Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Nayu's Product Review #9 Abel and Cole's soup box

As always thank you for being patient during my non blogging phase. Colder weather = much crankier body. I know I made something the other week, possibly roasted veg. I also cooked up a load of fish for freezing. 

This is an Abel and Cole picture - I didn't buy from them.
I had a mix of my favourite fish salmon fillet; rainbow trout which I haven't had for years which my grandfather used to catch for us so it has a lot of nostalgia (he died a few years ago) whose skin does have a rainbow colour (& I'm one those weirdos who enjoy eating fish skin), then a fish pie mix which I didn't put in fish pie consisting of salmon, haddock or cod, and smoked pollock which is absolutely  delicious! Of course I had to give my darling cat some because she loves fish too. She does tend to be unbothered about salmon - I never give her smoked salmon - but she enjoyed what she had. 

I think this is a picture book, but it is certainly how my body feels about the current weather. Although we've barely had any orange leaves on the trees so technically it is still autumn.
Soup seems like an essential winter food, it is warming, filling, and delicious. I make carrot soup, and other plain flavours, but recently I tried out a soup from Abel and Cole as they did their first soup box of the year. I didn't try any last year, and sadly I'm not sponsored by them (I would love to be!), so I thought I'd give it a try. I'll do it whenever the soup takes my fancy (don't think this week or next week does), but the one I've made was relatively easy to make.It was beetroot and apple with horseradish yogurt! 
Not yet taken a picture with the yogurt sauce on top, will show that in another post.

It made a gorgeous coloured soup which has a beautiful flavour. Mine is different to theirs because I whizzed it up - I don't like lumpy soups which theirs was, it feels more like a stew if it isn't blitzed but that's my personal preference.

This fancy version of their logo was taken from here.
I got everything I needed bar some extra seasoning and olive oil. I like how I even got 1 vegetarian stock cube! I know  from the website some are unhappy because the soups are no longer vegan. I don't think it would be economical for A&C to produce both a vegan soup box in addition to the vegetarian soup box because while veganism is more popular it is still a minority diet preference. Offering a vegetarian soup box means they cater to most people. I also read in the reviews that a lot where unhappy about their being just 2 soup recipes, not 3. A&C responded on the website explaining it meant they could do fancier soups. I didn't have any of them last year, and in all honesty I'm glad they made that decision. I can make plain soup flavours on my own. I use Abel and Cole's recipe boxes occasionally (sadly weekly is a bit pricey for me) because I want to try new flavours, and it means I don't have to buy a lot of ingredients I then won't use, so I'm in favour of fancier soups. 
Example of a soup box taken from Abel and Cole's website.
On to the recipe! I can cook, I don't cook lots because it is immensely tiring on my body, but when I do I enjoy it. I know the basics, but I tend to follow recipes literally. This was a minor issue because it said stir a few times in several parts of the recipe, so I did that...but because I didn't keep stirring more frequently food stuck to the pan in the early stage of the soup. Thanks to the pan it was easy to remedy. I did keep putting in water to help it unstick - I took that into account and adjusted the amount of stock liquid that I made up. It didn't affect the cooking of the veg. 

It says it takes about 40 minutes which I believe includes preparation which is done between stages of cooking. I am not the best judge of this because due to a weak body I take longer than a healthy person to prepare food. It took me 40 minutes to prep everything: I did it in advance because I struggle doing more than 1 thing at a time and I hate feeling under pressure of keeping an eye on food while then prepping the next ingredient. Cooking time was definitely under 1 hour but I'm unsure of the actual time. It was a good 2 hours before I was finished. 
I'm super happy with the results. While I cook for myself, my family had a taste and like it so much they plan on making some. There was some amusement when I realised I'd eaten it without the yogurt dip (horseradish mustard, chives, Greek yogurt) so I quickly had a few more spoonfuls with the yogurt mix - it is divine! A brilliant combination. I'm trying to work out how to replicate it: I don't eat horseradish sauce that you buy in a jar because I no longer like sauces like that (at least in jar form. Home made might be ok). I'm fine with buying and using mustard, I need to investigate how else I can get horseradish. I have to stress how absolutely yummy the mix of the sauce and the beetroot soup is. It tastes of beetroot (obviously), I was a bit wary of having apple and celery in but they aren't instantly recognisable because they are mixed in the soup. 

I'm looking forward to making the second soup probably at the weekend, it's a roasted butternut squash which uses coconut milk (I think), coconut flakes for topping in a tiny pot, plus a tiny jar of harissa which I've never used before. I genuinely love the range of food Abel and Cole provides through their organic box schemes, I've tried their smoothie boxes which are a firm favourite: they helped me eat mango more. I only like it in small doses, but trying their smoothies means I eat it more often than I used to (which was virtually never). If there are problems with an order they fix it quickly with a replacement item in the next order. 
Best organic yogurt EVER!!!!! (& I love my yogurts)
 This happened to me for a watermelon this summer which I did mention on this blog, and more recently a yogurt that should have been in date was definitely out of date before being opened. This led to me trying the River Cottage Yogurt which is unbelievably tasty! Give them a go if you haven't already, they deliver to most places in the UK (I think. Definitely in England at least). Their website is here

I'm trying to schedule another post in a few days because I then won't be able to blog until the weekend because I'm seeing friends tomorrow and Friday so need Thursday and Saturday for resting up. 

Before I forget, in relation to the first picture of this post I'm planning on making pumpkin pie soon! More on that in a future post. 

Previous Nayu's Product Review posts includes Yeo Valley Baobab Yogurt. Search for the rest using the Nayu's Product Review keyword in the right hand menu!

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