Truckee Healthy Now: ‘Free’ vegetable soup a great winter warmer |

Truckee Healthy Now: ‘Free’ vegetable soup a great winter warmer

Keeping a batch of "free" soup handy is a delicious way to stave off the snow day hunger.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain / TDRPD |

Boy, that got your attention. Bet you’re thinking, “Man! Last week, Truckee-Donner Park and Rec’ gave us free coffee at the Aquatic Center, and now soup!”

Hold it right there. First of all, no more free coffee at the pool. Sad but true, that excellent offer expired February 1st.

Secondly, “free” is actually a word coined by Weight Watchers to describe food with no “point” values, meaning you can eat all you want.

Eureka! Don’t know why we at TDRPD, the fitness folks, didn’t generate this great column idea out of admin’.

The Weight Watchers group meets weekly at our facility, so it seems logical one of us would have thought of it.

Instead the idea to feature ‘free” soup came from, as usual, one of our members. Miriam is a Fitness Center regular who uses the indoor track and bike to keep in shape between hikes up Mt. Whitney. God bless her.

So last week during the big snow which translates to big appetite she suggested we all go home after our workouts, after we have hit the pool for one more free coffee, and make “free” soup. You can eat all you want — and you will want.

‘Free’ Vegetable Soup ingredients:

2 cups chicken broth, preferably Better Than Bouillon

1 small onion, cut into quarters and then pieces separated

1 tbls. crushed garlic

2 tbls. Italian seasoning

1 cup mini carrots

1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends cut off, then chopped into thirds

1/2 green cabbage (have your grocer cut one in half for you) cut into chunks

3 stalks celery chopped into 1/4 inch slices

2 zucchini halved lengthwise and then sluiced into 1/2 inch half-moon slices

1 large can stewed whole tomatoes


In large stew pot, heat your chicken broth on high heat. Reduce to medium heat and add onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, carrots and green beans. Simmer until carrots are tender, about seven minutes.

Now add all remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring gently and occasionally, until all vegetables are mingled in flavor and tender enough to cut with a fork, about twenty minutes total.

This column comes courtesy of Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District staff and members, celebrating health and fitness in the Sierra. For more information on how you can stay in shape during the winter months, visit

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