Day 140: Yellow Squash Soup with Spinach ♥
aka Early Autumn Leaves in Soup

Yellow Squash Soup with Spinach ♥, just squash, bell peppers and spinach in a simple soup but somehow ever so much more. Low carb. WW friendly. Easily vegan.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's easy soup recipe: Just yellow squash, bell peppers and spinach in a simple soup but somehow ever so much more. Great color, low carb and just one or two points for Weight Watchers. When made with vegetable broth, not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". graphic button small size size 10

~recipe updated, first published way back in 2005~
~more recently updated recipes~

FIRST THE POETIC It's still summer-warm here in eastern Missouri and even as I write, outside the cicadas are calling, described by Faulkner as the "rasp of summer, August". But this afternoon, an early-turning tree in the neighborhood began to glimmer with autumn gold. It'll be mid- to late-October before peak leaf color reaches the Mississippi and Missouri river valleys. Until then, our rolling hills will be a mix of green with yellow, then yellow with green. Just like this pretty soup!

NOW THE PRACTICAL If you've over-indulged for a few days and need/want to cut back, BRING ON THE CAKE. It's counter-intuitive, I know, but follow the logic.

graphic button small size size 10 You're feeling so full, intuition says to eat little, perhaps nothing.
graphic button small size size 10 But your body doesn't understand that rationale. If it's deprived of the calories it needs, it fears the onset of starvation and changes your metabolism to preserve body energy, to form body fat.
graphic button small size size 10 So ... the trick is to trick the body. Give it the calories it needs but in calorie-dense foods without bulk – i.e., cake.
graphic button small size size 10 Once you feel less full (with exercise added, for me it takes a day) return to the normal regimen, providing the body, each day, the tight range of calories (and nutrients and bulk) it needs but no more – i.e., not much cake.

Disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist nor a weight-loss expert. But this is a weight management technique that works for me. If there are nutritionists who think this idea should be debunked, please say so! If you like it, I'm happy for confirmation!

In the mean time, this soup was the perfect light supper after several days of good eating and, um, yes, I admit, cake for breakfast.

Veggies for Kids:
KID #1, an 8-year old finicky eater: "No thank you. I like peanut butter better."
KID #2, a 5 and 9/10-year old adventurous eater: "Goooooooood. Hey, what's that purple stuff? No, it's purple, not green. Spinach? Hmmm. It tastes like tomatoes. I LIKE tomatoes."

UPDATES No surprise, this soup tastes just as good in spring as fall! It's easily adaptable and full of flavor. This one's a real keeper!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Makes 7 cups

3 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for a vegan soup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large yellow peppers, diced
1 generous pound of yellow squash, diced
Salt (I use a generous 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

4 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed

Bring the stock to a boil in the microwave.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot or Dutch oven on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmery. As they're chopped, add the onion, peppers and squash to the pot, stirring very regularly and seasoning with salt every so often.

Stir in the garlic, ginger and turmeric and let cook 1 minute. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to MEDIUM and let simmer for about 10 minutes, just until the squash is getting soft, no more, otherwise it will disintegrate.

Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to partially or completely purée the soup, depending on your texture preference. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Stir in the spinach and cook for 1 minute, just til the spinach softens but remains bright green. Serve hot!

graphic button small size size 10 I use turmeric here but think that ginger and cumin would be great substitutes.
graphic button small size size 10 I love the gold and green color combination but you could also use a red pepper instead of a yellow pepper.
graphic button small size size 10 Baby spinach is great for salads but just too tender for soup where it'll disintegrate into a slimy mess. Try for something a little sturdier, perhaps fresh spinach tied with rubber bands instead of a bag of salad. Here in St. Louis, Schnucks stores carry a one-pound bag of spinach for $2.99 that's tender enough for salad but also can withstand the heat of a soup. It's a great, versatile product, we go through a couple of bags a month.

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Still Hungry?


~ Yellow Squash Coconut Soup ~
~ Israeli Couscous Salad with Yellow Squash & Sun-Dried Tomatoes ~
~ Yellow Summer Squash Casserole ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture


~ Mediterranean Eggplant ~
~ Finnish Summer Soup ~
~ Ratatouille ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005, 2013 & 2016 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. i don't get it - what's a recipe using chicken broth doing on a cooking site called "A Veggie Venture"?

  2. Hi Ben ~ I don't get it. Vegetarians have sole rights to the word veggie? Of course not! This site is 100% vegetables but not (though mostly) vegetarian. Get it?!

  3. What amt of the Early Autumn Leaves in Soup constitutes 'a serving' for one weight watchers point? And is this 'amt' the same for all your recipes as a serving?


  4. Good catch, Christine, I've been fixing these when I find them.

    I do use very consistent serving sizes, for soups, it is one cup per serving.

  5. Could this be a crock-pot-friendly soup? And in regards to the chicken broth, I always substitute vegetable broth to make a recipe vegetarian!

  6. Sarah ~ Yes it think it would work fine in a slow cooker but would likely use the four-hour setting versus the eight-hour setting. And I'd add the spinach just before serving, not at the beginning.

    Thanks for the flexibility re chicken stock and vegetable stock, it seems easy enough to me! :-)

  7. What if you eat more than one cup/serving with zero point soups, how would you calculate the number of points consumed. I would generally eat two cups, and it were all I was having for dinner, let's say, I might consume more?

  8. Hi Barbara ~ Sorry, no "free" lunch here. When you eat more than the serving size, you have to adjust the calorie/nutrition information and recalculate the points on your own.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna