Hart & Soul recipe bases
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Product review: Hart & Soul recipe bases

Hart & Soul recipe bases are one of the newest products from the manufacturers of my favourite shelf-stable soups. These recipe bases will help you get dinner on the table in record time.

Hart & Soul recipe bases

These are the current The Hart & Soul recipe base ranges: Butter Chicken, Green Curry, Moroccan Tagine, Pad Thai, Massaman Curry, Laksa, Nasi Goreng, Panang Curry, Rendang Curry, Tikka Massala, Red Curry, Satay Curry, Stroganoff, Teriyaki Stir Fry. All of them come in 80g sachets that make 3-4 servings, with the exception of the Laksa which makes 2-3 servings.

All of the bases are refined sugar free (but not sugar free!), gluten free and dairy free. Some of them are vegan.

Each sachet comes with a recipe which includes the extra ingredients that will be needed to make the meal.

The bases are designed to minimise prep time in the kitchen, thus making it possible to get dinner on the table pretty quickly.

Ingredients

  • Butter Chicken: Onion, coconut sugar, rice bran oil, ginger, spices (cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, chilli, fenugreek leaves), garlic, salt, natural colouring (paprika oleoresin).
  • Green Curry: Chilli, galangal, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, coconut sugar, rice bran oil, salt, spices (turmeric, pepper), onion.
  • Moroccan Tagine: Onion, tomato, coconut sugar, rice bran oil, lime juice, salt, ginger, garlic, distilled vinegar, spices (cinnamon, cumin, pepper, turmeric), natural colouring (paprika oleoresin)
  • Pad Thai: Coconut sugar, water, coconut milk, shallot, tamarind extract, salt, chilli, shrimp paste (contains crustacean), onion, natural colouring (paprika oleoresin).
  • Massaman Curry: Coconut sugar, shallot, garlic, rice bran oil, galangal, lemongrass, salt, water, chilli, spices (cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg), tamarind extract, onion, natural colouring (paprika oleoresin).
  • Laksa: Lemongrass, shallot, rice bran oil, galangal, chilli, coconut sugar, fish sauce (anchovy (contains fish), salt), spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric), garlic, salt, dried shrimp (contains crustacean), coriander, natural colouring (paprika oleoresin).
  • Nasi Goreng: Shallot, water, soy sauce (soybean, water, salt, rice flour, sugar), chilli sauce (chilli, water, garlic, salt), tomato paste, chilli, coconut sugar, garlic, rice bran oil, soybean paste, spring onion, salt, spices (turmeric), natural colouring (paprika), wakame seaweed.
  • Panang Curry: Coconut sugar, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, galangal, salt, rice bran oil, chilli, spices (coriander seed, cumin, pepper), kaffir lime leaves, onion.
  • Rendang Curry: Water, rice bran oil, onion, lemongrass, ginger, spices (turmeric, coriander seed, cumin, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, chilli, nutmeg, star anise, pepper), chilli, desiccated coconut, garlic, coconut sugar, galangal, peanuts, salt, shallot, kaffir lime leaf, tamarind extract, starch.
  • Tikka Massala: Tomato (21%), onion, rice bran oil, ginger, garlic, water, coconut sugar, spices (coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, turmeric, chilli), salt, natural colouring (paprika oleoresin).
  • Red Curry: Lemongrass, garlic, galangal, shallot, coconut sugar, chilli, water, rice bran oil, salt, spices (coriander seed, cumin, pepper), natural colouring (paprika).
  • Satay Curry: Coconut sugar, peanuts (22.5%), rice bran oil, water, shallots, mung bean, salt, spices (coriander seed, cumin, turmeric, pepper), lemongrass, tamarind extract, chilli, galangal, garlic.
  • Stroganoff: Water, onion, tomato, rice bran oil, mung bean, soy sauce (soybean, water, salt, rice flour, sugar), garlic, coconut sugar, starch, salt, spices (cinnamon, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, nutmeg), natural colouring (paprika oleoresin).
  • Teriyaki Stir Fry: Soy sauce (water, salt, soybean, rice, sugar), water, coconut sugar, rice bran oil, starch, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, natural flavour, natural colouring (paprika), onion.

Nutrition information

The tables below show the nutrition information per serve for all the recipe bases. I have highlighted those bases that are highest in fat, sugar and sodium.

Note that the values given are per serve, considering you make 3 serves per package. You will need to adjust up or down depending on how many portions you make. In addition, also note the nutrition information is for the recipe base only, without considering the protein, vegetables and other ingredients the recipe calls for (e.g. coconut milk, oil, peanuts).

Butter Chicken
Per serve (26.7g)
Green Curry
Per serve (26.7g)
Moroccan Tagine
Per serve (26.7g)
Pad Thai
Per serve (26.7g)
Massaman Curry
Per serve (26.7g)
Laksa
Per serve (26.7g)
Nasi goreng
Per serve (26.7g)
287 216 216 360 324 312 174
69.0 52.0 52.0 86.0 77.0 75.0 42.0
1.0 0.6 0.3 0.6 0.7 1.6 0.9
3.8 2.5 2.7 0.9 3.0 4.0 1.6
1.0 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.7 1.0 0.4
7.0 6.6 6.3 18.4 11.4 7.6 6.0
3.5 3.5 4.6 17.2 8.1 3.5 3.7
1.1 0.3 0.4 0.5 1.0 0.9 0.5
420 530 560 740 999 580 630
Panang Curry
Per serve (26.7g)
Rendang Curry
Per serve (26.7g)
Tikka Massala
Per serve (26.7g)
Red Curry
Per serve (26.7g)
Satay Curry
Per serve (26.7g)
Stroganoff
Per serve (26.7g)
Teriyaki Stir Fry
Per serve (26.7g)
272 297 287 237 560 183 162
65.0 71.0 69.0 57.0 134.0 44.0 39.0
0.7 0.9 1.0 1.0 2.2 1.0 1.2
1.9 4.6 3.8 2.0 9.4 2.3 1.5
0.5 1.3 1.0 0.5 2.0 0.6 0.3
10.9 5.6 7.0 9.2 9.6 4.5 5.2
7.0 2.1 3.5 4.7 7.0 1.7 3.4
0.6 2.1 1.1 1.4 1.4 0.7 0.1
1260 280 420 620 340 270 750

Taste test

I tried all the recipes bases over a few weeks. I bought them on special at my local Woolies, so it was not a huge investment. I tried to use the vegetables, protein and garnishes recommended in the recipe whenever possible. I did use larger portions of protein for most meals and adjusted the cooking technique for a couple of dishes for better results.

I found the package very informative in terms of what extra ingredients you need to buy and the instructions were easy to follow.

All of the bases were pretty good in taste, although I liked the Asian ones better. My favourite was the laksa, followed by the green and massaman curry.

Pros

  • These bases are ideal for people who are not very confident in cooking a dish from scratch or don’t have a lot of time to cook
  • They are made with better ingredients than other curry pastes and recipe bases in the market
  • They are gluten and dairy free and most of them are vegan
  • They help you avoid buying a lot of different spices that you might not use again to prepare a single dish
  • They are shelf stable and budget friendly
  • They are widely available in major supermarkets
  • The instructions are easy to follow

Cons

  • The number of serves (3) is not very convenient if you are feeding a couple or a family of 4
  • Although the flavours are nice, you can argue they don’t taste exactly the same as the original dishes
  • It would be good if they provided nutrient information when made with the suggested extra ingredients
  • Even though these bases do not contain refined sugar, some of them are slightly high in sugar

More information

For more information head to Hart & Soul website.

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