Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Vegan MoFo VI, Day 23 - Soup!

Today's post is gonna be another cop-out because I realised that I don't have anything for my lunch for tomorrow unless I buy another can or carton of soup.  I'm a little tired of store-bought soup, so I'm gonna make some scramble, which I've blogged about extensively.  So instead, I'm gonna talk about ... store-bought soup!

It's proper soup weather in Edinburgh, and that was especially true today.  It was a pretty crappy day to start with, and then the haar rolled in.  It's been misty and dreary all day.  Today was the kind of day where you can't imagine eating anything other than soup.

Since I'm trying to lose weight, I've also been relying on soup for my lunches when I don't have anything to bring from home.  I don't know of any store-bought vegan soup that's particularly calorific, if only because they aren't loaded with meat and cream and stuff.  It's also pretty easy to find vegan soup at the store, whereas you're less likely to find sandwiches or other ready-made lunch-type foods that are suitable.

The only problem I have with store-bought soup is chunkiness - I'm a big fan of pureed soups (generally, though I also love a soup full of barley).  It's pretty difficult to get a smooth vegan soup from a can, so I've gone through a bit of trial and error trying to figure out which soups have the right chunks (e.g., potatoes, beans, carrots) or are smooth enough to not put me off.

My go-to brand is usually Baxters - they make quality soup and (usually*) label them if they're vegan.  They're also sold in pretty much every big-box store in the UK.  I think I used to like one that had butternut squash, but I kinda went off it last year, so I'm not even sure if they make it anymore.  My current favourite of theirs is the Carrot and Butterbean.

I also like Tesco's tinned lentil and veg soup.  I'm not sure if that's exactly what it's called, but it's in their low-cal range, and an entire can is, I think, 180 calories - not bad.  Tesco have also just released a couple of vegan soups in their fresh cartons.  I'm 99% certain that the Lentil, Bean and Barley and the Mexican Chili Bean soups are both vegan.  I tried the first yesterday and really liked it, though I would've preferred more barley and fewer chunks of tomato.  I tried the other one today, and it was just awful.  The potatoes were so undercooked that they crunched.  Tesco is getting a strongly worded email from me.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list of store-bought soups.  I mainly buy soups for lunch, and I only have a Tesco nearby, so I can't really speak to the options at Sainsbury's, Morrisons, M&S, etc.  Maybe I'll do another soup review if I get another job that happens to be near a different shop.

*I picked up a revamped can of Carrot and Butterbean today that didn't specify, so I'm wondering if they've changed that practice.  That would suck since it's the quickest way to determine if I need to bother reading the ingredients.

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