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Angela’s Easy Vegetable Soup – Meatless Monday

This soup is a classic, simple, low calorie soup for those chilly fall & winter days.  This is also an easy “Meatless Monday” recipe that can be easily adapted to have some stew beef or chicken if you want to add some lean protein to it. You can make this as easy or as complex as you want.  For simplicity, use frozen veggies and bagged baby carrots….if you want to chop everything you can do that as well.

Weight Loss Tip: When I did WW many many years ago there was a soup like this called a “zero point” vegetable soup and you were allowed as much of it as you wanted.  It was (and is) filling and low calorie.  Having a cup of this before dinner or with lunch or dinner is a great way to fill your stomach with a healthy, high fiber and low calorie/fat food.  Remember “crowding out”? Eating so much good stuff that you automatically “crowd out” the bad.  By eating as much of this as you want, and maybe half a grilled cheese? Weight loss success.

Angela’s Easy Vegetable Soup

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups carrots (can use frozen, baby, or regular cut into pieces)
2 cups (or more) peeled and diced potatoes
2 cups frozen green vegetables (peas, green beans, or a combination of both)
8 cups vegetable broth (can use beef or chicken broth if desired)
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups diced cabbage and/or zucchini
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

*2 cups diced chicken or 1lb of stew meat if desired

Sauté onions in olive oil until softened, add garlic and simmer a bit more.  Add all ingredients to large soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, cook until all vegetables are cooked through and soft – 35-45 minutes.

I also like to do this in a slow cooker.  If cooking for several hours you do not have to sauté onions and garlic.  Just add all ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours (or high 4-5 hours).

*Another thing to note – ALL of this is optional and you can swap veggies for whatever your family likes.  A few ideas that I mix and match depending on what I have available: canned beans like pinto, cannelloni, or navy and you can also add mushrooms, zucchini or kale…the possibilities are endless.  As you can see there are also several different ways to cook this and you’ll figure out what works best for you.  If you add more veggies and feel like it’s not “soupy” enough, add more veggie stock.  This is also easily cut in half for a smaller batch but I find I have trouble making a “small pot of soup” lol.  All my soups end up being a huge amount but I eat on it throughout the week.

I serve this with a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner and eat on this soup throughout the week for lunch.