There’s great comfort to be had from a cup-a-soup – especially if it is made from scratch and you know what’s in it. But it doesn’t tick the box if it takes hours to prepare.
So here’s the alternative to the packet sort, a quickly prepared version that can be ready in around 4 minutes (or less) from ingredients you’ll have in your store cupboard or freezer.
We made ours several times to try out the alternatives and it works well regardless of whether you use a tomato juice, vegetable juice (like V8), tomato soup (like Weight Watchers), passata or mixture of these as the base. We also experimented with different kinds of beans (in the pic you can see borlotti beans). You can replace these with any other canned type including baked beans in sauce. The frozen vegetables are equally as versatile – we used a mix of carrot, onion, green beans and corn but choose whatever you like. As for the noodles – thin dried vermicelli work well but if you want thicker ones then opt for a pre-cooked version or straight-to-wok type that have been partially cooked. We topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of pesto and a sprig of basil but (you’re getting the idea now) that’s up to you and optional.
We cooked and served in our Bariatric Portion, Cook and Serve Measuring Cups – the larger 12 oz/1½ cup size being generous and filling enough for a ‘normal’ non-wls portion and the 8 oz/1 cup size being ideal for a WLS portion for someone post-surgery (very early post-oppers may well find this generous but the soup does reheat well for a second meal).
It’s just the kind of wickedly cosy comfort food we want to eat at this time of year, eaten from the mug (we used our Bariatric Portion Spoon to slow down our eating to an ideal bariatric pace), after a walk outdoors, an exercise session or tiring day at work. It’s also a great meal for when cooking for just 1 or 2.
METRIC/US (LARGE 1½ CUP/1 CUP SIZE)
250 ml (150 ml)/1 cup (2/3 cup) tomato juice, vegetable juice (like V8), canned tomato soup or passata
2 heaped tbsp/1 heaped tbsp cooked borlotti beans or other cooked beans (see intro)
3 tbsp/1½ tbsp frozen mixed vegetables
15 g (½ oz)/7 g (¼ oz) dried vermicelli noodles or generous double the weight of pre-cooked noodles (see intro)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese
drizzle of pesto
sprig of fresh basil
- Pour the juice, soup or passata into the measuring cup then add the beans, vegetables and noodles with salt and pepper to taste. Heat in the microwave on FULL POWER for 2-3 minutes for the large cup size and 1¾-2 minutes for the smaller WLS size. Alternatively, bring the mixture to the boil in a pan on the hob. You need to heat sufficiently for the noodles to cook and frozen vegetables to cook sufficiently , about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir well and reheat further if required before serving topped with grated Parmesan cheese, pesto and basil if liked.
SERVES 1 ‘NORMAL’ PORTION AND 1 WLS PORTION DEPENDING UPON CUP SIZE USED
V suitable for Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION (NORMAL/WLS) using tomato juice and dried vermicelli without optional toppings: 170/88
Image © copyright Bariatric Cookery (UK) Ltd