Taste Test: Chicken Soup

Image credit: Ben Tatman

Soup is undoubtedly an easy meal. There’s something truly hearty and nourishing about it – it’s essentially liquefied goodness. Cambridge is a stressful place at the best of times. Here, free time becomes synonymous with residual guilt, and it often feels like you could always be doing more: more reading, more writing, more lectures. I say soup is one tiny fraction of a solution to taking time out for yourself. It’s the easiest meal in the book – if you can’t make it yourself because hobs are an alleged fire hazard, you can microwave a big, satisfying pot of it and you’re good to go.

This week, I tested 3 different soups from Sainsbury’s: cream of chicken is a staple, but I wanted to mix it up a bit, so I went for three different varieties of chicken soup.

The Covent Garden classic chicken soup comes reduced from £2 to £1.50 (or, weirdly, £2.10 to £1.60 from small Sainsbury’s on St. Andrew’s Street) in a 600g paper carton, which if you have it with nothing else at all, becomes a one person serving. It tastes a bit like chicken stock and is very creamy with very few proper bits of chicken. You’re going to need to salt and pepper this one yourself because flavour-wise it is super bland.

Seemingly packed full of goodness, Sainsbury’s Chicken and Vegetable broth is £1.45 for 600g. Similarly to the Covent Classic soup, it needs its own flavouring. It’s also far more vegetable than chicken heavy, but I wouldn’t necessarily complain about this – the vegetables actually help to make it feel like a more rounded meal.

Taste the Difference Moroccan Spiced Chicken Soup comes for £1.75, reduced down from £2, and is absolutely beautiful.  Perhaps the clue is in the name, “spiced” means no need to add your own seasoning, and in a way that makes all the difference. The spices are cooked into the chicken and into the chickpeas, and for this reason it tastes a lot more homemade and a lot less manufactured.

Somehow, soup always seems to be on sale and for 25p extra I’d say go for the Taste the Difference stuff. It’s flavourful, and rich, and it makes you feel like you’re being warmed up from within. Make time for yourself. Sit with a film, sit with a friend, and slurp away.

Covent Garden: 5/10. It’s more cream than anything else.

Sainsbury’s: 6/10. Vegetables are a nice touch, but spices would be an even nicer touch.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference: 7.5/10. Tastes the way warmth feels.

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