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Chunky Tomato Soup

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in 21-Day-Adventure Cleanse, Soups | Posted on 18-12-2009

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This is not your mother’s  tomato soup, or rather, I should say this is not the tomato soup your mother used to pour from the can and heat up. Not even close.

I never liked canned tomato soup. In fact, I distinctly remember being sad on tomato soup/grilled cheese day at school, and swore I’d never put my kids through the same yucky torture. And with this soup, I never will.

I’m not even sure about how healthy the old-school tomato soup is, but I do know my version is better tasting and packed with nutrients. The fresh veggies provide plenty of fiber and vitamins, and the canned tomatoes and sauce are loaded with beta carotene, vitamin B and vitamin E, as well as carotenoid lycopene. Unlike other canned vegetables, can tomatoes retain all of their nutrients, and offer even more lycopene than raw tomatoes.

Even though it’s healthy, this hearty soup still manages to be creamy. The trick is to use pine nuts and Parmesan cheese instead of heavy whipping cream.  I serve this topped with garlic croutons and more grated Parmesan. Add a side salad and some fresh fruit, and you get an easy, healthy meal that will blow those school lunches — and even Mom’s soup — away.

NOTE: You can make this soup vegan simply by eliminating the Parmesan cheese and still have a nice creamy texture.

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 small onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
2 celery stalks
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1 carrot, chopped
1 tbsp. pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 fresh sage leaves, cut in a chiffonade
1/2 cube vegetable bouillion
2 cups water

Directions:

1. Sautee onions and celery in oil until soft and clear, about 5 minutes. (If you need to, add a little water to the mixture to keep it moist.)

2. Add peppers and cook until soft, about five minutes more.

3. Add garlic and continue to sautee until fragrant, about two minutes.

4. Add diced tomatoes and tomato juice, plus carrot, water, red pepper and bouillon. Bring soup to a boil.

5. Reduce heat to a simmer, then simmer for 10 minutes until carrot is tender.

6. Remove about 1/2 of the soup mixture and put into a blender. Add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts and puree until smooth.

7. Pour pureed mixture back into soup pot, mix together than serve with garlic croutons. Top with more grated Parmesan.

Garlic Croutons

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Cut sour dough or French bread loaf into cubes.

3. Throw cubes into a skillet with 1 tsp. olive oil and sprinkle with desired herbs — garlic powder, dried basil, rosemary, red pepper, ground black pepper and salt.

4. Sautee over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until crisp.

5. Spread onto a pan lined with parchment paper and toast bread for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.