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.
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 a 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 ‘Lightest’ is perfect for 5:2 fast days with just 15 calories in a level tablespoon. Delicious.
Adding 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 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.
Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Vegetarian Soup
- 1 Medium Shallot
- 1 bunch Watercress
- 500 ml Stock
- 1 tablespoon Philadelphia Lightest
- 2 Quail Eggs
- 1 drizzle Olive Oil
- Wash the watercress and remove the leaves. Put them to one side.
- 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.
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
Blitz and, if you want a 'perfect' soup, pass the mixture through a sieve.
Return to the pan and add the roughly chopped leaves. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the Philadelphia cheese and blitz again for a few seconds. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary
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.
Thinking of making this recipe whether as part of a diet or not? Why not pin the post for later