Virgin Mary Soup – Sorted Food for the 5:2 Diet

Sorted Food with Lea & Perrins – Virgin Mary Soup:

My Father enjoyed cooking.  Only a few dishes…curry, tomato soup, mince and tatties, fried breakfast and chips.  Occasionally, inspired by one of the TV chefs of the time (Graham Kerr otherwise known as the Galloping Gourmet was a particular favourite), he’d try to be creative and cook fish or steak – usually with some invented sauce and seldom with any great success. But, for the most part his dishes involved a number of key ingredients – Lea & Perrins was always on hand and I remember that distinctive earthy smell – my Father’s kitchen.

virgin mary soup 1

My Dad’s tomato soup always included Lea & Perrins.  I don’t remember tinned tomatoes featuring, but we had a large garden and my Mother used to freeze whole tomatoes, which were perfect for making soup in winter.  The version I’ve made here is simpler and I’ve aimed to make it as close as possible to a warm Virgin Mary – a spicy tomato soup with celery undertones.  And of course, with the addition of a dash of Lea & Perrins, for me it incorporates the taste I remember from my childhood.  This 5:2 diet recipe is also very low in calories, but quite thick and comforting thanks to the extra vegetables. It isn’t a heavy soup though, no starchy potatoes, rice or lentils, and I was quite suprised at how filling it was. Perfect if you are on a 5:2 diet fast day.

5-2 Diet Recipe – Virgin Mary Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Soup
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot


  • 1 can Chopped Tomatoes (If you have any fresh tomatoes, you can add them in too.)
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock (I used Knorr touch of taste)
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 sticks Celery
  • 1 Medium Red Pepper
  • 3-4 dashes Lea & Perrins (Adjust to taste)
  • 3-4 dashes Tabasco (Adjust to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil


Step 1 Finely dice the onion, chop the celery, remove the stalk and seeds from the red pepper and chop.
Step 2 Soften the onion in the oil for 5 - 8 minutes till translucent. Then add the remaining fresh vegetables and cook gently for a further 5 minutes
Step 3 Add in the tinned tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes till the celery is soft
Step 4 Blitz with a hand blender. If you like you can pass the mixture through a sieve for an extra smooth soup
Step 5 Taste and season well with salt, pepper, Tabasco and Lee & Perrins
Step 6 Heat through over a gentle flame for a few minutes to allow all the flavours to blend
Step 7 Serve garnished with celery leaves.

Of course, the calorie count is a bonus if like me you are doing the 5:2 diet.  I find that properly seasoned foods work particularly well on a 5:2 diet fast day – usually recipes that I am happy to eat during the rest of the week.  This soup simply doesn’t taste or look like ‘diet food’.  So, worth trying whether or not you are dieting.

Virgin Mary 5-2 Diet Soup

Lea & Perrins is one of those classic ingredients that makes some of the best comfort foods even better.  Take a look at this video for how to make the ultimate cheese on toast.  Of course cheese on toast really isn’t a 5:2 diet fast day meal – but, for the rest of the week it is delicious, quick and easy.

Now if you’d like some Lea & Perrins to try, I’ve been offered five bottles for London-Unattached readers.  I’m using rafflecopter again, but this time entering couldn’t be easier.  All you need to do is let me know in the comments below what dish you’d make using your Lea & Perrins.  There’s no right or wrong answer – I’m just curious!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This recipe was developed for Lea & Perrins.


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  1. Pamela Morse says

    I have just made a tomato red pepper soup that is good like it is, but I think my next bowl will include a dash of these seasonings..just for a boost. Sounds good.

  2. says

    Snap! My dad loves using Lea and Perrins!
    I use it a lot too, but my favourite way is when splashed on crispy bacon for a bacon butty! Also essential on Bloody Mary’s and cottage pie……..

  3. says

    I love tomato soup and make something similar, Bloody Mary Soup with freshly roasted tomatoes and plenty of vodka. Its always a big hit at parties. Your version looks delicious and perfect for non-booze days.

  4. says

    Oh this is just the sort of heat I need right now, coupled with sweet and easy tomatoes..yum. I often add mexican chilies to mine with a bit of rice wine vinegar. x

  5. says

    Great idea for a soup – I am struggling to keep my diet interesting at the moment so will be coming back to this one. Thanks so much for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. I’ve pinned and tweeted this post and hope to see you linking up again soon! 😀 x

  6. Sue says

    Have taken a copy of recipe.
    Please confirm if it serves 4 dishes each of 73 calories and a serving size of 340g?
    I am not sure if the nujtrition facts below are for the Lea & Perrins or for the soup recipe.

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