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A Rich, Dreamy Soup That's Also a Breeze to Make

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As a child of the early 2000s, I distinctly remember my episodes of Rugrats and The Amanda Show interrupted by high-energy commercials for Heinz EZ Squirt Funky Purple Ketchup. And despite my sister’s and my pleas for the chance at purple-flavored burgers and tater tots, my mom steadfastly maintained that food shouldn’t naturally look like that. (This was before we learned about ube). Well, Mom, I’ve finally found a genuinely violet dish even you’d like to eat: Peppery Purple Soup.

Not EZ Squirt, but very EZ to make.
Not EZ Squirt, but very EZ to make. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Featured in British chef Gaz Oakley’s new book, Vegan 100, the soup’s base of magenta-hued red cabbage and red onions transform into a deep purple in the pot.


“Red cabbage is so nutritious and not many people know how versatile it is—this soup is a great way to celebrate it,” Oakley writes.

To make the soup, simply peel and slice your onion, shred the cabbage and a large apple, then heat everything up with some oil, thyme, and salt and pepper. Once reduced, you’ll add some vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar, and almond milk. To get everything silky smooth, blend with an immersion blender once the cabbage has softened.

I’ll never know if those vivid EZ Squirt ketchups were as delicious as I imagined, but after 20 years, I finally get to enjoy some funky purple bites.

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Peppery Purple Soup

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Serves 5

For soup

  • 2 red onions
  • 1 medium red cabbage
  • 1 large sweet apple
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 cups (750ml) vegetable stock
  • 2 cups (470ml) almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch salt and pepper

To garnish (optional)

  • Slices of apple
  • Spoonful of vegan crème fraîche
  • Sprinkling of fresh thyme
  • Chopped chives
Go to Recipe

Do you remember those EZ Squirt commercials? Was purple ketchup as good as I imagined?

Tags: red cabbage, purple