Soup/ Spicy/ Weight Watchers

Food, Health and Happiness

Tony used to make fun of me the way I “read” a cookbook like a great piece of fiction.  It’s true though.  I usually page through it from start to finish, with my little post-it notes flagging the recipes I’d like to try first.

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Oprah actually starts out the cookbook writing about her ups and downs over the years regarding her weight.   Nothing I hadn’t read before – the infamous liquid diet where she pulls out he big wagon of fat to show how much weight she lost, only to gain five pounds in a day after getting off the stage and out of the jeans she said felt like they were painted on.   But I remember thinking back then, that of course Oprah could lose weight – she had people cooking for her, she had personal trainers – she didn’t have to “think” about it – someone would tell her what to eat and how to work out – how simple?!

But it doesn’t matter how much money you make, or what conveniences you have in life, when it comes right down to it, you and only you can make the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle.  You can plan your meals.  You can decide what to eat.  You can decide what to say “no thank you” to.  

Oprah talks about how if Maya Angelou were here, she would ask her “Ok, if anyone knows better when it comes to dieting, it’s me.  So how do you explain my endless struggles with weight?  Why is it that with all this experience and information, I haven’t done better?”  She wrote “My guess is she’d probably smile, and in that commanding voice unlike any I’ve never heard, she’d say, ‘Well, my dear, when you’re truly ready to know, you will.’

“You can tell yourself to eat less and move more, you can cut down on carbs, and salty stacks, you can practice portion control and begin the day with a balance breakfast – at this point we all know the drill.  But it’s one thing to be able to recite the rules of dieting and quite another to fully internalize and know the truth of maintaining a healthy weight.  The reality is that for most of us, diets are a temporary solution at best.  They last as long as our willpower holds out.  But how long can any of us hold our breath before we need a gulp of air.” 

She goes on to say how when Weight Watchers reached out to her, for some reason at that point in time, she was ready to listen.  Something inside her shifted, and I feel the same way these last several weeks.  I’ve realized that I can’t trick the system by trying to play by my old “diet” rules (eat like a pig one day – hope to work it off in the gym the next six days) or feel guilty about eating a cheeseburger and fries when I had every intention of ordering a grilled chicken breast.   I now build my treats into my meal plan, so there is no guilt associated with the food I am eating.  I plan for it.  I balance out the other two meals to make it work.  I wake up the next day to a brand new day, and that’s exactly what it is.  No “falling off the wagon” for a few days (or weeks!) after an indulgent meal because I’ve convinced myself that I have no control over what I eat.

I am living.  I am eating really good food.  I am actually kind of glad that I got this cough because its made me focus on the food, when really that’s what it’s all about to get the scale move.  Yes, the exercise helps reshape your body, burn some extra calories – sure.  But you can never work out enough to overcome a crappy diet.  It’s just not going to happen.  Especially when you’d have to do an hour of high intensity cardio to burn off one chocolate coconut cake donut from Dunkin Donuts. 


So as I was thumbing through the cookbook, I was thrilled that the first 19 recipes are SOUP recipes!  You guys all know what a soup whore I am.  The first one that caught my eye was the tomato and guajillo chile soup.  Since Weight Watchers is promoting their #freshfoodsfeb, I thought this recipe would be a perfect addition to that challenge to use fresh ingredients.  Carrots, garlic, corn, ripe tomatoes – yes please! 

The only draw back I’ve noticed so far is that they don’t specify what a serving is.  The recipe says that it makes 4 servings at 4 smart points.  But how much is a serving?  Not that it’s that complicated, but I had to measure out one cup portions, to realize I had 8 cups of soup – so two cups was 4 smart points.  Well, that’s not enough for dinner, so I decided to add cheese tortellini and baby spinach to my bowl to make it more of a meal.

If you’ve never used dried guajillo peppers, they are really delicious.   You need to reconstitute them before using them in a recipe.  The seeds also hold the heat, so before soaking them, I tapped out all the seeds after cutting off the top.  They are cheap too – I got a bag of about a dozen for $1.69 at my local grocery store.  The cilantro I bought was bad, so I left that out, but feel free to add it to your soup!

