A Healthy Vegetable Soup made extra tasty……this is my version of the famous Zero Weight Watchers Points cabbage soup. It has 0.4 points (let’s round it down to zero!) but it tastes way, way, way better!
When I get back to Sydney, I’m going to live on this Healthy Vegetable Soup. I have to. Yesterday we went to the Calgary Stampede, the biggest party of the year here in Calgary, Canada. And to say that I did not consume or see any form of vegetable there that wasn’t deep fried is an understatement.
I have a theory that you can deep fry anything, and Calgarians have proven this to the max! Deep fried pickles, Oreos, Snickers Bars, lemonade (what the..??), coffee (???!!!!!). Yikes!
Calgarians are also on a mission to prove that everything is better in giant form and everything is better on sticks. I think perhaps it’s more that tourists such as myself can’t resist. Check out the size of that corn dog! It’s INSANE!
In addition to excess consumption of fried goods, I saw my first ever Rodeo. Unfortunately no photos of my own to share as I naively got general admission tickets which was not a good move for a vertically challenged person. Didn’t stop me gasping and clapping and yelling, getting right into the show! And ladies – those cowboys certainly aren’t an eyesore, eh? 😉
So, this soup. This Healthy Vegetable Soup is for me to make up for Calgarian indulgence and for everyone else back at home shivering through winter.
This is a healthy vegetable soup made extra tasty. Do you know about the zero Weight Watchers Points cabbage soup? Essentially, all you do is put all the vegetables, broth/stock and a dollop of tomato paste into a pot, bring it to a boil then that’s it.
I don’t even need to try it to know that it would be rather bland. I just couldn’t bring myself to make it. So I made up my own version. 🙂
Yes, mine involves a tiny bit of oil so a soffrito of onion, celery and carrots can be slowly sautéed until sweet which creates a beautiful flavour base for this soup. There is a reason that this is the way that many of the greatest classics in this world start – like Beef Ragu!
In addition to the soffrito, I also sauté oregano and fennel. Much like hot water makes the flavour of cocoa powder “bloom”, sautéing dried herbs and spices really opens up their flavour. If you haven’t tried it before, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
I know fennel may sound like an interesting choice, but the reason I chose it is because I wanted to give this soup a Spanish kick and what better way to give a soup a big flavour kick than to use Chorizo seasonings? 🙂 So that’s why I use fennel. It’s very subtle and not a key ingredient, so skip it if you don’t like or have it.
But if you do buy it especially to use in this recipe (and it costs no more than the usual dried herbs), use the leftovers to make my brother’s epic Sausage Rolls. They are da bomb! – Nagi x
PS Err – obviously not me. I’ll be on a health kick when I get home. No sausage rolls for me! 😩
PPS On a cheerier note, I’m still on holidays for another couple of weeks! 🎉
This is my version of the famous Zero Weight Watchers Points vegetable soup. Mine has 0.4 WW points but is much MUCH tastier! Besides, 0.4 points rounds down to zero, doesn't it? 😉 Spanish flavours inspired by the seasoning for homemade Chorizo (yes, really!), the 2 key steps that adds loads of flavour into a basic vegetable soup are: sautéing dried herbs (makes the flavour "bloom") and cooking celery, carrots and onion slowly so they sweeten ("sofrito" flavour base for the soup). Finishing with lemon also lifts it beautifully. Recipe video below.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 2 medium carrots , finely chopped
- 1 large celery stalk , finely chopped
- 2 red capsicums / bell peppers , cut into 2 cm / 4/5” pieces
- 5 cups cabbage , cut into 3 cm / 1.2” pieces
- 800 g / 28 oz crushed tomato
- 3 cups / 750 ml vegetable or chicken broth (low fat!)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika (or any paprika)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust spiciness to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon – zest + juice to taste
- Finely chopped parsley
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 30 seconds or so.
Add oregano and fennel seeds, cook for 2 minutes (lets flavour “bloom”).
Turn heat down to medium low. Add carrots and celery, cook, stirring regularly, for 8 minutes until onion is sweet (not browned). This step is key to the flavour base of this soup.
Add capsicum, turn heat up to high and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add remaining Soup ingredients, bring to simmer then place lid on. Turn heat down to medium low, simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove lid, adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls. Grate over lemon zest, squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley. Serve!
1. Feel free to add other vegetables you desire (other than red cabbage - turns it purple!)! Healthy low cal ones like zucchini, fennel, baby spinach (stir through at end), chopped beans, asparagus etc. will add more dimensions to the soup while keeping it very healthy. High carb vegetables like pumpkin, potato and peas (hidden carbs alert!) would also be terrific but will raise the calorie count of this soup.
2. Keeps great for 3 - 4 days. Add lemon zest and juice just before serving for best flavour.
3. The 0.4 points in this recipe is from the olive oil. I can't bring myself to omit it. The extra flavour you get from sautéing the vegetables and spices is a million times more valuable - and key to why this tastes so great!
4. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Healthy Vegetable Soup (0.4 WW Points) recipe video!
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