I am SO ready for spring, but unfortunately it has been quite cold and wintery here in Georgia the last few weeks. Rain, wind and cold temperatures always make me want to have a hearty soup to warm up. There is just something very comforting about coming home to a warm house, a fire in the fireplace and a delicious soup for dinner.
I have been craving tomato soup lately. You know, a really yummy, thick soup that you can dunk your bread down into? In my old life…. I used to heat up a can of Campbell’s tomato soup and make cheese toast with white bread and that vile Kraft American cheese. Yes…I’m ashamed to say that it was one of my favorites. No more of that stuff in our house.
I have tried to find a good pre-made tomato soup at the supermarket, but many brands have gluten and milk products, artificial ingredients or preservatives. Not good.
This tomato soup recipe is my own creation and it turned out amazing. We had this just last night for dinner. I added other veggies to the tomatoes as well. Carrots, celery, onion, basil and parsley ramp up the nutrition in the recipe. Roasted red peppers take this tomato soup over the top in flavor. The smoked flavor comes through in the finished product and is a great compliment for the San Marzano tomatoes.
I roasted the peppers over the flame on my gas range, but you can easily roast them under the broiler in your oven if you choose.
Tomatoes have huge health benefits. Here are a few:
- Contains Lycopene…a vital anti-oxidant that helps fight against cancerous cell formation.
- The lycopene in tomatoes works to neutralize damaging free radicals in the blood stream.
- The large amount of Vitamin A in tomatoes may help to improve vision.
- Eating tomatoes without the seeds have been shown in some studies to lower the risk of kidney stones or gallstones.
- Due to the potassium and Vitamin B, tomatoes help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This could reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
I was so pleased with how this tomato soup recipe turned out. It was so flavorful, but still loaded down with veggies. It was very simple to prepare and the recipe made enough to freeze for another meal later.
Rather than serving the soup with cheese toast, I topped toasted whole grain bread with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, shallots, and a dab of grated Pecorino Romano cheese on top. Absolutely fabulous.
If it’s still winter where you are…. put this one the menu for this week.
You will love it…. I promise!
|Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup|| |
- 1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 - 28 oz. cans of San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 small yellow onion
- ½ cup of carrots, chopped
- ½ cup of celery, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup of fresh basil, chopped
- 2½ cups of vegetable broth
- ½ tsp. of crushed red pepper (Omit if you prefer)
- 1 tsp. of onion powder
- 1 tsp. of garlic powder
- ½ tsp. of dried marjoram
- 1 - 1½ Tbsp. of organic cane sugar
- 2 tsp. of salt (I used Real Salt brand)
- 1 tsp. of cracked black pepper
- Goat cheese crumbles for garnish
- Roast the red peppers over the flame of a gas range or place in a baking dish and roast under broiler. Once the peppers are charred on all sides.....remove and place into a bowl, cover with cling wrap and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Once the peppers have had a chance to cool and steam. Uncover and use a paper towel to wipe off all of outside charred skin of the pepper. It should come off very easily. Cut the peppers in half, remove seeds, chop into 1 inch chunks and set aside.
- In a medium sized sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium to high heat.
- Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and ½ cup of vegetable broth to the sauce pan. Reduce heat to Medium/low and allow to cook, stirring often until all vegetables are done. Approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Once vegetables are done and soft, remove from heat and place in a high speed blender.
- Add both cans of tomatoes to the blender along with the roasted red peppers and chopped parsley.
- Blend the tomato/vegetable mixture until well blended. Approximately 3 minutes.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and add 2 more cups of vegetable broth, the crushed red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, stir well and simmer on medium/low for 15-20 minutes.
- Add in the chopped basil and stir well. Simmer another 5 minutes and remove from heat.
- Allow to cool slightly and serve with a garnish of crumbled goat cheese if desired.
Some of the information on the health benefits of tomatoes was found here…. http://healthmad.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-tomatoes/