Cooking Delights

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tomato Soup, not from a can...

The tomatoes are coming fast and furious from our garden. As you have seen in previous posts we are eating many of them in fresh salads. I had a bit of a back log growing in my fridge so I decided to make some tomato soup.

Tomatoes are one of the healthiest vegetables, technically a fruit, around because of the lycopene found in them. This carotenoid found in tomatoes (and everything made from them) has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. The antioxidant function of lycopene - its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage - has been linked in human research to the protection of DNA (our genetic material) inside of white blood cells. Prevention of heart disease has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene.

Here is the recipe for this soup, veganized from The French Culinary Institute's Salute to Healthy Cooking (Rodale):

Fresh Tomato Soup
Serves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 medium very ripe tomatoes, cored and
cut into 8 pieces each
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
pinch of sugar
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup soy milk (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4 sprigs fresh chervil or 12 leaves fresh flat-leaf parsley

Warm the oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium-
low heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until
very soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme
and sugar. Raise the heat to medium and simmer for 10
minutes. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil, then boil for
two minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Transfer to a blender or food processor fitted with the metal
blade. Process until smooth.

Strain the soup through a medium fine sieve into a clean
saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce
the heat to medium-low. Stir in the milk (if using). Season
with the salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 minutes.

Place equal portions in each of 4 shallow soup bowls.
Garnish the chervil or parsley.


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