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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.
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.
- 1 can Chopped Tomatoes If you have any fresh tomatoes, you can add them in too.
- 600 ml 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
- Finely dice the onion, chop the celery, remove the stalk and seeds from the red pepper and chop.
- 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
- 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
- Blitz with a hand blender. If you like you can pass the mixture through a sieve for an extra smooth soup
- Taste and season well with salt, pepper, Tabasco and Lee & Perrins
- Heat through over a gentle flame for a few minutes to allow all the flavours to blend
- 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.
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.
This recipe was developed for Lea & Perrins.