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Roasted Tomato Bisque Recipe

August 1, 2011 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

When I was a kid, being served tomato soup was one of the worst forms of punishment. It wasn’t intentional, but that’s how my psyche and taste buds interpreted it. The stranger thing is that I actually enjoyed many other foods made from tomatoes, especially ketchup and marinara sauce. Perhaps my taste buds have matured, but I now enjoy tomato soup when it’s prepared to my liking, which is code for “when cream is added”. And while it’s true that most people enjoy foods with added cream, not everyone chooses to eat them. It could be that they’re sensitive to lactose, trying to lose weight or vegan. Whatever the reason, cream can be problematic for certain individuals and when entertaining a crowd.

As odd as it may sound, a simple substitution for heavy cream is raw cashews. These nuts work well as a cream replacement because they have a neutral taste and the fat and fiber content contribute a rich, smooth finish to vegetable based soups. Cashews also shift the fatty acid profile from predominantly saturated fats to primarily monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). On the health front, recent evidence suggests that monounsaturated fats play an important role in supporting healthier cognitive functioning and mood. (1,2,3)

I chose tomatoes as the star player in today’s recipe for two reasons. The first is that I ate a wonderful tomato bisque as a starter at a recent brunch. Secondly, the medical literature constantly reminds me of the health benefits associated with consuming tomatoes. In particular, the regular intake of cooked tomatoes has been associated with significant protection against a variety of conditions and diseases. Three of my favorite studies from recent months indicate that tomato extracts and purees may: a) support bone health in postmenopausal women; b) protect against cancer via an antimutagenic effect; c) lower blood pressure and cholesterol safely. (4,5,6)

Roasted Tomato Bisque

32 oz organic vegetable broth
6 organic Roma tomatoes
2 organic jalapeno peppers
4 cloves of organic garlic
1 cup organic, raw cashews
6 Tbs organic extra virgin olive oil
dried, organic Italian herbs and spices
pepper and salt to taste

Nutritional Info: Calories: 235. Protein: 4 grams. Fat: 19 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 10 grams. Six servings per recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the tomatoes in half and place flesh up on a baking sheet. Brush the tomatoes lightly with olive oil (approx 2 tbs) and sprinkle liberally with the dried Italian herbs.  Place whole jalapeno peppers alongside the tomatoes and roast for 60 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool. Add remaining olive oil and 4 crushed cloves of garlic to a large saucepan. Keep the heat on low to prevent the garlic from burning or becoming too brown. Add the vegetable broth and cashews to the pot. Stir and cover for about 5 minutes, until the mixture comes to a low simmer. Next, remove the stems from the jalapeno peppers and add to the saucepan along with the roasted tomatoes. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender until it’s smooth and almost creamy in texture. Salt and pepper to taste. If you like a thicker consistency, let the bisque continue cooking uncovered on low heat, stirring frequently until the desired thickness is achieved.

Concentrated Tomato Paste May Support Prostate Health

Source: Braz J Med Biol Res, August 2006, Volume 39(8) 1115-1119 (link)

Including vegetable soup in one’s diet is an effective means of increasing antioxidant and vegetable intake in adults and children alike. Simply put, it’s easier for some people to drink or sip liquified fruits or vegetables than eating a plate full of them. But, what differentiates bisques from juices is that the former retains all of the naturally occurring fiber and nutrients. This may partially explain why numerous studies report that eating soup at the beginning of a meal prevents overeating and may even support a healthier weight. (7,8,9)

The beauty of this particular tomato soup is that it can be used as a low-calorie meal replacement if desired or necessary. Adding cashews increases the fiber and protein content enough to make it stand apart from more traditional forms of this recipe. If you’re feeling down, under the weather or you’re just plain pressed for time, this an excellent form of liquid nutrition that you can keep on hand. If spiciness isn’t for you, you can very easily adjust the heat level by reducing or omitting the hot peppers. In fact, you can replace the jalapenos altogether with roasted bell peppers, if you’d prefer. Also, if you decide to use this dish to entertain, you might consider topping it with a few leaves of fried basil or homemade parmesan crisps. Come to think of it, I think I’ll serve this at our next family gathering. My Dad and Mom will be so surprised.

Be well!

JP

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10 Comments & Updates to “Roasted Tomato Bisque Recipe”

  1. Allysia Says:

    This is a really great idea! And I happen to have a million tomatoes sitting on my counter right now. Thanks for this!

  2. JP Says:

    Thanks, Allysia!

    The recipe will turn out even better with garden fresh tomatoes.

    I hope you and yours enjoy it as much as we did.

    Be well!

    JP

  3. ozlem Says:

    I do exactly the same soup but I always prefer broth with it to use every chance to get some more gelatin.

