by Anne Bennett on November 9, 2017

Announcement! Announcement! To all weight conscious eaters who have loved…and lost…the original recipe for Weight Watcher’s legendary Zero-Point vegetable soup, here is an awesome, new and improved soup that’s even more filling (if that’s possible) and delicious.

This recipe comes from the editors of Eating Well Magazine, who used the famed Weight Watcher soup as inspiration for their own low-calorie version of minestrone. This one’s got a few WW Points, but I don’t mind one bit because this soup is a full meal with protein from kidney beans and Parmesan cheese.

You’re going to need a big pot to make this monster soup. I used my 7-qt. Dutch oven and it was pretty much full by the time I got all the vegetables in. And there are a lot of vegetables! This recipe is eminently flexible: you can substitute other vegetables and you can also add cooked chicken, pasta or brown rice to make this even more satisfying.

Perish the thought of making a half-batch of veggistrone. Online reviews say that it freezes beautifully for up to several months. I bought 3-cup Glad containers and froze leftovers for future soul-warming winter meals.

Final thoughts: please don’t consider this amazing soup as just a weight loss tool. Think of it as a completely painless way to follow Mom’s admonition to eat your vegetables!

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)
2 cups chopped celery (4 medium stalks)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 medium)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chopped cabbage
3 cups chopped cauliflower (about ½ medium)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)
2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
1 bay leaf
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
10 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 13 to 15 minutes. Add cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more.

Add broth, water, tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer for 10 minutes more.

Discard the bay leaf. Stir in basil. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.

WW SP per serving (2 big, filling cups): 4

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