All-You-Can-Eat Vegetable Soup

by Anne Bennett on November 5, 2016

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy two months. November and December are dangerous times for those of us watching what we eat. Calorie-and-fat-laden landmines are hidden everywhere on the holiday food landscape — pumpkin pie, holiday cookies, fruitcake, and lots of cheese plates. Not to mention stuffing (ever wonder why they call it stuffing?).

Weight Watchers’ web site has several zero-point vegetable soups, and over the years I’ve tried them all. I also really like this “diet soup” from Good Housekeeping. It’s delicious on its own and also includes two variations that turn the basic soup into a complete meal, both of which are outlined below.

Keep a pot of this in your fridge during the holidays and come January you won’t be afraid to hit the scales. Think of it as a post-Christmas gift that you give to yourself. No pain, no gain, literally!

Mexican Chicken Soup variation

Mexican variation, brightened with fresh chopped cilantro and lime

The basic soup has 45 calories per cup, or zero WW points. The variations have more points depending upon what ingredients you add, but they’re still very low in fat and calories. I’ve halved the original recipe, which calls for a 12-quart soup pot. If you have that large a pot, I’ve given the original amounts in parenthesis after each ingredient. The soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, so you can make either of the variations and enjoy different flavors with minimal time and effort.

The basic recipe, unadorned.

The basic soup unadorned.

1/2 lb. carrots, sliced (1 lb. for the full recipe)
1 1/2 onions, chopped (3 medium)
2 stalks celery, sliced (4)
1 large garlic clove, minced (2)
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes (2)
4 oz. cabbage, thinly sliced (I used coleslaw mix) (8 oz.)
Scant 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and each cut into thirds (3/4 lb.)
1 (24-oz.) carton reduced-sodium chicken broth (2)*
3 cups water (6)*
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons (3 medium)
1 (6 oz.) bag baby spinach, roughly chopped (2)

Coat a large stock pot with nonstick spray and add carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes and their liquid, cabbage, green beans, broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and spinach and continue to simmer another 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Season to taste.

*You can use all chicken broth instead of part broth, part water.

The following variations turn the basic recipe into a full-meal soup.

Mexican Chicken Soup variation:

To two cups of the original recipe, add:
3 oz. chicken, cut into 1/2 ” cubes
1/3 cup corn (I use frozen)
1/4 t. cumin
1 T. chopped cilantro
Lime wedges (squeeze onto the soup when you serve it)

Minestrone Soup variation:

To two cups of the original recipe, add:
1/2 cup white beans
1/2 cup cooked small pasta
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 T. chopped fresh basil

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee January 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I’m making this tonight! Thanks for the reminder! 🙂 I think the creole shrimp version sounds delish!

Lin January 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I’ve been eating this the last two days; it is yummy. So far I have made the shrimp creole version and Mexican is tomorrow night, but it is also yummy as an afternoon snack just as it is. Great! Thanks.

Dorris Arnold November 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Love these soup rec. How do I figure out the pts pluse for Tuscan Vegetable soup

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