I have a few simple recipes that come together quickly for a satisfying weekday meal with a few staple ingredients. This simple tomato soup is one of them. Bare bones it is delicious and lends itself well to any number of spice additions and adaptations. If you aren’t into the smoky, spicy chipotle flavor, simply leave it out (or all of the spices) and go for an herby basil, oregano and thyme variation. Like your soup chunky? No problem. Want lots of crunch? Add extra toppings. Whatever you choose, this recipe doesn’t disappoint.
I have a problem with following any recipe exactly (yup, even my own!). Perhaps that is what I like most about this soup—it adapts effortlessly to whatever flavors I am craving at the moment AND it’s ready fast and without much planning.
Although it makes a large amount, the soup freezes and travels well for a last-minute dinner, lunch or snack. Even better, it can be served piping hot or cold like gazpacho. For a rich, creamy soup add a can of full fat coconut milk in place of 1½ cups of water. You can use diced or whole canned tomatoes and any spice combo you like. Curry powder is a nice addition in place of the chipotle.
I like the smokiness of fire-roasted varieties, but non-roasted tomatoes also work well. I think you’re getting the point: Take this recipe and make it your own!
Keep a few cans in your pantry and all you need is a few onions—and some spices to take things up a notch—and you’ve got yourself a world-class bowl of tomato-y goodness in a matter of minutes.
Many vegetables lose nutrients when they are heated, but the lycopene content in tomatoes actually becomes more bio-available when cooked. Consumption of lycopene, a red carotene, has been shown to reduce the risk of colon, breast, lung, skin and prostate cancers as well as reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and macular degeneration. This is due to lycopene’s anti-oxidant activity, neutralizing oxygen free radicals before they can cause damage.
Canned tomatoes are also more nutritious in general than most of the tomatoes you will find in the produce section. They are picked at the peak of ripeness and processed soon after; whereas the “fresh” tomatoes at most supermarkets are likely picked before they are ripe and force-ripened in warehouses with ethylene gas. These varieties are selected for their ability to travel well, not for their nutrition or flavor.
Hold the Chemicals Please!
Make sure to look for organic tomatoes in BPA-free (bisphenal A-free) cans or glass jars. Many canned foods, including most canned tomatoes are lined with BPA, which can leach into the food. According to the Environmental Working Group, BPA has been linked to breast cancer, early puberty, diabetes, obesity and reproductive cancers.
Conventional tomatoes are also most often sprayed with herbicides, pesticides and growth regulators that are classified by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) as toxic, cancer promoting, and can cause developmental, reproductive and environmental issues, including harming our delicate bee population. Thankfully we have another option: Organic tomatoes are free of these toxic chemicals.
 Murray, Michael and Pizzorno, Joseph. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, Atria Books. 2005 p.241. Print.
 Environmental Working Group. EWG’s Guide to BPA. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015. http://www.ewg.org/bpa/.
 Pesticide Action Network. What’s on my Food: Tomatoes. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015. http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=TO