Ainsley Harriott Classique French Onion Cup Soup, Waitrose 99p

The box cheerfully points out that if you mix two sachets with water and add a teaspoon of mustard it makes ideal gravy for bangers and mash. But what about as a soup, Ainsley? It smelled of coconut suntan lotion but tasted fabulous, the soup that is. 4/5

Waitrose French Onion and Cider Soup, 94p

Made with Normandy cider and red caramelised red onions. With its distinct wine smell this was also the one which tasted the most homemade. C’est magnifique! 5/5

Symington’s French Onion Soup for Tesco, 71p

Gelatinous was the word which sprang to mind while serving this. It smelled of Oxo and the copious amounts of dried onion were overwhelming. Too salty by far and it had no other real taste. 1/5

Baxters French Onion Soup, Asda 45p

With its dark, rich colour I had lofty hopes for Baxters, but alas there was no beefy taste and no onion either. In fact this insipid fare tasted more of tin than anything else, and more disturbingly, there was a distinct aftertaste of stale fish. 1/5

Knorr French Onion Soup, Co-op 59p

Forty-eight per cent dried onion. This was the lightest in colour and smelled very cheesy indeed. The onions were chopped finely in comparison with the tinned soups but at least this saves you the indignity of having stringy bits dangling off your chin. 3/5