For many people who follow the Weight Watchers plan, the zero point soups are like the air we breathe: you don't want to be without! So it's no wonder that Weight Watchers UK developed three new recipes to give some variation to the granddaddy original zero point soup, the Garden Vegetable Zero Point Soup. I loved the Weight Watchers Mexican Zero Point soup and the Asian Zero Point Soup starred Asian vegetables, so yes, it was a good variation too.
This Italian-style soup, hmm, I'm not so sure. It has so many vegetables in it, it should be wonderful. Instead it's mild, no one vegetable really stands out and they don't really meld, either. It actually tasted like diet food, which I suppose in some circumstances is a good thing.
- To my taste, go for one of my very favorite recipes from A Veggie Venture's first year, when I was cooking a new vegetable recipe every day. Summer Vegetable Stew is based on a country Spanish recipe and does have one point. But it is so much more substantial in flavor and substance -- and is endlessly variable and completely satisfying.
- Zero point soups aren't hard to make without following a recipe. They're just a pile of non-starchy vegetables cooked in 6 cups of a non-fat broth. It's even easy to convert one-point soups to zero-point soups.
One caveat: for the first time, I didn't use Better Than Bouillon, my favorite broth base. This might make well make a difference.
WEIGHT WATCHERS ITALIAN ZERO POINTS SOUP RECIPE
Time to table: 55 minutes
Makes 11 cups
6 cups vegetable broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, chopped
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 red pepper, chopped (I used 3 Italian frying peppers)
1 cup chopped radicchio (see TIPS)
1 cup fresh spinach
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes (I used 3 large fresh tomatoes)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Bring broth to a boil in a large kettle or Dutch oven on MEDIUM HIGH while prepping the vegetables. Add the vegetables through the fresh herbs all at once. Cover and return to a boil. Uncover just a bit and let cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper to taste, then parsley and basil. Serve immediately.
Radicchio is expensive! Substitute red or even green cabbage and call it 'cavolo'.