Not From a Can Tomato Soup

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I love a good bowl of soup, especially on a cold winter evening. And it’s nights like this when I am grateful for my love and collection of cook books. This great recipe came from Williams-Sonoma “Soup.” Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded*
  • 4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

1. In a large soup pot* over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until softened but not browned, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the tomatoes and stock, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the tomatoes are softened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches, leaving a little bit of texture if desired, and return the soup to the pot. Alternatively, process with a handheld immersion blender in the pot until the desired consistency is reached. Return the soup to medium heat and reheat gently. Add the chopped basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and sprinkle with a spoonful of parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

Makes 6-8 servings.

*Soup Pot

When cooking tomatoes, I recommend avoiding aluminum cookware since the high acid content of the tomatoes may interact with the metal in the cookware. As a result, there may be migration of aluminum into the soup, which may not only impart an unpleasant taste, but more importantly, may lead to health problems such as alzheimer’s.

*Peeling and Seeding Tomatoes

For this soup, select fresh organic tomatoes that are slightly soft to the touch. To peel and seed them, fill a saucepan three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil. Using a sharp knife, score an X in the blossom end of each tomato. In batches, without crowding, immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water and leave for 15-30 seconds or until the skins just begin to wrinkle. Remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon, let cool slightly, then peel away the skins. Cut in half cross-wise and squeeze gently to dislodge the seeds.

Health Benefits of Not From a Can Tomato Soup

Soup can be a great option for a nutritious and healthy meal. However, many prepared or canned soups, are often very high in sodium, sugar and MSG, making what would otherwise be a healthy food choice very unhealthy. This homemade tomato soup comes packed with beneficial lycopene, a red-hued nutrient that gives the soup its colour. Lycopene is a heart-supportive nutrient and offers powerful antioxidant protection. In terms of conventional antioxidants, tomatoes provide an excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene; a very good amount of the mineral manganese; and a good amount of vitamin E. Reduced risk of heart disease is an area of health benefits in which tomatoes truly excel.

Tomatoes have repeatedly been shown to provide anti-cancer benefits. The track record for tomatoes as a cancer-protective food should not be surprising, since there is a very large amount of research on tomato antioxidants and a more limited but still important amount of research on tomato anti-inflammatory nutrients. Risk for many cancer types starts out with chronic oxidative stress and chronic unwanted inflammation. For this reason, foods that provide us with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support are often foods that show cancer prevention properties.

Prostate cancer is by far the best-researched type of cancer in relationship to tomato intake. The results are clear: tomatoes can definitely help lower risk of prostate cancer.

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