Tag Archives: points plus soup

zucchini vichyssoise

Yesterday was Sneak Some Zucchini On Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.  Hmm… porch was empty.  I’ll give my friends and neighbors a pass though, since it’s not a well advertised event.  They probably didn’t even realize it was occurring since Target didn’t display themed merchandise two months in advance so you can properly prepare.

I’m surprised Halloween candy isn’t already on the shelves.

But luckily this year I am growing a decent crop in my garden.  Last year’s bounty was horrible and I thought I might be in the Bermuda Triangle of Zucchini.  I mean, who plants zucchini, and then gets two?

Super easy, super nutritious and Weight Watcher friendly.


Zucchini Vichyssoise

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cups chopped onions
  • 4 cups chopped, unpeeled white potatoes
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot over medium-low heat  Add onion or leeks and saute for 10 minutes.  Add potatoes, zucchini, stock, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes, then blend with an immersion blender.  Adjust salt and pepper if needed.  Serve hot or cold.  Makes 12 cups.

Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa.

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, each 1 1/2 cup serving has 4 Points Plus.

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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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mushroom barley soup

What a weekend!  We celebrated my sister’s 40th birthday party on Saturday night.  Her husband planned a surprise party, complete with a “roast” by a actor/performer.  I think she downed 2 martini’s during the performance, but who’s counting!  We had some great laughs (sorry Lou!) at her expense.  But I felt great since I had 3 people, but who’s counting, ask me who was older, me or her.  🙂

For the record, I am.

And now I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite soup!  I still can’t believe how easy it was to put together and how low the Weight Watcher’s Points are.  Very hearty and satisfying, full of whole grain and vegetables.

Next time I will probably add another package (8oz) of sliced mushrooms, which would add another PointsPlus per serving.

Mushroom Barley Soup

  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2  carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 package of white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cans low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  •  2 bay leaves
  • 2 T. fresh thyme, minced or 1/2 tsp. dried
  •  Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium pan, bring 4 cups of water and the 1 cup of barley to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the barley is soft. (You can make this the night before).

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are soft.  Add the vegetable broth, water, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, this entire recipe has 27 PointsPlus.  If you divided the pot into 8 servings, each serving would have 3 PointsPlus.  Divided into 6, each serving would have 4 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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sweet potato soup with quinoa and coconut milk

Why did I pick this week to decrease my caffeine intake?  I have been enjoying 5 (don’t tell Marc) cups of coffee and a diet soda every day for as long as I can remember.  Which actually isn’t saying much, since my memory seems to be on a decline.  I have repeatedly asked my physician husband if I/we should be concerned.  He replies “no, but the next time I tell you that you already told me something, believe me!”

Anyway, I decreased to two cups and no soda two days ago and my headache today was asking me “why?!?  My tailbone was also asking my why I forgot to take naproxen, but that’s another story 🙂

As I was lamenting to my cousin about the withdrawals, he suggested that I could always switch to chocolate.  Evil, evil cousin.

This soup seems like a great antidote to my chemical dependency on caffeine.  Packed with vitamins from the sweet potato, creamy from the coconut milk and protein-rich from the quinoa.  I feel healthier already!

Sweet Potato Soup with Quinoa and Coconut Milk

  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked but don’t break apart.

In a large part, saute the onion in the water until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the quinoa and broth, cover and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer sweet potatoes to pot with quinoa.  With an immersion blender, partially blend to thicken soup.  Leave some sweet potato pieces whole.  Stir in the coconut milk and spices.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Makes 7 cups (5 servings).

Recipe from A Veggie Venture.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each 11 oz. serving has 5 PointsPlus.

Using the Simply Filling Technique, each serving has 1 PointsPlus.


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Good news on the dog fostering front.  Anna took Pablo to an adoption fair over the weekend and it looks like he has found himself a permanent home!  We have enjoyed him for 2 weeks and he will make a great addition to a lucky family.  If all goes well, he will go his new home on Tuesday.

I have seen this soup on most Greek restaurant menus and have always wanted to try it.   But then the dolmas and spanikopitas speak louder to me (yes, my food talks to me) and I never order it.  Probably a good thing, because I usually make things better at home anyways (yes, I am tooting my own horn).  Oh, it’s so, so good.  A lemony, chicken with rice soup, made creamy with the addition of a whisked-in egg and brightened with a sprinkling of basil and parsley. Yummy!


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 1/2 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (8 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. torn fresh basil

 Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add onion and garlic and saute 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth, bring to boil.  Stir in rice; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.  Combine juice, cornstarch, salt, pepper and egg in a small bowl.  Slowly pour egg into broth, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Add chicken to broth mixture; cook until soup thickens and rice is done (about 5 minutes).  Top with parsley and basil.  Makes 4 servings (1 1/2 cups each).

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder and the recipes stats, each 1 1/2 cup serving has 5 PointsPlus.


