Just in case you thought it was all about eating out and indulgence, I’d like to remind you that between all the ‘Gallivant-ing’ and minibreaks, there are a fair few quiet days when it’s far less exciting than cocktails and copious courses.
When I started working for myself, people asked me if I’d find it hard to resist eating ALL the food in the house. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. You see, Mr M and I have practically no self control, which means we can’t have loads of yummy stuff in the house because it lasts approximately four seconds before it’s gone.
This means that when I have a whole day at home, my lunches tend to be hastily-concocted dishes made up of whatever’s in the fridge that day – sometimes healthy, sometimes not. So when Baxter’s Soups invited me to take part in a little challenge, I thought it would be great to get a bit of consistency in my days.
The ‘Souper Swap Challenge’ was to ditch my lunches in favour of Baxter’s soups for lunch across two working weeks. They kindly sent me a selection of 10 different soups from their ‘Hearty’ and vegetarian ranges, meaning a different lunch every day.
When I told Mr M he was a bit sceptical that soup would see me through, especially since I do try to manage to get to the gym plus take the dog out at least once a day. And I suppose generally, most of us think that soup is something that should always be served with something else, whether it’s a sandwich or just a big bit of crusty bread.
It seems not. According to nutritionist Fiona Hunter a bowl of soup is “a nutritious and filling lunch and has much less fat and calories than many other lunch time options”. And, with some soups contributing up to three portions of veg, they’re a good way of getting in your five-a-day, she says.
Nutrition aside, I was just glad to have my lunches for two weeks sat waiting for me, only a few minutes in the microwave away from being scoffed. It was nice to have a selection too – something to fit with every mood and whichever way your taste takes you.
I’ll say it now – the ‘hearty’ soups were my faves. As much as you can argue that soups have as many calories or are as filling as other meals, sometimes they just don’t feel like it. But you can’t beat the more stew-like soups with filling root vegetables, beans or pulses in them.
Of the ones I tried, I enjoyed the beef, bean & vegetable and chicken and sweetcorn chowder the most. And while the vegetarian range didn’t tickle my fancy quite so much as its heartier relatives, I still enjoyed the soups – especially on days when I fancied something slightly lighter. The garden pea and mint was a fave, though I pepped it up a bit with some extra seasoning, and the spicy parsnip was a lovely winter warmer during a cold snap.
I’ve got to say, my Souper Swap Challenge felt like it was over before it had begun. It made lunchtimes for two weeks easy as hell, and my biggest fear – getting bored – certainly didn’t become a reality.
I know there will be plenty of people out there arguing that bought, canned soups can’t be as tasty as fresh homemade one but don’t forget, you can pep them up yourself with a bit of extra seasoning, herbs and spices. Plus, they’re a hell of a lot easier to store and prepare in a wide variety of flavours so you can have a different one every day. That’ll do for me!
I was sent a selection of soups by Baxter’s for the Souper Swap Challenge so I could give the challenge a go and let you know what I thought.