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Alternative Lettuce Soup

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Soup is a superb way to use up the last of the veg in your fridge and make a hearty meal. Soup is cheap, incredibly healthy and very tasty. This dish makes a meal on its own, and in the proportions described, will feed six easily and there'll still be leftovers for snacking or the next day's lunch.

The total cooking and preparation time is around 40-60 minutes.

The approximate calorie intake is 600 calories per pot or 100 calories per bowl (with just milk); with cream add another 400 calories on the first total - so about 160 calories per bowl.


  • 1 large iceberg lettuce
  • 200g (8oz) potatoes
  • 1 medium-sized onion1
  • 10ml/1 dessert spoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 10g (1/3oz) of chives (or a small bunch)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) chicken stock2
  • 450ml (3/4 pint) milk
  • 275ml (1/2 pint) single cream


  1. Peel and finely chop the onion and soften with a spoon of oil in a saucepan. Cover the pan, lower the heat and put the lid on the pan to help the onions to sweat and soften.

  2. Peel and chop the potatoes and the sweet potato into cubes about half an inch to an inch thick (about 2cm cube). Place into a bowl and set to one side.

  3. Shred the lettuce. You can remove the outer leaves if you wish to make sure your lettuce is clean, but this isn't necessary.

  4. Make up your stock by dissolving the stock cubes in boiling water from your kettle.

  5. Place all your vegetables into the pan with the onions - making sure to place your potatoes at the bottom as they take longest to cook. At this point the pan will be full to the brim, but just pour in all your stock. Also add the lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste) before putting the lid back on the pan. Leave to sweat down and reduce for five to ten minutes.

  6. Once the potatoes are cooked3 remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

  7. Purée by either placing the mixture into a liquidiser and blitzing the mixture until smooth, or by using a hand blender and blending while still in the pan. Be very careful at this point as either could splash back and if it's too hot it will scald you badly.

  8. Once smooth, return to the heat and add the milk and cream, mixing thoroughly into your soup4. Reheat gently and serve.

1Alternatively you could use 175g of spring onions.2You could also use vegetable stock - one and-a-half stock cubes dissolved in boiling water will do as well as fresh homemade stock.3To test if the potatoes are cooked, press a fork into the middle of the cube. If it breaks in two with little help, it's ready; if not, simply carry on the cooking process, checking every now and then. The sweet potato also cooks much quicker than normal tatties - therefore if they are ready this doesn't mean the normal potatoes are.4Don't worry if the milk and cream appear to be splitting when you add them to the soup, as this will disappear as you reheat the mixture.

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