My vegetable garden is in full swing and I have more tomatoes than I can handle! There is nothing tastier than a freshly picked tomato. I swear I can eat these things like apples. So for the next few weeks, tomatoes will be a staple in our meals.
Tomatoes are often mistaken for a vegetable but botanically speaking are fruit. Tomatoes are widely known for their antioxidant capacity, one being lycopene. If you haven’t heard of lycopene before, it’s actually a powerful antioxidant which gives fruits and vegetables their red color such as watermelon, cranberries and peaches. This powerful antioxidant may help protect cells from damage by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Cooking tomatoes also enhances their absorption which is another reason to try making this delicious tomato soup!
Tomatoes also provide almost one third of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C! Vitamin C is another remarkable antioxidant well known for its immune boosting properties. It is a water soluble vitamin which means our bodies cannot store it. We need to consume it every day from our diet. Other than tomatoes, foods containing significant amounts of vitamin C include strawberries, broccoli, cantaloupe, spinach and cauliflower. If you are a vegetarian, vitamin C also helps the body absorb nonheme iron such as legumes, whole grains and spinach.
The best tomatoes are organic! Try growing them yourself next season!
This tomato soup recipe is easy to follow and hard to mess up. I used roasted acorn squash as bowls which added even more nutrients to this meal! The acorn squash bowls can be made while your tomatoes are roasting!
Directions for the bowls:
1) Slice acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Scoop out a little of the flesh to allow more room for the soup.
2) Place in the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
3) Top with 1 tsp of both salt and pepper.
4) Bake for 30 minutes.
Yields 2 generous servings.
2 lbs ripe tomatoes
1 small yellow onion
1 ½ cups chicken stock (vegetable stock can be used as well)
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Fresh basil for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Chop tomatoes and onions and spread them across a baking sheet.
3) Drizzle olive oil on top and add chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Gently toss together.
TIP: tuck garlic into tomatoes to prevent them from burning.
4) Roast for 30 to 40 minutes.
5) Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
6) In a large pot, add the chicken stock.
7) Once the chicken stock heats up, add the tomato paste.
8) Once the tomato paste has dissolves add your ingredients from the baking sheet to the pot and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
9) Pour the mixture into a blender and puree until you get your desired consistency.
10) Pour the soup back into the pot and add the yogurt. Allow it to dissolve.
11) Top with fresh basil and pour into your roasted squash bowls!
Lane DJ, Richardson DR. The active role of vitamin C in mammalian iron metabolism: much more than just enhanced iron absorption!. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014;75:69-83.