Posted by on March 19, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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chickpea, tomato and bread soup

I visited my new nephew yesterday.  As soon as I walked in the door (and saw that he was sleeping, of course), I asked my sister if I could use her oven.  She looked at me peculiarly, but she did preheat it to my required temperature.  And to continue my drug analogy, if blogging about baking was like taking Nicorette gum, driving 70 minutes to bake a Betty Crocker brownie mix is like getting a quick fix in the alley. 

But let me tell you how surprisingly good the brownie/cookie turned out to be!  And that’s not just the junkie talking (well, maybe it is).  I took a Betty Crocker brownie mix and a chocolate chip cookie mix and followed the directions on each package to make the batters. I put the brownie mix in a 9 x 12 pan coated with non-stick spray, then took spoonfuls of cookie mix and dolloped the top with the batter.  I baked it according to the brownie directions and yeah!  I was a baker again.  It’s a cookie brownie!  Not my usual caliber of baking, but it was gooooood.

And the baby was precious.

Ok, that’s all you’re getting about the brownies.  Now here’s some real food you should make and eat.

While visiting with my in-laws last weekend, I spied a new cookbook on the counter.  Plenty:  Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi is a wonderful cookbook with 120 vegetarian recipes.  The photo on the cover just begged me to open it and I photocopied several recipes I wanted to try.  This is my first from the cookbook, and if it is any indication about the rest of the recipes, I can’t wait to try them all!

Chickpea, tomato and bread soup is delicious.  It is Mr. Ottolenghi’s take on the Italian ribolittaIt is such a filling soup.  Perfect for these cold days of winter.  And if you didn’t try using fennel in my salmon chowder, here is another chance to try the vegetable!

Chickpea, Tomato and Bread Soup

  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut lengthways in half and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 14 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 large slices (4 oz) stale sourdough bread ( crust removed)
  • 2 1/2 cups chickpeas (freshly cooked or canned which have been rinsed and drained)
  • 4 Tbsp. basil pesto
  • handful of shredded basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or if you don’t have a workable oven 😦 , use your toaster oven).  Place the onion and fennel in a large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute on medium heat for about 4 minutes.  Add the carrot and celery and continue cooking for 4 minutes, just to soften the vegetables, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the tomato paste and stir as you cook for 1 minutes.  Add the wine and let it bubble away for a minute or two.

Add the canned tomatoes with their juices, the herbs, sugar, vegetable stock and some salt and pepper.  Brink to boil, then cover and leave to simmer gently for about 30 minutes.

While you wait, break the bread into rough chunks.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly dry (or toast in toaster oven).  Set aside.

About 10 minutes before you want to serve the soup, place the chickpeas in a bowl and crush them a little with a potato masher or the back of a spoon; you want some to be left whole.  Add them to the soup and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.  Next add the toasted bread, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.  Taste the soup and add salt and pepper.

Ladle the hot soup into bowls.  Spoon some pesto into the center and finish with shredded basil if desired.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, 1/6th of the recipe has 8 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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salmon chowder

My oven won’t be fixed until next week, so here’s another soup recipe!  I love to use this on Friday’s during Lent.  I just wish this picture looked better, because it doesn’t do the soup justice.  It looks so much better in person!  The soup uses fennel….don’t be afraid!!  Just dice the stalk up like celery.  It adds such a great flavor to the soup and complements the salmon so well.  If you’ve never tried fennel before, now is the time.

Salmon Chowder

  • 2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces russet potato, skin on, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 lb. salmon, cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cups fat-free half and half
  • salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add vegetables, stirring well.  Add the bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the fish.  Add the half and half and bring up the temperature of the soup, being careful not to allow it to boil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe from Kitchen Parade.  Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, I calculated that each 1 1/2 cup serving has 5 pts+.


Posted by on December 9, 2011 in points plus, seafood, soups


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spinach, pasta and pea soup

I’m back!  My sister had a beautiful baby boy last Thursday and it derailed my food blogging.  It’s really hard work becoming an aunt 🙂   Nathan Joseph is darling and such a wonderful addition to our family.  And I am thrilled to get my baby fix without having to stay up all night with a crying baby!

I found this in the “Super Fast 20-Minute Cooking” section of Cooking Light’s October 2011 magazine.  It definitely was fast!   Make sure you use the cheese rind and the lemon.  Since it cooks so quickly, it really needs those flavor boosts to season the broth.

p.s. my oven broke again last night! (#@&?!!), so hopefully that won’t derail me as well.  Soup time!

Spinach, Pasta and Pea Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 thinly sliced green onions
  • 4 cups vegetable or fat-free chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • small piece of Parmesan rind
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onions, saute 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add stock, 2 cups water and Parmesan rind; bring to a boil.  Add orzo, lemon rind, and chickpeas.  Cover and cook 10 minutes or until orzo is done.  Stir in oregano, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and spinach.  Ladle 1 3/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 4 teaspoons cheese.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Calculator, each serving has 7 PointsPlus.


Posted by on December 8, 2011 in pasta, points plus, soups, vegetarian


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