Weight Watchers FreeStyle Plan One Week Menu Plan

weight watchers best recipes | Skinny Beef, Vegetable and Barley Soup (Stove Top or Crock Pot)

If you love a thick, flavorful, hearty soup, this one’s for you!!! Absolutely wonderful comfort food. I’ve included directions for cooking this easy, one dish meal either on the stove top or crock pot. Each 1½ cups serving has only 172 calories 2 grams of fat and 4 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. Serve with salad and you have a whole meal!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour on stove top
Cook Time: 7-8 hours on low in crock pot


1 pound package lean ground beef, see shopping tip

2 (32-oz) containers Swanson’s reduced-sodium beef broth or your favorite

1 (14.5 oz) can Swanson’s reduced-sodium beef broth

1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes, diced

¾ cup dried pearl barley, see shopping tip

1½ cups carrots, sliced

1½ cups celery, sliced

1½ cups onions, chopped

1½ cups zucchini, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried sage

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

3 cups fresh spinach leaves

Instructions for Stove Top:

1. In a large nonstick pot or pan, brown ground beef. Pour into a colander in sink and drain fat. Add beef back to pot. Pour in all the beef broth, tomatoes and barley. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes.

2. Add the carrots, celery, onions, zucchini and garlic to the broth. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, sage and fresh ground pepper. Cook uncovered 50 minutes

3. Stir in spinach leaves and cook 2 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf.

4. This soup freezes great.

Makes 12 cups total: 8 main course servings (1½ cups each)

Instructions for Crock Pot:

1. In a large nonstick pot or pan, brown ground beef. Pour into a colander in sink and drain fat.

2. Place beef and all ingredients in the crock pot, except spinach. Mix together well.

3. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours  or for on HIGH heat for 3 1/2 hours until veggies and barley are soft. Stir in spinach, cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

Healthy Benefits
Pearled barley is high in cholesterol-lowering fiber and very low in fat. A single serving offers 11% of the RDA of iron and has a fair amount of folate and niacin.

Weight Watchers (old points) 3

Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 4

SKINNY FACTS: for 1½ cups serving
172 calories, 2g fat, 0g chol, 17g protein, 21g carbs, 4g fiber, 704mg sodium, 4g sugar

FAT FACTS: for 1½ cups using full fat ground beef
289 calories, 15g fat, 48g chol, 17g protein, 21g carbs, 4g fiber, 867mg sodium, 4g sugar

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