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.
This looks delicious! Might have to try a variation for our no-starch RGB dinners. 🙂
This kind of recipe can be strengthened nutritionally by adding a healthy grain like quinoa. It will soak up the excess soupy fluids and add a nutty flavor while providing all the required protein chains. I use quinoa often to complete my vegetarian main and side dishes.
although not technically a zero point soup due to the addition of oil spray it is still very low and is still delicious 😉
Divided into 12 servings, it does still come out to zero points per serving using olive oil spray. It takes 10+ sprays to equate 1 point. I use 2-3 sprays, which get divided up among 12 servings.
You do realize that the addition of olive oil makes this soup more than zero points? Also, lots of people puree the soup, its certainly nothing new, as the 5000+ reviewers can attest. Sorry.
I’m sorry to sound so bitchy, its just that everytime i hear about someone’s “amazing version” of this soup, it turns out to be someone else’s “amazing version” of this soup. If you’re going to take the time to post a recipe, make sure you do your research. The best improvement to this soup is ff beef broth and tomato paste. Not my idea, Btw. Just read the reviews!
Bitchy is an understatement. I’d say you have too much time on your hands if you’re trolling the internet to police 5,000+ reviews of this soup (perhaps you need more activity points in your days?).
This recipe doesn’t use olive oil; it uses olive oil spray, which takes 10 sprays to even generate 1 point. So yes, my 2-3 sprays total, divided by 12 servings do still make this a zero point soup.
Unlike you, I don’t base my recommendations off of recipe”research” (BTW, I am a research librarian) or just reading recipe reviews. I base my recommendations off of my own tastings and my own cooking. Nor do I waste my time arguing about a “best” recipe with others since taste is subjective.
As a successful Lifetime Weight Watcher at goal, I like to encourage and equip weight loss and healthy living success in others by sharing the recipes that have helped my own WW journey. THAT is why I “take the time to post a recipe” on my own blog rather than trolling the internet and trying to tear others down.
I’m on your side, Colleen. That comment was pretty uncalled for. I really appreciate this modified recipe. Like you I’ve made WW 0 pt soups in the past and was thoroughly unimpressed. This version actually tastes good! Even my meat and potatoes husband liked it. I did stray a little from your version. I only blended some of the soup and left some veggie chunks in it. It’s pretty yummy. Thanks so much for your take on this recipe.
Point taken, Colleen. I want to apologize to both Colleen and her reviewers for an unfair and biased review of this recipe. I actually love reading about “variations” of well-known and much -loved recipes, and my lack of respect for this one was unfair and unfounded. I was wrong about the olive oil, as it was in fact, olive oil spray. The anonymity of the Internet makes it easy to criticize others, and I don’t want to be another one of those jackasses. I’ve learned not to respond with such flippant attitude. My apologies.
Your comment is very kind. Thanks for taking the time to hop back on. I hope you come back.
how many calories per serving would this be?
And yes, I do need more activity points in my day. ;( Good point.
We all can 🙂
Thanks for being so forgiving about my comments. After I read your reply I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Sometimes it takes a good kick in the ass! I’m sure I’ll still troll the recipes… Just more quietly 😉
These are old posts, but for a change I am feeling warm and thankful reading these posts. You guys are lovely people. I hardly ever see this kind of interaction–forgiveness on the internet?! Hugs to everyone. I think I’m going to make some soup!
I’m going to try your recipe this weekend! I love the fact that you sauteed all the base veggies first, I find that makes any soup or stew taste incredible!
This version of the zero soup was fantastic. I am not a creative cook and am very thankful to those who can cook creatively. Thank you and thank you again.
This looks good although I have always thought the original version was good, too. I have also seen Mexican, Asian, and Italian takes on the soup which I am going to try….Low Point Soup! What’s not to like?
The recipe suggestion is great. But here is what I’m most impressed with – the friendly resolution of opposing arguments, including apologies. I respect both of you tremendously.
Do you think frozen veggies would work in this?
I used frozen broccoli, but the rest of the veggies were fresh.
Made this soup at the weekend and both my partner and I loved it so much so I’m making another batch this weekend…!
Thanks for the recipe
Thank you for this recipe — love it! Blending it makes it so much more flavorful, and even more filling, I think. Will be putting this tasty soup into regular rotation.
Great recipe thanks so much. I roasted all the vegetables for an even more intense flavour.
Great idea, thank you!
I love this idea, I always start my soups with sauteed veg. So much tastier. If you have a really good non stick pan you can even make it without the olive oil. Tastes just as good!
I am looking for a good nonstick pan…what do you like?
Not sure if you know the answer to this, but being a WW member, I thought it worth an ask. With the new smart points, they say fruit and veg is free (something, I still don’t understand – how can they say all the fruit and veg I ate yesterday didn’t cost me anything?) but when you make a smoothie, they cost.
So, with puréeing/blending this soup, does it then cost in smart points? I am new to WW, and am still struggling with trying to understand this concept.
Thanks for your work and for sharing your recipe.
I’m sorry, but I can’t answer that question for you. I had to quit following Weight Watchers 19 months ago, when diagnosed with a critical case of Type 1 Diabetes, because Weight Watchers’ program (their entire Points, Points Plus, and Smart Points system) isn’t useful to diabetics. I now have to be on a very low carb high protein diet that requires I see and calculate the individual macronutrients, not a bundled together version in the Points system.
From what I remember from my years of Weight Watchers meetings, and even now on my current health plan, consuming vegetables in a liquid form instead of their whole form requires your body to work less. Your body has to work harder to consume vegetables in their whole form (same with fruit, whole vs. in liquid form).
Just found your recipe and am eager to try it. I do not cook, so this will be an adventure and opportunity for me. Do you suppose I can use my Vita Mix since I do not have an immersion blender? I am off to the market to purchase veggies and broth and cooking spray. Wish me luck. God bless and thank you for your kind responses and resolutions. I will try to post again once I have tried the soup.
I would love to try this recipe but do not have an immersion blender. Is that step critical or would it still be good with whole veggie pieces without blending?
I have yet to make this recipe but plan to do so. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the comments, banter, apologies and acceptances between Colleen and Linnbabygirl! Well done ladies!!
Additionally, Colleen, I would like to follow your recipes rather than WW because I have had much more success with high protein, low carb diets. Diabetes runs rampant in my family. Do you have other recipes to share? Where can they be found if so? Thanks!!
I have always loved the WW zero points soup. Never thought it was bland. I like to use an immersion blender for just a portion of the soup and then add it back into the original. Makes it a little thicker but you still get the chunky vegetables which is what I like. Whether its zero or 3 points with the additional olive oil, its still a healthy choice.
This is actually the only way they do vegetable soup in the UK. I’m not a big fan of traditional vegetable soup as the veggies are always mushy and tasteless, so I was so happy to discover that they always purée their soups here, including lentil and mushroom. This American girl will now always make her veggie soup this way because then I will be happy to eat it. Thanks for your suggestion about sautéing the veggies first to bring out their flavor. I will definitely have to try that!
OMG! You are brilliant! I was looking for the old zero point soup recipe from early 2000’s. I would have never thought to puree it! Yum! Trying this weekend!