Anyone who has ever been on Weight Watchers has heard about, and tried, their Zero Points Vegetable Soup. It’s endured for decades. Why? Certainly not because of the way it tastes. Undoubtedly because it’s packed full enough with vegetables to count as a required daily vegetable serving, it’s easy, and — best of all — it’s 0 points. Yep, kind of like a Get Out of Jail Free card. It does not cost any valuable daily allotted points, nor does it use up any precious weekly allowance points.
After trying several watery versions of this tasteless soup, I decided to take matters into my own hands and treat it like a real soup. A good soup. And you know what? It tastes really good. Like something I actually want to eat.
I start out with most of the same vegetables as the Weight Watchers recipe, modifying based on whatever I have in the house, or that is seasonally available at the grocery store. But, instead of just tossing everything in a pot of boiling water — a bland way to cook vegetables — I saute them in stages to bring out their flavor and aroma. Once the soup has simmered a while, I thicken it up by pureeing with my handheld immersion blender. These couple of improvements change the flavor and texture of the soup dramatically…and taste really good, all still for just 0 points!
- 2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
- 1 medium onion(s), diced
- 2 medium carrot(s), diced
- 1 medium sweet red pepper(s), diced
- 1 medium stalk(s) celery, diced
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 medium yellow squash, diced
- 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
- 4 cups broccoli, small florets
- 2 tsp thyme, fresh, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- ½ tsp table salt, or to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper, or to taste
- Spray a large soup pot with olive oil flavored cooking spray and heat over medium high. Cook the onion, peppers, celery, and carrots for 6 or 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes until softened and fragrant. Next add in the zucchini, squash, and broccoli, then season with salt, pepper, and thyme, and cook about 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth. Finally, add the cabbage and parsley to the pot.
- Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Use a handheld immersion blender to puree and thicken the soup.