uniquely Goan-y that I could detect, though.

Full-o-meter: Pretty substantial. Wins points here. Blended texture means every mouthful is a win.

Verdict: 3.5/5. Another tasty Eat soup which will win smiles from the vegetarians. I kind of wish I’d gone for the Toulouse Sausage soup which would have added some meaty substance to my lunch (I’m too carnivorous for my own good), but ultimately you can probably buy this sort of soup from the New Covent Garden guys and be equally happy, so not sure it’ll merit a rebuy for me…

(NB: Eat’s Simple Soups are often blended/veggie like this – hence my usual preference for the ‘Bold’ options, which I might stick to in the future).

Eat beef, chilli & ginger pho soup review – @eat_news

Description: Lightly spiced beef, ginger, chilli, egg noodles & fresh vegetables in a hot, salty broth, this is one of Eat’s staples – its available daily as all it takes to make it ‘fresh’ is pouring the hot broth onto the soup mix.

Health: Good on calories (307), bad on salt (1800mg of sodium, nearly a day’s recommended dosage).

Taste: Pretty good. I mean, the salt in the broth gives a pretty good umph factor (or umami, or whatever foodies call it), and the beef and crisp bean sprouts give a good contrast of flavours and textures. But for me, the ‘chilli’ is more or less absent and it feels a bit like cheating to make a dish taste mostly of salt.

Full-o-meter: Not brilliant. The use of broth, in my view, negates the value of this as a ‘soup’ as I suspect (by the theory that food suspended in water keeps you full longer, and water by itself is processed quicker by your body) that it just isn’t as substantial. That said, it is 32 oz of substance, so that should keep you going for a bit.

Verdict: 3.5/5. Pretty good – enjoyable enough to have on a semi-regular basis, but its not as tasty as its Tom Yum counterpart (although a bit more substantial), or as satisfying as the regular ‘bold’ soups. Just beware of the salt…

Eat Texan chilli con carne soup review – Big Bold

Description: From Eat: “A rich, meaty chilli with minced beef, kidney beans and peppers, spiced with chipotle (smoked jalapeno) – it’s the only authentic way to make it! Garnished with sour cream.”

Health: Quite substantial – 377 calories for the big bold – and reasonably high on sodium and fat. Still better than your average sandwich, though…

Taste: Luscious. A thin chilli, you might think would be a bad thing but it works so well as soup. The level of spice is low for someone who loves chilli as much as I do, but that means it won’t offend the broader public.

Full-o-meter: The presence of kidney beans ups the fibre content of this soup and I find it keeps me full for a fair while. Lactose intolerance means I skip on the sour cream garnish, which might add to the lasting power of this little beauty.

Verdict: 4.5/5. Very little to find fault with here. One of my top Eat Soups.

Eat chicken pot pie soup review – Big Bold

Description: Gloopy chicken, pea, carrot, onion & potato soup topped with a light pastry crust.

Health: Not the healthiest Eat soup, this scores highly on salt and calories, but on the ‘big’ (as opposed to very big) front it is not too bad – 366 calories.

Taste: Just wow. Salty, tasty, chunky, creamy, meaty – its practically a stew most days, and its a better man than me that can forego the pastry garnish. Do you eat the topping first, with the soup, or save it till the end? That’s the question.

Full-o-meter: Meh. Not brilliant at keeping you full. Relatively low fibre content and calorie count to blame there. Recommend a very big portion if you have the calories to spare (think that weighs in around 660 cals).

Verdict: 5/5. As I said, my fave soup tied with Italian Ragu & Pasta (and possibly a new favourite, Texan Chilli Con Carne Soup – review coming soon!).

Eat Italian ragu & pasta soup review – Very Big Bold

Description: Bits of light pasta suspended in a souped-up (i.e. watered down) beefy tomato ragu, topped with a smattering of delicious fresh parmesan.

Health: Weighing in at a modest 394 calories for the Very Big Bold portion, this is a pretty healthy soup to splash out on. Fat, etc., relatively low, but as with most Eat soups there’s a fair whack of salt in there, especially at the massive portion level.

Taste: This is one of my new indulgences. Having failed my driving test on Friday morning (BOO the DSA), I needed something to cheer me up before a busy client meeting and the rich tomatoey soup, tasty beef morsels and beautifully moreish parmesan are a fantastic tonic.

Full-o-meter: 32oz of soup would fill up most people, without need for bread or additional side. There have been occasions when I’ve struggled to get through it all (I tend to always find a way).

Verdict: 5/5. Tied first with the Eat Chicken Pot Pie soup for deliciousness (review pending, when its day comes up again). It is a good day when Eat serves up the Italian Ragu & Pasta soup.

Eat Hungarian goulash soup review – Big Bold

Description: Eat doesn’t provide food descriptions, so I’m just going to stick in a Googled recipe in each mini review. This is roughly what goes into a Hungarian goulash soup.

Health: Low cal, low-fat, non-dairy and relatively low salt by Eat standards, this is a pretty healthy soup. At only 284 calories for the Big Bold portion, its low even by the standards of my diet, so you’d probably want some bread to pad you out (I went for billtong – all about the protein).

Taste: Unfortunately, the lower salt content takes out some of the ‘boom’ tastiness from this soup and its a relatively bland, tomato-based beef and potato soup that’s left. The fresh chopped parsley garnish adds a pleasant fresh tang, but the potatoes are a bit flavourless and (in my portion) were slightly crunchy. But then, I’m not a mad keen potato eater.

Full-o-meter: It does fill you up – the soup is thick and textured from the tomatoes and the potatoes, so doesn’t feel insubstantial.

Verdict: 3/5. Not their finest work, but I’d probably have it again if the mood took me.

Eat Soup reviews

I love Eat Soup. It’s been a major part of helping me get through the last six months of dieting. Studies show that soup fills you up more, for the same amount of calories and I believe this to be true.

There are few other places that do as tasty, healthy soup in my neigbhourhood, and few reviews online to tell you if today’s “Big Bold” tastes of awesome or, erm, the other thing. So I thought I’d do some reviews, as I’m eating it in some form nearly every day.

First one will follow shortly – Eat’s Hungarian Ghoulash.

Incidentally, much as I love the soup, Eat themselves are a bit annoying. Big queues, occasionally surly staff and I’ve been ‘short souped’ there a number of times… I keep hoping that @eat_news on Twitter will notice, but they never do. Needless to say, I don’t eat there for free. *sigh*. Ah well, they’re nowhere nearly as bad as the Soup Nazi

Update – Eat got in touch today, apologised & offered me some vouchers to say sorry. Thanks guys, you rock! Will take a little extra satisfaction in the soups those vouchers get me, and will no doubt keep on reviewing…