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Tomato and Guajillo Chile Soup
Serves 4
A low point, spicy tomato soup that's perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side, or add some cheese tortellini to make it more of a meal.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
303 calories
18 g
93 g
11 g
34 g
3 g
365 g
601 g
8 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 303
Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 93mg
Sodium 601mg
Total Carbohydrates 18g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 8g
Protein 34g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 dried guajillo chiles
  2. 8 sprigs of fresh cilantro
  3. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  4. 1 small carrot, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  6. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 3/4 cup corn (from an ear of corn, or canned)
  9. 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  10. 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped*
  11. 1/2 cup cooked hominy **
  12. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  13. 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  1. Here is how I made this a quick weeknight soup.  In a microwave safe measuring cup – add two cups of water and the dried guajillo peppers (stems chopped and seeds removed) and microwave for three minutes.  Meanwhile, in a stock pot, add the olive oil, carrots, garlic, and corn and cook for about 3-4 minutes, just until the carrots are tender.
  2. In a blender, remove the hot guajillo peppers with tongs and put them in the blender – toss the water.  Add the cooked carrot mixture to the blender, along with the salt, cumin, tomatoes, hominy and tomato paste.  Puree until smooth.  Pour that mixture into the stock pot, add the stock and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Adjust salt seasoning at the end.  Using my method, this soup was ready in about 20 minutes.  And that included the time it took to cook my cheese tortellini to add to the soup.
  1. * I left the jalapeno out because I found the dried guajillo peppers to be spicy enough.
  2. ** The original recipe calls for "cooked hominy." I just used canned hominy (but can someone tell me why I can't find small cans of hominy?! 😀
  3. The soup by itself is 2 smart points per cup. I added 7 cheese tortellini (5) and baby spinach to my soup to make it more of a meal.
Adapted from Food Health and Happiness Cookbook
My Bizzy Kitchen
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My bowl would only fit one cup of the soup with the tortellini and baby spinach, and I thought I’d top it off with the second cup once I ate some of it, but I was really full.  The soup is flavorful spicy which I love!  And I like how the corn and hominy thickened up the soup.  Here is the perfect bite:

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I saved the leftover soup in one cup packages.  I can see having this as a late afternoon snack at work to tide me over until dinner before my long train ride home.  I’ve been eating a banana most afternoons, but this would be delicious too.

Because I love this cookbook so much, I am giving away a copy!  I’ll keep it simple.  You don’t have to tag five friends, tweet the giveaway, do twenty jumping jacks, just leave me a comment telling me what state you live in.  I haven’t done that one in a while and I always get a kick to see who is the farthest away (although Fran I already know that’s you – and Roz is a close second!).

I’ll pick a winner on Monday’s post.  Good luck – I know you’ll love this cookbook as much as I do!

Make it a great day!

