A reader tipped me off that Weight Watchers UK just introduced three brand-new recipes for new Zero Point soups. Since A Veggie Venture readers are such fans of the original Weight Watchers Zero Points Garden Vegetable Soup, I couldn't wait to try them! The only question was, which new soup recipe to make first? Asian? Italian? Mexican?
A few of the Mexican-inspired recipe's ingredients were already on hand, so Mexican it was. And good news: this new soup recipe is a great soup for people who follow Weight Watchers. But it's also a great vegetable soup overall – definitely a keeper!
The positives: It's packed with both vegetables and flavor, no wan blandness here. It tastes like it has far more calories than it does. The negatives: Some ingredients might not be easy to find everywhere. It does require some chopping. But if you like soup made from fresh vegetables? Add this recipe to your "try soon" pile.
UPDATES I tried all the new Weight Watchers zero point soups! Check out the Asian Zero Point Weight Watchers soup, the Weight Watchers Italian Zero Points Soup and the brand-new Weight Watchers Fresh Vegetable Soup. Variety is good!
WW POINT CHANGES Sigh. Weight Watchers keeps changing its point calculations. Originally there were what we now call "Old Points" and then in 2010, we all made the conversion to "PointsPlus." And now, again in late 2015? Get used to "SmartPoints." Each change helps us make increasingly smarter food choices. But they also mean that these soups are no longer "zero point" soups. That said, all these soups remain delicious and very low in points and real staples for those of us who love the Weight Watchers food plans.
"... it was sooo good!!! This one is definitely a keeper." ~ Anonymous
"... a nice alternative to the usual veggie soup." ~ Actual Scale
"So filling and delicious I didn't feel the need for anything else." ~ Scott
"I loved it ..." ~ Charlene
" I like this much better [than the original Garden Vegetable Soup]." ~ Anonymous
"This recipe is the best tasting soup I have ever had!" ~ Storyteller Doll
WEIGHT WATCHERS MEXICAN ZERO POINTS SOUP
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 12 cups
6 cups vegetable stock
1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 medium poblano chili pepper, chopped
1 medium jalapeño, membranes and seeds removed, minced
1 cup tomatillo, cubed (start with about 4 ounces or 2 medium tomatillos)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
14 ounces canned diced tomato, Mexican-style preferred
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces before trimming)
2 cups fresh green beans (start with 8 ounces, then trim and snap into bite-size pieces)
2 roasted red peppers packed in water
To taste, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 limes)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Bring the stock to a boil in the microwave while prepping the vegetables. This is an optional step but starting off with hot stock does speed up the time-to-table.
Spray a large pot or Dutch, then set on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the onion, green pepper, poblano, jalapeño, tomatillo and garlic as they're prepped; let cook until beginning to turn color, stirring often. Stir in the cumin and oregano, let cook for one minute. Stir in tomato, zucchini and green beans, then the (either hot or cold) stock.
Whiz the red peppers and chipotle peppers in a mini food processor and stir into the soup. Cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, uncover the soup, reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes until the beans are cooked. Taste and add salt to taste.
TO FINISH Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
STOCK CHOICES The inspiring recipe calls for vegetable stock. Some times I use 6 cups water mixed with a spoonful of the wonderful Better Than Bouillon. But since there are always lots of No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock in the freezer (yes, I Freeze Stock in Canning Jars), that's my usual stock for soup.
JALAPEÑOS My fridge always has a jar of these easy-to-make Pickled Jalapeño Rings. But a fresh jalapeño works great, so would a jar of commercial jalapeños.
CHIPOTLE IN ADOBO SAUCE This is one of my favorite ingredients. Look for it in the Mexican aisle in small cans. Inside you'll find small brown chiles in a brown sauce. Many recipes will have you spoon out a tiny bit of the adobo sauce at a time or one chile at a time. My practice is to open a can and then put it through a mini food processor, then transfer the mixture to a small container where it'll keep for months and months in the refrigerator. Do know, this stuff packs heat! The inspiring recipe calls for a whole tablespoon, I use just a teaspoon.
SALT TO TASTE In part, how much salt to add is always a function of taste. But it's also a function of the relative saltiness of other ingredients, especially the stock. If you use a commercial stock, you'll likely need to add less salt. Since I mostly use homemade stock that has no salt, I add a good couple of teaspoons of kosher salt.
HEAT SOURCES Cooks, beware! This soup can get really spicy, too spicy for my taste, frankly. The heat sources are the poblano (although poblanos are usually quite mild), the jalapeño and the chipotle in adobo sauce. If you use Rotel canned tomatoes, these also pack heat. The soup's heat does seem to moderate by Day Two.
RAW to COOKED? Call me surprised when the raw poblano pepper and raw onion cooked up into something delicious so quickly. Seriously, all these raw vegetables just cook to the perfect tenderness. Great work on the part of recipe developer Ronne Freedman!
DIY ZERO POINT SOUP RECIPES? This recipe makes me realize that A Veggie Venture's many one-point soup recipes can easily be converted to zero-point recipes, just by substituting a splash of broth for olive oil when sautéing the onion up front. These recipes might be good alternatives for Weight Watchers followers not excited about chopping vegetables for forty minutes.
AND WHAT'S THIS GREAT WEBSITE, YOU ASK? :-) A Veggie Venture is my own website packed with nearly recipes, each one featuring vegetables. It is not associated with Weight Watchers - more information.
MORE WEIGHT WATCHERS-FRIENDLY RECIPES STRAIGHT TO YOUR IN BOX!If you're a Weight Watchers fan, you know how hard it is to cook AND count points. Now it's easy. Consider signing up for free e-mail notification whenever new recipes are published on A Veggie Venture (that's this food blog about vegetables) and Kitchen Parade, my food column. ALL NEW RECIPES INCLUDE WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS – Old Points, PointsPlus and since late 2015, SmartPoints! Sign up for new recipes from A Veggie Venture and new recipes from Kitchen Parade.
MORE FAVORITE LOW-POINT WEIGHT WATCHERS RECIPES~ Make-Ahead Smoothies ~
~ Kalamata Tuna Salad Bok Choy Wraps ~
~ Armenian Vegetable Stew ~
~ more Weight Watchers vegetable recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup ~
~ Homemade Lentil Soup ~
~ Quick Cauliflower Soup or Quick Broccoli Soup ~
~ more Weight Watchers recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
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