A Rich, No-Guilt Soup to Satisfy You
Nobody likes dieting, because you have to restrict the foods you eat, consume potentially unappetizing meals and eliminate the foods you enjoy. That's why Weight Watchers is such a popular diet plan – it allows you to eat the foods you love in smaller quantities and encourages you to eat healthy foods prepared in tasty ways.
Weight Watchers works by assigning points – called SmartPoints – to different types of foods. Healthy, low-fat foods like vegetables, fruits and lean proteins have few to no points. Unhealthy, calorie-rich foods have more points. Based on factors like your weight, height, age, gender and activity level, you are allotted a daily number of points, typically around 25 to 30. Exercise helps you earn extra points each day, so you get additional points per week to use on foods you love.
This recipe is fabulous because it contains zero points – so you can eat as much of it as you want. That's because it's made with vegetables, but it's such a flavorful dish you won't realize that it's not a treat. Eat it to enjoy a tasty meal without any of the guilt. Best of all, it's super-simple to put together.
Total Time: 45 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
- 1 cup cabbage, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 box (10-ounce) frozen chopped spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh or dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (14.5-ounce) diced tomatoes
- 2 zucchini, cut into ribbons
- Chop the onions, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Put the vegetables aside in a large bowl. Mince the garlic and set it aside in a small bowl.
- In a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, saute the minced garlic for a few minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of the low-sodium chicken broth and the onion. Cook the onion until translucent, about 10 minutes.
- In a large 6-quart soup pot over medium-high heat, add the cooked onion and garlic along with the broth. Pour in the remainder of the broth along with the chopped carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and frozen spinach.
- Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, parsley, kosher salt and pepper.
- Mix in the can of diced tomatoes.
- Turn the heat up to high. Cover the pot, and bring it to a boil.
- Cut your zucchini into ribbons that resemble pasta, or use a spiral vegetable slicer to cut them into spaghetti-like noodles. Add the zucchini to the pot once it begins boiling.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until all of the vegetables are soft.
- You can also make this soup in the slow cooker. After cooking the garlic and onions, simply add all of your ingredients to the slow cooker rather cooking them on the stove. Set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours or to high for 3 hours. During the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking, add the zucchini "noodles" to the pot so they won't be mushy before serving.
- If you're short on prep time, simply use frozen vegetables instead of fresh, substituting an equal amount of them for anything you replace.
- For a bit of a kick, add a teaspoon of hot sauce or red pepper flakes.
- Note that if you add starchy vegetables like potatoes or protein like chicken, you will add points to this recipe.
- Adapted from: Food.com: Weight Watchers 0 Point Garden Vegetable Soup
- Adapted from: Weight Watchers: Fresh Vegetable Soup (0)
- Healthy Weight Forum: How Many Weight Watchers Points Am I Allowed?
- Adapted from: Hungry Girl: Slow-Cooker Veggie Soup with 0 SmartPoints
- WebMD: Weight Watchers
- Hungry Girl: Weight Watchers' New SmartPoints Diet Plan
Susan Paretts has contributed to a variety of publications about issues related to family and women's issues including Livestrong, eHow, Redbook, Our Everyday Life, Real Simple and Woman's Day among others. Her expertise is in topics related to nutrition, family, relationships and work-life balance for working moms.