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Ah Heinz, what would my childhood have been like without you? What would I have put on my chips if not your ketchup? What would I have put on my toast if not your baked beans? Actually the answers are: number one salt and number two butter/jam/nutella/ scrambled eggs. I don’t actually remember eating all that many Heinz product when I was very little. It was only as I grew older that I started eating them. And yet we always seemed to have a Heinz tin or two in the larder.
I fist came across Heinz Tomato soup one Sunday night. I was looking for something for my dinner. My sister had opened a tin of Heinz soup but didn’t like it. So I tried it and quite liked it. Alas there was not enough bread to go with it so I could not finish it. But we got more bread and I ate more soup. It was the kind of meal I could easily prepare for myself. The can had a ring pull top and you can heat the soup up in the microwave. For several years it became a staple food in my diet.
However for some reason I stopped eating quite as much of it as I once had. In fact it had been at least a year since I last had any. However moving away from home and living at catered halls had necessitated what I call “emergency back-up food”. To fit the criteria the food must be quick to prepare, preferably only require a micro-wave or the addition of hot water, involve a minimum of washing up and not need refrigeration. Strolling down the soup aisle in Asda I came across Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup in a microwaveable cup. Into the basket it went.
You can still buy Heinz Tomato soup in cans. The cans come in two sizes: large with 400grams of soup in it and mug size (a.k.a “for one”) which has 300grams of soup. My micro-cup had 275grams of soup in it and I paid just under £1 for it. The mug size cans cost about £0.49 from Asda and the standard size cost about £0.59 or £2.29 for four also from Asda.
The cans and indeed the cup are instantly recognisable. They are red in colour with the famous shaped Heinz label in black on the front. The words “Heinz” and “Cream, of Tomato Soup” are in white letters which are really distinctive against the black background. Along the edges of the label there are little vines of cartoon tomatoes growing to reflect that this is tomato soup. My cup also came with a very fetching red plastic lid with a hole in the top to allow you to drink the soup. The label on my cup also said “Microwaveable cup”. The label also says ready to serve. Unlike some soup companies Heinz do not seem to sell condensed soup that requires you to phaff about with milk and water and end up with two liquids that won’t mix. The label also claims that one serving of this soup will provide you with one of your five fruit/ vegetables a day.
Heating the soup up couldn’t be easier. My microwaveable cup has a set of instructions that any idiot could follow. You shake the soup, remove the cap and inner film, replace cap, put cup in microwave and heat for the correct time according to your microwave, let it stand for a minute, stir and then eat immediately. The canned soup can either be heated in the microwave (in a suitable dish or mug) or warmed up on the hob.
I duly followed the instructions. Cold, the soup looked and smelled the same as I remembered. It is an orange-red colour with little flecks in it. It smells tomatoes, but not fresh tomatoes it smells more like cooked tomatoes. After nuking it and letting it stand I am rewarded with my warm soup. I eagerly await the first taste as the tomato aroma wafts up and makes my mouth water.
The first thing you notice is the smooth, rich texture that just glides down your throat. This soup is 100% lump free. Then the taste hits. It is a rich, instantly warming tomato flavour with a slight tang as you swallow it. It is not too spicy or too herby. The addition of the cream gives it a wonderful richness but the dominant taste is that of the sweet, juicy tomato that has been gently and slowly cooked to release and concentrate its sweet flavour. (By the way tomatoes make up 77% of the content of this soup).
This soup has got to be one of the ultimate winter warmers or for that matter comfort foods. What could be better than on a cold winter’s nigh coming home to this rich warming soup? Even its colour is warming. I highly recommend it as a snack or to make it a main meal add a couple of slices of soft, white bread to dunk in the soup. The bread soaks up the soup and the contrast is colours and textures is divine.
The only complaint was that the soup seemed somewhat thinner since the last time I had it. However that is not enough to put me off. I will definitely be buying more Heinz Tomato soup. My reasons are simple: it is quick, tasty, and warming. I also daresay that it is much healthier than a Pot Noodle.
I would recommend this soup to anyone. Of course it is probably even healthier to make your own soup, probably tastier too. I do know that soup is easy to make but when you are in a situation like I am, that is where you don’t have the time nor the utensils to cook, this soup is perfect. It would be good to have some in the cupboard for a healthy warming snack in the winter, perhaps for when the kids come home from school. However if you don’t like tomatoes or are lactose intolerant then you may want to steer clear of this soup.
I think the microwaveable cup is a great idea because it means that you can take the soup into work with you (if you have a microwave at work) and because it means even less washing up. The only thing you would need to wash is the spoon you used to stir it but then again that too might be plastic.
Overall I have to say that I love Heinz tomato soup. It is definitely one of their better soup flavours that they have on the market. In fact I have been in some very fancy hotels that when I ordered tomato soup what I got tasted suspiciously like Heinz. For the purposes of this review lets say that this probably says more about Heinz than the hotel I was staying at.
i used to love this before i realised there were quite a lot of calories compared to 'healthier' versions... although heinz went to EVERY supermarket in the UK and replaced them all didn't they? :P M x
oblivious0r 08.11.2004 21:39
i love heinz soup though i'm not keen on tomato soup
busby19782002 04.11.2004 14:30
Nice op! Interestingly this is the only tomato soup I like!