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  • Docklady
    February 2, 2017 at 7:20 am Insanity!
  • Docklady
    February 2, 2017 at 7:21 am Insanity
  • Jennifer Olszowy
    February 2, 2017 at 7:22 am I always love to get a new cook book. I am still living in Colorado. Thanks for doing a give away.
  • Rachel Weber
    February 2, 2017 at 7:23 am Well, you know I live in NC...a couple towns down from the town that shares a name with the town you live in! :-) Savory Spice Shop makes a guajillo chili powder that we like to use. Our favorite, though, is the pasilla negro chili powder!
  • Lisa
    February 2, 2017 at 7:28 am I live in VA. I'd love to have a copy of this book! Lisa
  • Debbie
    February 2, 2017 at 7:30 am Florida☀️
  • Paula
    February 2, 2017 at 7:53 am Texas-Pflugerville/Round Rock area
  • Sarah
    February 2, 2017 at 7:54 am South Carolina!
  • Diana
    February 2, 2017 at 8:01 am New York in the hiz-ouse!
  • sonia
    February 2, 2017 at 8:10 am Illinois Biz... Thanks for the inspirational writing. You prompted me to rejoin weight watchers!
  • MaryBe
    February 2, 2017 at 8:13 am Snowy Buffalo here! Not that far from you as the crow flies! That soup sounds good, but I'm not sure where the 34 g of protein comes from? I've noticed that WW stats are sometimes a little off. But I would try it! Happy Groundhog Day ?
    • Melissa
      February 2, 2017 at 11:35 am I was thinking the same thing, what ups the protein? It looks delicious!
  • Janette
    February 2, 2017 at 8:14 am I love soup. I could live on it if my family would get on board. Hard when you are married to a meat and potatoes man. I am in Calgary Alberta Canada.
  • Nan
    February 2, 2017 at 8:16 am I've been thinking about buying that book- I have an old Oprah cookbook written by her chef Rosie at the time. It actually has some good recipes. I live in sunny Florida now but I've lived in these states: Iowa, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Virginia!
  • Chris Tingle
    February 2, 2017 at 8:22 am VA
  • Carrie @ Season It Already
    February 2, 2017 at 8:28 am Bullets today! (Whoa, it's been a while) ~ I do that with cookbooks, too - read them like novels and flag them. (Rob hates it when I start reading them TO him. ;-) ) ~ We've been a soup kick lately. I've just put myself on the wait list for this cookbook at the library. Also, I'll need to search your blog for a few others. ~ BTW - I live in Minnesota - you are welcome to visit anytime, Biz! :-) ~ I adore the flavor of guajillo peppers! ~ Tomato and Guajillo Chile Soup - Do you think I could do that soup without the hominy? Or with something else more common I might have in the house? Or just do tortellini? We have some on hand right now. But it's mushroom - so maybe that'd be a little weird... ~ I'm finally getting back out there to make some steak tonight. I'm using your best ever marinade and using your technique of 4 min one side, 3 on the other, 10 min rest and cut against the grain. Wish me luck. ~ Also, I have only 1/2 pound of stew meat left. What can I do with this? I know you are so good and throwing shit together. I thought about kabobs, but hubs doesn't like the meat if it's too tough. I used the other 1 lbs of it in the crockpot to make a Guinness Stew Mac & Cheese. He can handle that because it just falls apart... ~ Cheers!
  • Emily
    February 2, 2017 at 8:30 am Looks like a great cookbook. I am in AZ, I love soup!
  • Katherine
    February 2, 2017 at 8:32 am Fall City, Washington
  • Lauren
    February 2, 2017 at 8:32 am WooHoo!!! First post LOL I live in TX, and would love this soup! Guajillos are my fave :)
  • Allyson
    February 2, 2017 at 8:35 am Mississippi and I could eat tomato soup in any variation every day I think. Really good summer tomatos are one of life's greatest pleasures. =)
  • Andrea
    February 2, 2017 at 8:54 am Florida! I love cookbooks too!
  • Maggie
    February 2, 2017 at 8:58 am I am in NJ! Looks like a good cookbook... I haven't gotten any new ones in a while.
  • Carol Belles
    February 2, 2017 at 9:01 am Huntsville, AL
  • Teresa Drake
    February 2, 2017 at 9:09 am Texas. I can't wait to try this recipe!
  • Wendy
    February 2, 2017 at 9:10 am I'm probably the closest in Wisconsin. I'd love to get this cookbook and want to try that soup.
  • Caron
    February 2, 2017 at 9:15 am Maricopa, Arizona :)
  • Kimberly
    February 2, 2017 at 9:17 am I live in Missouri
  • Tara
    February 2, 2017 at 9:18 am I live in New Hampshire!
  • Joan K
    February 2, 2017 at 9:19 am Hi! I am from the great state of...Illinois! lol Thanks for all of the encouragement you share on the blog. I look forward to reading every post!
  • Elyse
    February 2, 2017 at 9:20 am Hi Biz - I live in Illinois!
  • Kym
    February 2, 2017 at 9:30 am (Heavy sigh) Here from Florida. The first day of fresh food February and what did I eat? Popeye's. I don't even like Popeye's. I actually got nausea just walking inside the place from the smell of grease. I only ate two tenders and coleslaw but my tummy felt so horrible after :( Anyway, your soup looks yummy as usual. I find nothing wrong with "reading"a cookbook and I don't say that as someone who does the same thing. :)
