I’m a planner…. in all aspects of my life. I like to plan everything from a camping trip, to a party, to the weekly meals at home. And each week, I ask Brett, what he wants to have for dinner. And almost every time I get, grilled cheese and tomato soup. And almost every time I say, no, pick something else. It’s not that I don’t like grilled cheese and tomato soup, in fact I love it. The warm and delicious soup, paired with the crunchy and cheesy sandwich. I don’t care for the high amounts of sodium, and I prefer home-made. So, this week I decided to grant Brett’s wish, and make grilled cheese and tomato soup. This time though, I made the soup from scratch.
Tomatoes are very beneficial for your health:
- They contain the four major carotenoids (colorful plant pigments): alpha carotene, beta carotene, lutein and lycopene which are antioxidants with numerous health benefits
- They contain Vit. A, Vit. C and Vit. E. And studies have shown that they can reduce the risk of cancer, specifically prostate and pancreatic cancer.
- Lycopene has also been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, blood clots and stroke
- Lutein has also been linked to a reduced risk for heart disease, but has also been shown to be beneficial to vision. It doesn’t appear to prevent cataracts, however lutein can slow macular degeneration.
- High in potassium
My other goal was to add more protein and fiber to the soup, and in a way that was hidden so Brett wouldn’t know it. So, I added 2 cups of cooked white/cannellini beans. When I blended the soup, they disappeared and created a creamy texture without adding any dairy or cream. The other goal was to create a new dairy free recipe for one of my athletes who has to eat dairy free for medical reasons. So, if you need to eat dairy free, if you’d like to sneak in more fiber and protein from beans, but don’t want your family to know, this is a good soup for you. Plus it’s just delicious too.
Feel free to roast your own tomatoes, and cook your own beans. In the interest of time, I used canned tomatoes and canned beans. Roasting the tomatoes helped to bring out a better flavor as well. Here is the recipe:
Roasted Tomato Soup-Serves 4-6 (gluten free, vegan)
- 42oz of diced, low sodium tomatoes, drained-I used 1x 28 oz and 1x 14 oz can
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of carrots, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 4 cups of low sodium vegetable/chicken broth
- 1 14.5oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil
- Pepper to taste
*If you’d like a thicker soup, you can add tomato paste to the soup at the end-1/4c should do it*
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet, with the sides of the foil folded up, roast the drained tomatoes for 20min.
- When the tomatoes go in, start a soup pan on the stove. Over medium heat pour in 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute garlic and onion for 3 min. Add carrots and celery and cook an additional 15min, or until veggies start to soften.
- Add the broth, beans and roasted tomatoes. Stir. Cook an additional 20-30min until vegetables are softened.
- Using an immersion blender or normal blender, blend the soup until creamy. If using a normal blender, this must be done in batches, and be careful as hot soup can cause quite a mess in the blender.
- After blending, add basil and pepper to taste.
- Serve with grilled cheese if desired
Nutrition for a serving if using 4 servings: