This healthy Weight Watchers cabbage soup is a simpler version of Minestrone, and a 45 year old classic recipe from my grandma’s recipe box with a few extra vegetables added in.
Weight Watchers Cabbage Soup
Back in the day, the Cabbage Soup Diet was the magic bullet many hoped was the sure-fire way to lose weight fast. Did it work? Possibly—for the short term. But cutting out every carb and eating zero calories doesn’t work for long-term health. So what is sustainable? Eating for better health, not just weight loss.
Chock full of vegetables in a supremely simple, light and healthy, Italian-leaning broth, this healthy Weight Watchers soup with cabbage has been in our family for over 50 years. My grandma had at least three variations of this recipe in her recipe box, with one titled Weight Watchers minestrone. My favorite minestrone is tomato based and veggieful too, so I can see why there’s a comparison. Grandma’s recipe was pretty lean on the number of vegetables called for, but I knew that that adding even more veggies wouldn’t downgrade the recipe. It could only make it better.
Essentially fat free and low in calories, this 50 year old recipe still fits the WW standards with zero points, yet plenty of flavor. Apparently grandma was a Weight Watchers follower, like me too.
What’s In Cabbage Soup
I’ve added carrot and fresh mushrooms to Grandma’s recipe, as well as a white bean protein boost. If you’re using this soup as part of a cleanse, omit the beans.
Here’s what’s in this Weight Watchers cabbage soup:
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 32 ounces tomato juice
- 32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 heaping cup (or more) of shredded cabbage (napa or green cabbage)
- Medium size carrot
- 15 ounce can chickpeas or cannellini beans
- Italian seasoning
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make Weight Watchers Soup with Cabbage
Sauté the aromatics with cooking spray instead of oil. Browning the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a spritz of cooking spray instead of tablespoons of oil saves fat and calories while still adding savory depth to the broth.
Use tomato juice for the soup base. Unlike canned tomatoes, tomato juice adds a zippy tomato flavor to this soup that doesn’t depend on a lot of cooking time to develop. Use regular tomato juice, or V-8 vegetable juice blend if desired.
Vegetarian Weight Watchers Soup
For added salt and depth of flavor, grandma’s original Weight Watchers soup recipe called for 5 beef bouillon cubes. Sure it’s delicious that way, but I wanted to make this soup more vegetarian friendly.
Use vegetable or chicken broth instead of beef bouillon. Make this tomato juice-based soup vegetarian by using vegetable broth, or mostly vegetarian with chicken broth. My homemade chicken broth is my favorite flavor builder. Either way, it’s an easy and delicious soup recipe that will keep you on track for your healthy eating goals.
Quick Simmer for Success
Add herbs for flavor. Any Mediterranean herb compliments this soup. I used Italian seasoning, but you could try oregano, rosemary, basil, fennel, or marjoram in combination or on their own.
Add beans for vegetarian protein. My home cooked cannellini beans are a perfect protein addition to this soup (use 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups) and makes it even more filling. Feel free to experiment with canned beans too, such as chickpeas, Great Northern, or even navy beans.
Add the raw vegetables and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Next, add the raw vegetables to the pot and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the broth is flavorful. The longer the simmer time, the more the broth will reduce and flavorful the soup will become.
Can You Freeze Cabbage Soup
This soup will last in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Freeze the soup in airtight containers or ziploc bags for up to 3 months.
Additions or Substitutions to This Soup
Try other complimentary Mediterranean ingredients in this soup, like:
- Yellow squash, or diced butternut squash
- Celery, kale, or spinach
- Broad beans or other white beans
- Use vegetable, chicken, or beef broth
- Add heat with a pinch of red pepper flakes
- Purple cabbage instead of napa or green cabbage
- Try spicy tomato juice for an extra kick
More Healthy Vegetable Soup Recipes
- The Best Minestrone Soup
- 5 Ingredient Thai Pumpkin Soup
- Curry Lentil Soup With Butternut Squash And Greens
- Moroccan Soup With Kale And Chickpeas
- Vegetarian Crockpot Lasagna Soup
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1 cup yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic , pressed or grated
- 1 cup mushrooms , sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups tomato juice
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas or cannellini beans , homemade, or canned that are drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 small zucchini , quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 large carrot , peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- Spray a stock pot or large Dutch oven with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the mushrooms, season with the kosher salt, and continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes.
- Add the tomato juice and chicken (or vegetable) broth. Add the beans with the Italian seasoning and black pepper, and stir in the zucchini, cabbage, and carrot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
More Healthy Recipe Ideas
- 30 Best Comforting Soup Recipes
- 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes
- 28 Healthy Slow Cooker Soups & Stews
- 31 Days Of Healthy Comfort Food Recipes
- 50 Dinner Ideas When There’s No Time To Cook
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