  • Darlene
    February 2, 2017 at 9:32 am Hi Biz! Thanks for the giveaway. I enjoy reading your posts every day. Wishing you lots of success on your WW journey. Louisiana
  • Mira
    February 2, 2017 at 9:37 am I'm in Boston!
  • Cindy B.
    February 2, 2017 at 9:38 am I live in Kentucky.
  • debby
    February 2, 2017 at 9:39 am This soup looks so yummy. The calorie count seems high--is that for the whole recipe? Anyway, I live in Pine Grove CA, and I would love to get Oprah's cookbook!
  • Nicole P
    February 2, 2017 at 9:46 am I'm from Northern Minnesota! About 20 minutes from Duluth. It's cold but beautiful!
  • Gail Leider
    February 2, 2017 at 9:56 am I live in Illinois...Grayslake, not too far from you!
  • SharonF
    February 2, 2017 at 10:04 am I live in Iowa. Not far from you. You are doing amazing at Weight Watchers.
  • Lisa
    February 2, 2017 at 10:08 am Super proud of you! While we know that I'm originally from Cary, I live south of Champaign-Urbana now in Philo, IL.
    • Biz319
      February 2, 2017 at 11:18 am Congrats on your daughter choosing U of I! So exciting - but now to figure out if you save $$ by having her home, or giving her the full college experience :D Decisions, decisions!
  • Marcia
    February 2, 2017 at 10:17 am I live in California! It's not just being ready - though my friend dietitian says that's the big part - took her years to be able to identify which clients were ready - it's also being able to adjust to changes in life. New jobs, babies, deaths, moving...all of these stressors can throw you off your game and you need to be able to handle them.
  • Cindy
    February 2, 2017 at 10:29 am I'm over in sunny (sorry!) California! I love soups as much as you do!
  • ruth m.
    February 2, 2017 at 10:37 am I'm in Pennsylvania. (And please don't blame me for Punxsutawney Phil and his 6 more weeks of winter!) I prefer Gus, the groundhog who's the mascot for the PA Lottery, although he hasn't been particularly kind to me either on the rare occasion I buy a lottery ticket!
  • Linda Fischer
    February 2, 2017 at 10:43 am I live in Arkansas. The soup looks delicious!!
  • Diana
    February 2, 2017 at 10:44 am Ohio! Thanks for sharing the recipe ?
  • Kim B
    February 2, 2017 at 10:47 am Im in Iowa!! That soup looks so good!!
  • Lisa Wilton
    February 2, 2017 at 11:08 am Auburn, Alabama
  • Elaine
    February 2, 2017 at 11:15 am Texas! Not your kind of winters, but soup lover too!
  • Pat
    February 2, 2017 at 11:23 am Live in Glendale,AZ Also LOVE soups
  • M.J. Jacobsen
    February 2, 2017 at 11:26 am Soup is my very fave food!! I'm n Stanwood ,WA!!
  • Lynne
    February 2, 2017 at 11:27 am Hey Biz - I'm in Wisconsin ;) I love soup too :)
  • Tia @ Good Genes
    February 2, 2017 at 11:29 am Is the river still frozen? I could make this easy for you, get some steps in, avoid shipping, and we could meet in the middle...LOL!
  • kris
    February 2, 2017 at 11:31 am Iowa girl who can always find room on the shelf for another cookbook!
  • Helen
    February 2, 2017 at 11:38 am Am I the first to say Connecticut? I am sitting here right now eating Campbell's Healthy Request Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup out of a can because I have exhausted my frozen homemade soup supplies. I'm sick for the 3rd time since October and when I don't feel well, all I want to eat is soup. Now to just feel better so I can make some... Do you think the calories on your recipe are correct? That seems like a whole lot of calories and fat grams for one bowl of soup - plus I think it would be more points than 4 at those amounts.
  • Cory
    February 2, 2017 at 12:07 pm I am a soup whore as well, fortunately my family loves soup too. I have to read a cookbook from beginning to end because I don't want to miss anything! This soup looks wonderful, I think I'd add the tortellini too. I live in Washington. We are having good soup weather.
  • Michelle Kornfeld
    February 2, 2017 at 12:19 pm I live in North Carolina.
  • Lynn Skelton
    February 2, 2017 at 12:20 pm I would love this cookbook it looks like a good way to kick start healthy eating! I live in Missouri.
  • Anne Belanger
    February 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm Vermont. And I need to say thank you because you have inspired me to get back on the band wagon with Weight Watchers....Thank You!
  • Randi MacDonald
    February 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm Santa Clarita, CA.
  • Kerry
    February 2, 2017 at 1:36 pm I live in New York.
  • Cyndi Williams
    February 2, 2017 at 1:52 pm California :-)
  • Anna Edwards
    February 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm Not far from you, Joliet, Il.
  • Mary G
    February 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm Hi Biz! Massachusetts
  • Mary
    February 2, 2017 at 2:42 pm I'd love to win a copy of this cookbook. Thanks for the offering. I enjoy reading your blog and your photos make anything you make look delicious.
  • Mary
    February 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm I didn't realize I had to note where I live. California
  • Irene
    February 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm Waco, Texas...or "Wako, Texas" as outsiders like to call it :)
