Thursday, May 08, 2008

Lentil Soup

We love Progresso's Lentil soup but one day we were all out of it. I knew I had lentils in the cupboard so I pulled out The Sonoma Diet book and found a recipe for Ham and Lentil Soup. Surprisingly enough I had all the ingredients I needed to make the soup. I am not a fan of chicken bouillon granules so I substituted Trader Joe's low sodium fat free chicken broth. It was different than Progresso's of course but we really liked it.


  • 1 cup dry brown or French lentils
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cubed cooked ham (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  1. Rinse and drain lentils; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan cook onion, celery, and carrots in hot oil about 10 minutes or until tender. Add lentils, the chicken broth, garlic, lemon peel, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add ham; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Stir in spinach. If too thick add a bit more chicken broth. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Weight Watchers Italian-Inspired Zero POINTS-Value Soup

Even though it is spring we were still having some cold spells and I got in the mood for soup. I decide to make Weight Watchers Italian-Inspired Zero POINTS-Value Soup. It turns out so yummy. We eat it for days. We eat it as is one time, add left over meat to it another time. We eat it for dinner one night and lunch another day. It is such a versatile soup. Below is the "official" recipe. I think I used just one can of vegetable broth and filled the rest with Trader Joe's Low Sodium Fat Free Chicken broth. I also added some beans to it, which totally ruined the whole zero point concept, but it sure did taste good. Beans are not in the photo because it was a last minute idea.


  • 2 cup escarole, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1 cup onion(s), chopped
  • 2 cup spinach, baby leaves
  • 2 small zucchini, cubed
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper(s), chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb(s), thinly sliced
  • 6 cup vegetable broth
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp thyme, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, fresh, leaves


  • Put escarole, garlic, onions, spinach, zucchini, red pepper, fennel, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme and oregano into a large soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, partly covered, for about 10 minutes.

  • Stir in salt, black pepper, parsley and basil. Serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.