– Green Goddess “50 Calorie” Soup Recipe –
A Green Smoothie in a Soup Bowl!
The other title for this post should have been “you can have your bread and eat it” as this soup is SO low in calories, that when I am on a “fast day” for the “5:2 diet” (where I only eat 500 calories a day) I can actually have this soup WITH a small crusty bread roll! I could have called this “Lettuce Soup”, but that doesn’t sound that appetising, when in reality it is a lovely bowl of tasty goodness with bags of flavour and with only 50 calories a bowl. It’s almost like a hot smoothie in a soup bowl, and this soup can also be enjoyed when it is chilled, maybe on a hot summer’s day (do they exist any more?!) or when taken a picnic. IN actual fact, this would be a perfect soup for a summer picnic, either hot or cold, just pour it into a flask and make sure you pack some mugs (enamel mugs are good, as they won’t break in transit) and make sure you also pack acres of crusty bread too.
I used an assortment of lettuce leaves, herbs and green leaves in this soup – my “lettuce glut” was some Batavia lettuces that I bought from a local farmer’s market and that needed using up. I also added some rocket and a few scraggy ends of watercress; but, the soup can be made from lettuce leaves alone, and if you need an idea of what lettuce leaves would suit this soup, then I have shared some leafy beauties below, from the The British Leafy Salads website:
Leaves that would perfect to use in a soup:
COS and Romaine (Red/Green)
Cos, or romaine lettuces as they are also known, have a long, oval head of tightly packed crisp leaves. They are rich in potassium and also contain carotenoids. They are the perfect and traditional base for Caesar salads. Cos is so called as it is thought it originated on the Greek Island of the same name. (Kos)
A pale, round, tightly packed lettuce which has crisp leaves with a refreshing flavour.
British Iceberg lettuce is available from May through to October and reaches the stores less than 24 hours after picking. It stays fresh longer than any other type of lettuce, if kept at a constant cool temperature
A broad leaved kind of frisee, this has crunchy, mild green outer leaves and a pale heart. The flavour is slightly bitter, but less so than frisee. It is good mixed with milder salad leaves.
This is a spiky firm textured leaf, which is mildly bitter with a slight grainy texture. Also known as curly endive, frisee is a form of chicory, and belongs to the Compositae or daisy family. Traditionally this is combined with poached eggs and bacon in the classic French bistro salad and, mixed with other leaves, provides a great and robust bed for a variety of hot ingredients.
Thought to originate from southern Europe, rocket is very versatile and great served cold in salads, wilted in pasta or on top of a pizza. Also known as arugula, ruccola and roquette, this thin spiky leaf has a strong peppery flavour and has long had a role in Italian cookery. Dioscorides (40-90AD), the Greek physician and pharmacologist, described the leaf as ‘a digestive and good for ye belly’. It also contains compounds called Glucosinolates which are believed to have a possible protective role against certain types of cancers.
A member of the Cruciferae family, watercress has a distinctive ‘raw’ flavour, both peppery and slightly pungent. Watercress is the UK’s most historic salad leaf and, unlike other salad leaves, is grown in gravel beds, washed by flowing mineral rich spring water. The ancient Greeks called watercress kardamon and believed it could brighten their intellect, hence their proverb “Eat watercress and get wit”. The leaf is popularly eaten in soup and salads, as well as frequently featuring as an ingredient in detox juices.
Images and information: The British Leafy Salad Association
For salad recipes, visit their sister site: Salad Days – Make More of Salad
Don’t let the idea of making a soup with lettuce put you off, if you think about it, it’s no different to using any green leaves such as watercress, chard or spinach, and watercress soup is one of my all time favourites – I shared a recipe just recently here: Thrifty & Organic Meal Planner – Sausage Meatballs, Fennel, Strawberry Jelly, Watercress & Scones Recipes. By using lots of lettuce leaves in this soup, not only are you getting a soup packed with vital vitamins, but, you are also using very few calories too. If you are following the 5:2 diet, as I am, or Weight Watchers (as I am too – on alternate days) then this is JUST the soup for you, and as I said before, you can also treat yourself to a bread roll to accompany it, or maybe some cheeky little croutons! For more of my 5:2 low-calorie diet recipes, click on this link: Lavender and Lovage 5:2 Diet Recipes for Fast Days, there are more tasty soups there, as well as fish, burger, salad, sandwich, egg, kebab, stew, casserole and many more recipes. That’s all for today, see you soon with more new recipes and chat! Karen
And, as it is made from scratch and is also made with love, I am entering this into Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays
As well as my own Cooking with Herbs (Herbs on Saturday) challenge!