Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they? where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…
This week it’s…Soup…Why “Soup” ?…it’s soup because one of my regular readers and commenters the lovely Liz Gauffreau poet and author asked me to… Liz said, “ I’d be interested in your take on real soup made from scratch versus processed. For me, the processed soup just doesn’t taste right“…so I rescheduled this Friday’s post for next week and bumped all my posts forward a week…
I decided that I would use two of the most popular soups as examples however if you put your favourite soup in google and ask what the ingredient are it brings them up…easy to do…I also used Heinz soups as an example…
Chicken Soup…Heinz…for starters it only contains 3% chicken below is a list of all 18 ingredients…
Water, Chicken (3%), Modified Cornflour, Rapeseed Oil, Cream (Milk), Dried Skimmed Milk, Wheat Flour (contains Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Flavourings, Milk Proteins, Cornflour, Salt, Yeast Extracts, Onion Extract, Stabiliser – Polyphosphates and Sodium Phosphates, Garlic Salt, Spice Extract, Colour – Beta-Carotene.
Polyphosphates and Sodium Phosphates…
Sodium phosphate can be found in fast food, deli meat, processed meat, canned tuna, baked goods, and other manufactured foods. It serves a variety of functions:
- It thickens food. It stabilizes the texture of processed foods, such as mashed potato mixes.
- It cures meat and meat products. It helps to keep deli meats and bacon moist, avoiding spoilage.
- It’s a leavening agent. It helps dough rise in commercially prepared cakes and breads and in cake mixes.
- It’s an emulsifying agent. It acts as a stabilizer to keep oil and water mixed together in certain types of food, such as processed cheese.
- It balances pH levels in processed food. It stabilizes the balance between acidity and alkalinity, extending shelf life and improving taste.
Food-grade sodium phosphate is categorized by the FDA as GRAS, which means “generally recognized as safe.” This may be because the amount of sodium phosphate added to processed food, is relatively low…however studies found that sodium phosphate, when used as a food additive, can impact health differently than naturally occurring phosphate. This is because it’s absorbed differently by the body…
By contrast, my homemade cream of chicken soup only has 8 ingredients…generally, I make an old fashioned chicken soup the same as my mum’s a clear chicken soup made from chicken carcasses and vegetables but for comparison purposes, I have chosen to share a cream of chicken soup.
2 cups of good chicken liquid stock or homemade chicken stock.
- 900 gm of chicken, skin removed
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 med leek, trimmed, halved, washed and chopped.
- 50 gm butter
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.
Tomatoes (89%), Water, Modified Cornflour, Sugar, Rapeseed Oil, Dried Skimmed Milk, Salt, Cream (Milk), Milk Proteins, Acidity Regulator – Citric Acid, Spice Extracts, Herb Extract…
In fact, in amongst the ingredients of Heinz canned soups – one of which is Cream of Tomato soup …you’ll find not only a dash of polyphosphates and sodium phosphates but some beta-carotene colourant, modified cornflour for thickener and two teaspoons of sugar per serving. Yummy…Not!
Homemade Tomato Soup…
- 8 or 9 tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 3 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
- 2 small yellow onions, cut into wedges
- 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 5 cups homemade vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375F/190C
Grease two baking sheets and place tomatoes skin side down on one, then lightly coat the peppers and onions in olive oil and place on the other baking tray also throw the unpeeled garlic into the tray…Pop it in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes.
When the tomatoes and peppers are roasted heat your vegetable stock in a pan big enough to take the tomatoes and peppers. Add your roasted tomatoes and peppers to the vegetable stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
Allow your soup to cool slightly and then either use a stick blender or your liquidiser blend to your desired consistency… I prefer mine a little chunky. Taste and season.
Serve with a swirl of cream or natural yoghurt if liked…
To summarise although my tomato soup has about the same amount of ingredients mine consists of fresh vegetables and spices…I roast my tomatoes and peppers to bring out the natural sweetness and there is no added sugar…it is the closest tomato soup I have made which is very similar to my favourite processed Heinz soup BUT without the additives…
I hope this has been helpful to you Liz…
Thank you for reading this post and as always I look forward to your comments xx