Lentil Soup – Tried and Tasted

When the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, the WLR Taste Team are on the lookout for enjoyable, warming foods to keep their minds off stocking up with biscuits and hibernating out the winter months. Being tested this month: eight low fat soups to see if they can deliver what they say on the tin.

Table 1: Low Fat Lentil Soup Compared
Product Asda Good For You! Tuscan Bean Marks & Spencer COU Lentil & Vegetable Waitrose Perfectly Balanced Lentil & Smoked Bacon
  Asda, Good for You Soup Marks and Spencer, COU Soup Waitrose, Perfectly Balance Soup
Ranking 1 2 3
Conclusion As with many of our tests, the winner was the one that stood out as the most different. Having the lentils play a smaller role than the other soups may have swung some votes but the strong chilli flavour was definitely popular with most of the team. Very filling and satisfying though it did seem a bit too different and more like a chilli sauce than a soup. Good sized vegetable chunks in quite a thin soup. Some disagreements over the look, smell, texture and taste of this one but for overall flavour the comments were all between "a bit bland" and "rather tasty". The only soup here containing meat fails to use it to any particular advantage. The chewy, "gel-like" bacon pieces do little to improve a very average flavour.
Serving Size ½ Can ½ Can ½ Can
Calories (kcal) 142 85 100
Fat (g) 1.6 0.2 2.7
Table 2: More Low Fat Lentil Soup Compared
Product Baxters Healthy Choice Tomato & Brown Lentil Baxters Healthy Helpings Chunky Country Vegetable Weight Watchers Carrot & Lentil
  Baxters, Healthy Choice Soup Baxters, Healthy Helpings Soup Weight Watchers Soup
Ranking 4 5 6
Conclusion An unappetising "muddy" appearance and with slightly soggy vegetable pieces. Though not a firm favourite, there was some support for the flavour. Lots of big, bold chunks from a range of different vegetables but, in contrast, quite a small, timid flavour. There wasn't much actual soup, just a collection of veg in a sauce. Failed to impress the judges with looks ("baby food"), texture ("too grainy") or flavour ("carroty" yet "pretty tasteless"). The least calories by quite a way though.
Serving Size ½ Can ½ Can 1 Can
Calories (per serving) 111 95 86
Fat (g) (per serving) 0.6 0.6 0.4
Table 3: More Low Fat Lentil Soup Compared
Product Tesco Healthy Living Lentil & Vegetable Sainsbury's BGTY Lentil, Carrot & Cumin
  Tesco, Healthy Living Soup Sainsburys, BGTY Soup
Ranking 7 8
Conclusion A thick, slimy look and texture which were matched by the taste. Seemed very processed and plastic. Those who weren't put off by the colour or the smell were disappointed by the odd curry flavour and lumpy texture.
Serving Size ½ Can ½ Can
Calories (per serving) 105 84
Fat (g) (per serving) 0.5 1.6

Despite a range of efforts, not much has been done here to raise the image of the less than dynamic lentil soup. The winner, which just scraped in to the category, was almost trying to deny its roots and affect another product altogether. Although they were indeed all quite low in fat, the Tuscan Bean had the highest calories by some margin.

Low fat lentil soups may have gone off the boil for the moment but there are plenty of other flavours to try for a hearty, low fat and easy meal.

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