All of these vegetables are considered by some to be "negative calorie." They're supposed to take more calories to digest than actually in the vegetable due to the high fiber content. This soup is made in a HUGE stock or lobster pot and really needs to be cooked for 8-10 hours to get the desired stew-like texture. I cook it about 5 hours the first day and then enjoy it as a vegetable soup. The next day it cooks another 5 or 6 hours and it becomes thick and more hearty. It's like having two soups in one. The amount of water you use depends on the size of your pot. I used at least a gallon of water. You can also use Knorr's cube of your choice or extra onion soup mix if you desire a more intense flavor in your soup. I ate this soup for three days with some additional fruit and vegetables during the day and lost 4 pounds. A very tasty and filling way to drop a few.