Soup is comfort food
There is nothing like a bowl of soup to warm us up, or cool us off, body and soul. Any time of day, any season of the year, and in every corner of the earth, people share and make memories over this simple side or meal.
Chicken soup has long been touted as a form of folk medicine to treat symptoms of the common cold. How many of us have memories of a mom in the kitchen making chicken soup to heal and nurture us back to good health? The thought of the aroma alone leads me to believe there are open arms and squeeze of the cheeks waiting….
Mom would add and taste, and add and taste to perfection. She was on a mission to “fill our bellies because that is the best way to also warm the heart,” she would say.
There is no secret to ensure a pass-me-down soup recipe.
- Sautee in any combination a ton of garlic, onions, shallots or leeks in a good quality olive oil until soft and browning.
- Dice and add your favorite vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, or spinach, just to name a few.)
- Add your favorite broth- vegetable, chicken, beef, or seafood (homemade is best, but there are also some clean, wonderful brands out there.)
- Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh or dried herbs.
- Bring to a boil and let reduce to desired thickness.
- Turn off the heat. Serve chunky or use a hand-held blender for a smooth and creamy texture.
You could add a whole grain such as barley or brown rice or buckwheat noodles to thicken. You could also add beans, chicken, beef or seafood for a complete meal in one bowl. While every culture has a different twist, the basics endure and can work for all.
This time of year, here in Miami, the tomatoes can be eaten like apples they are so sweet and flavorful. An all-time favorite of mine is roasted tomato basil soup. The recipe follows, and is best with ½ grilled cheese sandwich for dipping of course. Try gouda cheese infused with truffle oil from Whole Foods on a slice of Zak the Baker rye bread.
Tomato soup ingredients:
- 3-4 lbs ripe tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil (¼ cup, and 3 tablespoons)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large onions
- ½ head of garlic (6-8 large cloves)
- Imagine Non-Chicken Broth (1 container)
- 1- 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
- Fresh basil (1 bunch leaves only)
- Set the oven to 400 degrees. Cut all of the tomatoes in half, place in a large bowl and coat with ¼ cup olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven, skin side down, for an hour.
- In the meantime, chop all the onions and garlic and sautee in a large soup pot until the onions are softened and start to brown.
- When the tomatoes are ready, add them and all the juices to the soup pot.
- Add the broth, canned tomatoes and fresh basil.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered until it reaches your desired thickness.
- Blend with a hand-held blender. Serve and enjoy.
This soup is wonderful in the summertime chilled and served in ½ an avocado. It can also be used as a tomato sauce on your favorite pizza dough with melted buffalo mozzarella (use a whole grain wrap if you’re trying to be careful with carbs.) And it goes without say, that it is a delish sauce for pasta (whole wheat fettucini by Bionaturae is a great brand.)