Hearty, low-cal vegetable barley soup

Oh, barley. So good, yet so underutilized in our household.

A friend first pointed out the merits of barley to me a few weeks ago, wisely selling me with the following words, “it’s like healthy risotto.” And on that day, I made a purchase that will be forever marked as a milestone in my cooking history. A bag of Bob’s Red Mill pearl barley. Oh, the wonder!

Since that day, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate this protein-rich, high-fiber goodness into my life.

This vegetable barley soup, found on allrecipes (sigh, where else?), was one of them.

Veg barley soup

If you don’t like curry, you won’t like this soup as-is. That said, I’m sure you are creative enough to omit the curry and replace it with something you do like, right?

So this soup is 3 Weight Watchers points/serving. And is full of so much vegetable goodness that your body will thank you for it. (Really, it will.)

It’s so hearty, it’s almost stew-like. The barley is awesome! And look at all the veg – this is when I just starting simmering it, before the barley cooked.

Vegetable barley soup simmering

I did not make a single revision to the allrecipes version, so I won’t bother copying and pasting it. Just check out Beaker’s Vegetable Barley Soup on allrecipes. You won’t be sorry.

Advertisements

Easy chicken noodle soup

Everyone loves chicken noodle soup.

Comforting, delicious and low-calorie, it is a must-have throughout the fall and winter months. And I’ve been living off of it for weeks because it is the best low-point (sigh, yes, I’m on Weight Watchers) lunch a girl could want.

But, as everyone knows, chicken noodle can be a salt-bomb. Since I value my heart and arteries, I wanted to cut the sodium found in my typical deli-bought lunch. Also, I’m lazy. So here’s a recipe I found on allrecipes and modified a little.

Something I learned: Apparently, the secret to awesome, non-soggy noodles is cooking them separately, as-needed. So if you are making this for your family (and plan on eating six servings in one go) you’ll want to make all 3 cups of noodles while the rest of the soup is simmering. Otherwise, just make the noodles when you need them. (Update: I added all the noodles when I originally made the soup, and three days later, they are still good in the leftovers. They’re not as firm as on day one, but…still taste good to me. Soo…I have no idea WHAT to believe. :))

For you Weight Watchers point-counters out there, you’ll be glad to know that this soup made with 3 cups of noodles (in my modified version below) is 4 points/serving. If you only do 1.5 cups of noodles (as original recipe says), it’s 3 points. Double the noodles for 1 point? Yes, please (no-brainer, right?).

Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup (4 POINTS/SERVING)
(modified from this allrecipes recipe

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth (try to get 2 cans low-sodium – that will balance out the saltiness)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 3 cups egg noodles
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 pinches of dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 dashes of poultry seasoning (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onion, garlic, carrots and celery in butter until just tender, 5 minutes.
  2. While the veggies are cooking, chop up chicken into bite-size chunks.
  3. Pour in chicken and vegetable broths and stir in chicken, basil, oregano, thyme, poultry seasoning (optional), salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook egg noodles using directions on the package (I cooked mine al-dente so they wouldn’t get mushy).
  5. Once drained, add noodles to chicken and veggie mix and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Ready to eat! (Please let your soup cool for a little bit – don’t burn your tongue like I did. Ha!)

Do you have a favorite go-to chicken noodle soup recipe? Share it with me!