Watercress Soup With Quail Eggs for the #5:2Diet

A Simple and Elegant Watercress Soup for the 5:2 Diet:

Watercress is a brilliant ingredient for soups and this low calorie watercress soup is a great addition to any diet recipe collection.  The stalks in particular have a lovely peppery taste, though they can be just a little stringy.  Some recipes suggest using just the leaves, but as a bunch of watercress can cost almost £2.00, throwing away the bit with the best flavour seems a crime to me.

5:2 Diet Recipe Watercress soup with quail egg

The trick is to cook down the stalks and then, if you are in the least bit worried that they are tough, blitz and sieve the mixture before adding the more delicate leaves just before the cooking is over.  Now, while I haven’t posted a new 5:2 diet recipe for a while I thought this one was well worth sharing.  It is the result of an invitation from Philadelphia Cheese to share some of my favourite dishes made with their product.  You may remember it has featured on a number of occasions, one of my favourite summer lunches is made with tomato, a little fresh basil peter’s yard crackers and Philadelphia Lightest

I have a lovely old recipe for watercress soup that was contributed to the Food Aid cookbook by Diana, Princess of Wales.  She bases her soup on a flour roux and also uses potato to thicken the mixture.  For me, that now seems a little unnecessary, I prefer adding a generous dollop of creaminess with Philadelphia Cheese.  The ‘Lighest’ is perfect for 5:2 fast days with just 15 calories in a level tablespoon.  Delicious.

Adding in a quail egg at the end is my nod to what I think the perfect watercress soup SHOULD be.  I am not an egg lover, but I do like the visual appearance of watercress soup with a poached egg added.  My compromise here was to add in a chopped hard-boiled quail egg to each bowl of soup.  Actually I did like it and if I can ever master the art of poaching a quail egg, I will be trying just that.

5:2 Diet Watercress Soup with Quail Eggs

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Soup
Misc Serve Hot


  • 1 Medium Shallot
  • 1 bunch Watercress
  • 500ml Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Philadelphia Lightest
  • 2 Quail Eggs
  • 1 drizzle Olive Oil


Step 1 Wash the watercress and remove the leaves. Put them to one side.
Step 2 Finely chop the shallot and put it into a heavy based pan with the oil. Soften over a moderate heat till they are translucent and the edges have just started to turn golden.
Step 3 Pour in the stock and add the watercress stems. Cook for about 20 minutes till they are soft, if necessary topping up with a little water
Step 4 Blitz and, if you want a 'perfect' soup, pass the mixture through a sieve.
Step 5 Return to the pan and and add the roughly chopped leaves. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Step 6 Add the Philadelphia cheese and blitz again for a few seconds. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary
Step 7 Serve garnished with one chopped quail egg per bowlful

What I haven’t managed to do is to get the egg to look pretty.  If I’m brutally honest, it sank…and despite stirring I couldn’t get one of those beautifully artistic food blogger photos.  Just as well I am not really a recipe writer!

At around 60 calories a bowl, this is a great 5:2 diet recipe.  The protein in the egg and cheese will help keep you feeling full for longer and the watercress is packed full of vitamins and minerals.

5-2 Diet Watercress Soup

Disclaimer: I received supermarket vouchers from Philadelphia in order to test and develop this and other recipes. I was not required to write a favourable review about the product and all views are my own

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  1. says

    Ooh I really like watercress soup. I’ve never tried to make my own and this recipe looks really nice and easy to follow so I might just give it a bit of a go xx

  2. says

    I love watercress soup but don’t think I’ve actually ever made it! Loving your recipe with a little light Philly and a quail’s egg, very classy, and pretty too.

  3. says

    I make watercress soup quite frequently and the main difference is I add a lettuce too which bulks it out and thickens it a little. I sometimes stir through some fat free yoghurt at the end too. I might try Philadelphia though as it does sound tasty.

    • says

      The Philadelphia thickens it a bit, but I’ll try a lettuce too – sounds a good idea without the calories of adding the usual flour, potato or rice

  4. says

    My husband is trying this diet so any ideas for it are good for me. Luckily we always have Philadelphia in the house.

    • says

      you can buy them from the supermarket here, both uncooked and pre-hardboiled. People like them for canapes. I like them because they are much more ‘yolk’ based

  5. phoebe says

    Oooh, this looks great! i agree, it’d be criminal to chuck away £1.90 of your cress. The egg idea is great – i might give it a go. Seen it often in oriental broths, and have always been tempted!
    So thanks for that!