Some of my fondest memories as a child is time spent with my grandparents in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. While all the food was fresh, one of my favorite experiences was eating ripe red delicious tomatoes right off the vine from grandpa’s garden; the only thing that could have been better was if I’d made it to the kitchen for a little salt.
Here are some interesting facts about tomatoes.
First, for a great tasting tomato, they must ripen on the vine; tomatoes in the stores are generally picked prematurely (for distribution purposes) resulting in a bland taste. Second, the growing environment such as soil conditions, sun exposure, and moisture have a huge impact on the flavor. Another contributor is the variety of tomato, which results in a savory or sweet flavor; this is largely due to concentrations of sugar or acid. Generally speaking, the smaller the tomato, the sweeter it is. There are numerous varieties, which vary in seed content, skin thickness, pigments, and uses.
In addition to being rich in vitamin C, A, K, and potassium, tomatoes are a major source of flavonoids, which is a type of natural chemical called a phytonutrient. If consumed on a regular basis, flavonoids appeared to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (Gupta, et al., 2013; Prakash D and Gupta KR., 2009), they support the immune system, help the body resist inflammation, and play a significant role in fighting other diseases ( Gupta, et al., 2013; Ungvarsky, 2018).
Cobblestone soups originated with family recipes – here is one that I’ve cherished since I was knee high to a grasshopper. From my grandfather’s garden, to my grandmother’s kitchen, and throughout the years, this simple soup captures the essence of family and home with every spoonful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…
Vegan Tomato Soup Recipe
What you need:
· 1 – 14.5oz can diced tomatoes in juice (use your canned garden tomatoes in liquid if available)
· Pinch Baking Soda x2
· 14.5 oz cashew milk; note: I’ve not had great luck with other types of nut milk. See below for milk recipe
· Salt to taste – grey sea salt is the best, but this soup tastes great even without salt.
· 2 sauce pans & heating element; you will need a good blender if making your own milk.
- Pour the diced tomatoes & liquid in one pan.
- Pour cashew milk in the second pan.
- Heat both pans (same time) until warm – DO NOT BOIL either ingredients.
- Add a pinch (tip of a tsp) of baking soda to each pan, and stir over heat for a couple minutes.
- Pour cashew milk into the pan with the tomatoes, and constantly stir until hot, but DO NOT BOIL.
- Remove from heat, salt to taste, enjoy….
Cashew Milk Recipe: 1 cup organic cashews to 2.5 cups warm water; blend until creamy smooth (3 to 5 minutes). You will have extra cashew milk, but in my experience, blending less cashews leads to gritty milk. Save extra milk for your coffee or to thicken other recipes.
If on a liquid diet, blend and thin tomatoes before heating, and add more water to cashew milk recipe; the soup will still be good, just thinner.
Gupta, Charu & Prof, Dhan & Gupta, Sneh. (2013). Relationships between Bioactive Food Components and their Health Benefits.
Prakash D and Gupta KR. (2009): The antioxidant phytochemicals of nutraceutical importance. The Open Nutraceuticals Journal. 2: 20-35.
Ungvarsky, Janine. (2018). Flavonoid. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health.