Fat free pea and lettuce soup is healthy, delicious and really easy to make, especially in a power blender. Slimming World Syn Free too. Vegetarian, Vegan and Paleo Friendly.
Can there be a more characterless salad ingredient than iceberg lettuce? Granted it is nicely crisp and it adds a certain amount of crunch, but it is really not very exciting. I think much of the appeal, for caterers, at least, is that it is inexpensive and fairly long-lasting so is unlikely to go to waste.
My usual solution to an iceberg lettuce in my veg box to braise it; the cooking renders the dull iceberg delicious – buttery, nutty and subtly bitter. The French cook lettuce all the time and I think that it is something that we should do more often. The other day I found one of my university notebooks – with a suitably frugal recipe for a lettuce & chickpea soup, which, combined with the braised iceberg led to a recipe for a fat-free lettuce and pea soup. Of course you could add a handful of lettuce to any soup you were making and it would work well.
On a hot day I do not want to turn the oven on or use the hob, so I made this pea and lettuce soup in my Optimum 9400 blender from Froothie, which, due to the friction from the speeding blades will heat as it blends. It really is as easy as bung it all in and go, but this would also be quick to make in a pan on the stove then whizz into soup with a stick blender once cooked. You could also make this pea and lettuce soup in a Thermomix or any other type of cooking food processor.
The pea and lettuce soup recipe itself is very simple. If using a blender, just put most of the peas and all the other ingredients into the jug, switch it on, turn it up to maximum and leave it for five minutes. If you’re using a small jug, start with half the lettuce and then once that’s blended together – which will only take a moment – you’ll find that there’s plenty of room for the remaining leaves.
I generally use Japanese ingredients from Clearspring, their range is largely organic, but more importantly is made by artisan producers using centuries old traditional methods. If you do not have miso, then leave it out and add a little more soy sauce or tamari.
If you are following 5:2 diet or intermittent fasting, this would make an excellent lunch, with only 15 calories per 100g of lettuce you could probably consume gallons of this and still lose weight; although do read the label of your soy sauce as some brands are laden with sugar! If the slight, but not unpleasant, bitterness bothers you, I recommend a drizzle of oil to counteract it. This soup makes a perfect Slimming World Syn Free meal and also freezes well. Of course you can pimp this up but it is delicious without any additions like the classics of cream or potato.
Fat Free Iceberg Pea and Lettuce Soup – Recipe Variations
- Mix up the flavours – use other types of lettuce
- For a more indulgent soup stir in some cream or milk
- Garnish, garnish, garnish – top with croutons, grated cheese or crispy bacon!
- Add lots of herbs; parsley, coriander (cilantro), chives etc for extra taste and colour, or add a good squeeze of lemon
- Stir in some mashed or finely chopped cooked potato once the soup is made. Don’t blend in the potato as it will break down the starch containing cells and the soup will become sticky and gloopy
Traditionally lettuce soup has been known as a cure for insomnia due to its sleep inducing effects. Whilst wild lettuce soup might still make you sleepy most of the sleep causing narcotics have been bred out of modern lettuce, so you can have a big bowl of this for lunch and still concentrate in your afternoon meetings!
For another more hearty fat free soup you might like my fat free slow cooker root vegetable soup. Simply bung all the ingredients into the slow cooker or crock pot, cook then blend, for a healthy melting soft velvet textured soup.
Recipe: Fat Free Pea and Lettuce Soup
- 1 iceberg lettuce – or other lettuce – roughly chopped
- 2 spring onions
- 1 small glass vegetable stock
- 1 tbs soy sauce or tamari
- 1 dsp sweet white miso
- 1/2 cup peas – I used frozen petit pois – defrosted and warmed
- Pepper & Salt to taste
- Fresh herbs and chilli flake for garnish
- Place all the ingredients apart from the peas into a power blender and blend at high speed for about 5 minutes until steaming hot. Check the seasoning. Add the peas (reserving a few for garnish) and blend for a few more seconds so they retain some texture.
- Serve immediately garnishing with the reserved peas, chopped fresh herbs and a sprinkling of chilli flake.
- This recipe is 3 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
Originally published June 2013 – updated June 2017