Pea and Courgette Soup with Fresh Mint – Low Calorie, 5:2 Diet Fast Day Summer Lunch:
Soups and summer cookery have never seemed to sit together very happily for me. And that has been a challenge because diet soups have been the cornerstone of many of my 5:2 fast day meal plans. But I’m pleased to say I’m now a convert and this low-calorie diet soup made with peas, courgettes (zucchini if you are in the USA or Italy) and a handful of fresh mint made a perfect summer lunch.
When I was at University I used to spend my summer holidays working in a frozen food factory. Students were generally put to work in ‘quality assurance’, which meant we got to check each batch of frozen vegetables, making sure the temperature was right, anything diced or sliced was the right size and the vegetables were good quality (we even got involved in taste testing for certain buyers). It was the best casual labour job in the factory. For most of the time.
If we ran out of fresh vegetables to process, we’d move across to the packing warehouse and help over there. And one of our tasks was to make minted peas. That involved a large tub of something green and slimy, smelling of toothpaste that you might have thought had come out of a horror movie being dispersed over the frozen peas as they were packed. Then we had to cook them up and taste them to check that the mix was right. It’s taken a long time for me to be able to face eating mint again…and even now I really don’t like minted peas as a vegetable option. But this Pea and Courgette soup makes the best of seasonal vegetables, benefits from just a little fresh mint and is completely different to the heavily minted peas that we used to make in the 1970 and 1980s.
This diet soup is very quick to prepare and uses peas and courgettes which are in season at the moment and which those lucky enough to have a garden may just have a glut of at the moment. I’ve found that by adding courgettes (zucchini), the whole soup is lighter, fresher and rather lower in calories than a regular pea and mint soup. Perfect for a 5:2 fast day lunch – or for that matter for lunch on one of those very hot summer days when you just don’t want to eat anything too much. You can eat it cold if you like, although I prefer this pea and courgette soup hot, with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.
Now, this is actually a great 5:2 diet recipe for me; I love soups but was looking for something a lot lighter than the sort of soups I made for the 5:2 diet throughout winter and spring. Somehow when the sun is shining outside, spicy tomato and lentil soup just doesn’t seem right! This one has around 90 calories for a bowlful including a nice spoon of zero fat Greek yoghurt.
It’s vegetarian as well as using very seasonal ingredients. A perfect low-calorie summer soup!
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