After a weekend of wanton excess, both at the Grapevine Texas Grapefest and visiting one of the best burger joints in the country, last night was all about light, healthy fare. Since my wife has been using Weight Watchers, I figured I’d try for something she could eat to her heart’s content without guilt. This soup is the result.
While this may have Zero Weight Watchers Points, it gets a full ten from us when it comes to flavor and its ability to leave you feeling more than full. The flavors are full and robust and there’s just enough heat in the background to leave you wondering if a glass of tea was enough, or if you should have had milk instead. Even without added meats or proteins, the mushrooms give the soup a deep meaty flavor that lingers on the back of the tongue in a very pleasant way.
This is modified slightly from the original Weight Watchers Recipe, but still contains no points as far as my calculations can determine. (OK, it has one point, but so does the original recipe when I run the numbers. The number refers to the fact that as far as Weight Watchers is concerned, these are all zero point foods, hence zero point soup.) I’ve added bit more liquid so that one batch will last a good long time. Great for guiltless snacks and lunches.
- 2 cups bok choy, chopped
- 2 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger root, thinly sliced and julienned
- 6 oz. shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups scallions, chopped
- 1 cup canned water chestnuts, sliced (8 oz can)
- 1 can bamboo shoots, sliced (5 oz. can)
- 1/2 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts or half of 1 can of bean sprouts, optional
- 2 cups snow peas, stringed
- 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Put boc choy, Napa cabbage, garlic, ginger root, shitake mushrooms, scallions, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, red bell pepper, pepper flakes and vegetable stock into a large soup pot. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partally covered for approximtely 10 minutes.
Add bean sprouts, if using, soy sauce and snow peas. Cook for an additional 4 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve piping hot.
What I would have dine differently had I thought of it at the time:
If you are making this as a multi-day meal, it might be wise to blanch and shock the snow peas and scallions so that they retain their bright colors. Otherwise the soup turns a kind of a sickly gray green after about an hour, although it still tastes fantastic.
Consider also that since this is simply a radically flavored vegetable mixture, you don’t have to limit its use to soup only. It served me well as poaching liquid for fish later in the evening, and my wife poured it over long grain rice, declaring the result fantastic as well as completely vegetarian. I think it would also be good with a good portion of cellophane noodles or soba noodles if you’re looking for something with a lot more weight to it.
Whatever your chosen method, try this dish! It’s worth it, really!
Links to other recipes like this: