When I’m doing an MM day (my fast diet day/5:2 diet day – call it what you will) I don’t like to think too much about food. As one who thinks about food all the time, this is not always easy! I’m sure I’ve said this before, so I apologise if I’m repeating myself. Over the winter I ate lots of soup and the during the summer I’ve eaten lots of salads. Occasionally, when I haven’t anything prepared, I’ve bought an M & S soup – tomato and basil – because the calories are given on the back. BUT. I really like to make my own soup. I particularly liked the texture of the M & S soup as it wasn’t smooth. My first attempt resulted in a delicious soup but the texture wasn’t right as there were bits of carrot, leek and onion, so I decided to purée the whole lot. My second attempt has resulted in a soup which is much closer in texture to the M & S one and tastes delicious. With this one I puréed the base (onion, carrot, leeks, garlic and tomato purée) then added everything else. Here’s my version of the tomato and basil soup and I’ve worked out the calories for you.
tomato and basil soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, sliced (160g)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped/grated
1 large garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons tomato purée
3 tins chopped tomatoes + 1 can of water
3 teaspoons sugar
lots of fresh basil
salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a casserole and sweat the leeks, onion, carrot and garlic gently until soft. If you feel it’s sticking a little, add a tablespoon or two of water rather than more oil. Add the tomato purée and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Take off the heat and purée – I added some of the water and used my stick blender. Now add the tinned tomatoes, sugar, and the rest of the water, some salt and pepper and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Purée about some of the basil with a little water and chop the rest and add at the end – it’s up to you to decide how much you like. Check the seasoning and that’s it!
These quantities gave me 7 x300g portions which worked out at 105 calories per portion (give or take a calorie or two). Of course, if you have an abundance of home grown tomatoes you could use them instead of tinned.