  • Susan Trueblood
    February 2, 2017 at 5:34 pm Indiana
  • Donna Bolsar
    February 2, 2017 at 5:38 pm LOVE all kids of cookbooks! I live in Pennsylvania.
  • Ingrid
    February 2, 2017 at 5:52 pm Florida, love your blog!
  • Julianne (Pubsgal)
    February 2, 2017 at 5:58 pm Greeting from rainy (yes!!!! Finally!!!!!) California, Biz! That soup looks very tasty. There was a place we used to go to before we moved called "La Fiesta" and Guajillo chiles were the secret to one of their sauces that we liked. I can't wait to try the soup. Would you say that the hominy adds much flavor to it? It's not an ingredient we use much.
  • Lynn
    February 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm North Carolina!!!!
  • Jamie Hood
    February 2, 2017 at 6:28 pm That soup looks amazeballs...yum.. I am a total cookbook and I am from North Carolina! Thanks Biz :)
  • Lisa
    February 2, 2017 at 6:38 pm That soup looks so delicious! It's definitely soup weather here. We might be getting some more snow and ice this weekend. :(
  • Kim
    February 2, 2017 at 7:11 pm North Carolina!
  • Kim P
    February 2, 2017 at 7:35 pm Tennessee
  • NicoleG
    February 2, 2017 at 7:40 pm I always look forward to you're posts. Even though I'm not on WW, I do try to eat healthy and keep at my goal weight. I live in NY!
  • Barbara
    February 2, 2017 at 7:53 pm Ohio!
  • Paula Velasco
    February 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm California... I think this might work this time! pauvelasco =)
  • Janie
    February 2, 2017 at 8:02 pm hi Biz!! Following you all the way from Washington State. I'm a fellow weight watcher and I Love All of yor honesty. I've fallen off the wagon here recently and I may hoping to get my groove back on. Keep up the awesome work!
  • Michele M.
    February 2, 2017 at 8:10 pm I love soup, I love Weight Watchers and I love's a win, win, win! I'm from New Jersy.
  • Krishna
    February 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm Texas
  • Karen
    February 2, 2017 at 8:15 pm Ohio! I love checking in with your blog during the week. Lifetime WW'er here and maintenance has been a struggle but I'm holding on! So happy to be with you on your WW journey. Care to share your Connect handle? Feel free to follow me - karengetstogoal :)
    • Biz319
      February 2, 2017 at 9:49 pm Hey Karen ?? I'll find you on connect - I forget to post there, but am getting better about it - my Bizzy kitchen - pretty much my handle across social media ? (Pinterest, Connect and Instagram)
  • Zen
    February 2, 2017 at 9:05 pm We have cookbook readers in Southern California.
  • Tammy
    February 2, 2017 at 11:03 pm kansas:)
  • Joanne
    February 2, 2017 at 11:32 pm Southern Minnesota where a commercial was filmed for Preperation H this past May.
  • Joan
    February 3, 2017 at 2:18 am Michigan
  • Joanne
    February 3, 2017 at 6:45 am Hi Biz, I'm in sunny florida. Buy the full size hominy can.......make posole.
  • Katherine
    February 3, 2017 at 8:03 am Maryland, in a suburb of Washington, D.C.
  • Amie mele
    February 3, 2017 at 8:05 am South carolina
  • Tracey
    February 3, 2017 at 9:48 am I'm in Western Pennsylvania! I've been toying with the idea of doing Weight Watchers, maybe this book would help push me over the edge!
  • Susan
    February 3, 2017 at 10:18 am Hi, Biz! Thanks for the giveaway. I grew up in the midwest, but now live in New Jersey.
  • Carol
    February 3, 2017 at 11:06 am Hi Biz, Thanks for the give away! California!
  • Valerie
    February 3, 2017 at 11:58 am Spokane, Washington... where we have about 12" of snow on the ground and it is snowing now..... soup sounds great!
  • Cll
    February 3, 2017 at 12:41 pm I've been reading your blog for several years and really look forward to it. You've inspired me to give Weight Watchers a try again. After dealing with Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years I gave up last year from burn out and just being overwhelmed. I'm back to myself and am ready to take control of my health and my weight once and for all. One day at a time! You are a great inspiration. Thank you!
  • Connie
    February 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm Pennsylvania ;-)
  • Patti
    February 3, 2017 at 6:40 pm Hi. I'm in Pa. but moving to North Carolina soon. I read cookbooks too!! :)
  • Avishan
    February 3, 2017 at 8:25 pm Hi biz! I live in canada...don't know if the giveaway is open to us but thought I'd give it a shot anyway ;)
    • Biz319
      February 3, 2017 at 8:51 pm Absolutely - I should have no problem sending the book to you if you win! ???
  • Emily
    February 4, 2017 at 8:22 am I'm in NC!
  • SmilynStef
    February 4, 2017 at 8:23 am I'm in Iowa and I love reading about your journey ... we've all been there and it helps to remember that.
  • Jennifer
    February 5, 2017 at 12:43 pm Love your blog, I've been reading it for years! Another Virginian here.
    • Biz319
      February 5, 2017 at 2:26 pm Thanks for being a loyal reader ???
  • Jennifer
    February 5, 2017 at 8:54 pm Texas - home of Rudy's BBQ!
    • Biz319
      February 6, 2017 at 7:36 am Lucky! I would probably eat there every day ??????