A Cheap & Versatile Soup/Sauce

4 Ingredients can make for all kinds of potential! 

This one is so simple a child could make it. Indeed, it would make for an incredibly handy recipe for any young, aspiring cook to have in their back pocket. 

We're going to make something that can double as a soup, a pizza sauce, a pasta sauce and the building block of any number of dishes. It's fresh, vibrant and, thanks to incorporating the peppers, absolutely packed with Vitamin C. 

From start to finish, this will take less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook and will yield five perfect portions (feel free to double the quantities and make more portions if desired) - ideal for freezing. While it's cooking, you could always make yourself a Lo-Dough cheesy garlic bread, ready to have alongside a portion of soup. 

Check out the steps below to turn a few basic ingredients into any number of fantastic meals.

1. You'll need 2 tins of tomatoes, 2 peppers, 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic.
Ok ok - you'll need a little oil and a little salt and pepper too.

Low Calorie Meal Peppers

2. Chop up the onions, peppers and garlic. You have the option to leave this soup/sauce chunky - if doing that, chop the veg to the size you would like them. 

Low Calorie Meals

3. Slowly fry the veg until softened. We used Fry-light to keep the calories down, but extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat and nothing to be afraid of, though obviously more calorific. Don't fry the garlic until the end - just a couple of minutes before you add the tomatoes. 

Low Calorie Meals frying vegetables

4. Add the tomatoes and for every tin of tomatoes, add a tin of water. Add seasoning to taste and allow to simmer on a medium heat for approx. 20-25 minutes.  

Low-cal meal tomato sauce

5. Once cooked, allow to cool a little then carefully liquidise in batches. You could also use a stick blender, food processor or just leave it chunky.

Low Calorie Meals blender

 6. Once blended, check again for seasoning and then allow to cool a little.

Low Calorie Meals soup

7. From the ingredients above, we managed to make 5 healthy portions, all ready to freeze.  

Low calorie meals soup portions

8. That said - we couldn't resist a taste of the aforementioned soup and garlic bread.

Low calorie Meals soup and crackers

Per Portion of soup/sauce
Calories: 68 kcal
Carbs: 8g
Fat: 2g
Protein: 3g
Fibre: 4g
Sugar: 6g

Get this - The cheesy garlic bread only adds 264 kcal and 5g carbs - not to mention 9.3g of gut-healthy fibre! 

So what else can you do with your pepper and tomato creation? 

  • Use this recipe as a sneaky way to get your kids to eat extra veg - cook carrots and celery with the other veg and liquidise into the soup/sauce to hide those nutritious veg from fussy kids' eyes and tastebuds!
  • Use one portion to coat pasta for two. Fusili or penne would work best with this kind of sauce. Serve with boiled/steamed veg and parmesan for a hearty (albeit carby) meal.
  • Use a single portion as a sauce for countless pizzas. You could always make a load of pizzas ahead and then freeze them, ready to have to hand for the upcoming weeks. 
  • Fry some mince veg of your choice and use this as the base for a ragu sauce or even a chilli con carne bowl. 
  • Loosen with a little water, add Worcester sauce, lemon, tabasco, a pinch of celery salt and measure of vodka (once the kids are in bed!) to make a delicious twist on a Bloody Mary... 

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