  4. JP Says:

    Hello, Ozlem. I’ll bet this recipe tastes just great with homemade broth as a base ingredient. I agree with you that (homemade) broth is wonderfully nutritious. We make it in our household regularly. Delicious and very healthy.

    Be well!

    JP

  5. Nina K. Says:

    Good morning, JP :-)

    what a yummy recipe, thx :-) . I love tomatoes and nuts, and both toghether is always very delicious. Made you recipe already and it tastes really good, even eaten cold ;-)

    Can highly recommend to try that with almonds, i use white almond butter and a few grated and roasted almond sprinkled over the soup..also very yummy :-)

    Be well and i wish you and yours a great weekend ☺!
    Nina K.

  6. JP Says:

    Thank you, Nina! Happy to know you enjoyed it. :)

    I’m looking forward to trying your almond variation as well. I appreciate you sharing it with us.

    I hope you both have a lovely weekend too.

    Be well!

    JP

  7. Jenny Says:

    Yummy and very nutritious! Tomatoes on the menu!! :D

    *printing article*

  8. JP Says:

    Hope you enjoy it, Jenny!

    Be well!

    JP

  9. JP Says:

    Update: Gazpatcho, a cold Mediterranean soup, may reduce blood pressure and hypertensive risk …

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753%2812%2900181-0/abstract

    Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Oct;23(10):944-52.

    Gazpacho consumption is associated with lower blood pressure and reduced hypertension in a high cardiovascular risk cohort. Cross-sectional study of the PREDIMED trial.

    BACKGROUND AND AIM: Hypertension is a major public health problem and a leading cause of death and disability in both developed and developing countries, affecting one-quarter of the world’s adult population. Our aim was to evaluate whether the consumption of gazpacho, a Mediterranean vegetable-based cold soup rich in phytochemicals, is associated with lower blood pressure (BP) and/or reduced prevalence of hypertension in individuals at high cardiovascular risk.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: We selected 3995 individuals (58% women, mean age 67 y) at high cardiovascular risk (81% hypertensive) recruited into the PREDIMED study. BP, weight, and dietary and physical activity data were collected. In multivariate linear regression analyses, after adjustment, moderate and high gazpacho consumption categories were associated with reduced mean systolic BP of -1.9 mm Hg [95% confidence interval (CI): -3.4; -0.6] and -2.6 mm Hg (CI: -4.2; -1.0), respectively, and reduced diastolic BP of -1.5 mm Hg (CI: -2.3; -0.6) and -1.9 mm Hg (CI: -2.8; -1.1). By multiple-adjusted logistic regression analysis, gazpacho consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension, with OR = 0.85 (CI: 0.73; 0.99) for each 250 g/week increase and OR = 0.73 (CI: 0.55; 0.98) for high gazpacho consumption groups compared to the no-consumption group.

    CONCLUSIONS: Gazpacho consumption was inversely associated with systolic and diastolic BP and prevalence of hypertension in a cross-sectional Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. The association between gazpacho intake and reduction of BP is probably due to synergy among several bioactive compounds present in the vegetable ingredients used to make the recipe.

    Be well!

    JP

  10. JP Says:

    Update 04/20/15:

    http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/s12937-015-0021-4.pdf

    Nutrition Journal (2015) 14:34

    Tomato juice intake increases resting energy expenditure and improves hypertriglyceridemia in middle-aged women

    Background: Tomato-based food products have health-promoting and disease-preventing effects. Some tomato juice ingredients may have health benefits for middle-aged women, including women with menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular diseases. We investigated the net effect of tomato juice intake on several health parameters in women in this age group.

    Methods: An open-label, single-arm study was conducted, involving 95 women (40-60-years-old) who had at least one menopausal symptom. The participants refrained from foods and drinks rich in tomato and tomato-based products for 2 weeks prior to the study and during the 8 weeks of tomato juice consumption. After the run-in period, the women were asked to consume 200 mL of unsalted tomato juice, twice daily for 8 weeks. Their menopausal symptoms were evaluated using the Menopausal Symptom Scale (MSS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) before the study, and at 4 and 8 weeks after study commencement. At the same times, body composition; blood pressure; heart rate; resting energy expenditures (REEs); and serum levels of triglyceride (TG), cholesterol, glucose, and hemoglobin A1c were measured.

    Results: Ninety-three women (98%) completed the study. The following parameters showed significant changes, compared with baseline, at study weeks 4 and 8 (mean ± standard deviation at baseline, week 4, and week 8): (1) the MSS score improved (32.8 ± 17.0, 28.1 ± 16.3, 27.6 ± 16.3; P < 0.0001, repeated measures analysis of variance(ANOVA)), (2) the HADS-anxiety subscale score improved (5.3 ± 2.7, 4.8 ± 2.4, 4.9 ± 2.9; P = 0.041, Friedman test), (3) heart rate increased (62.6 ± 9.4 bpm, 64.4 ± 8.6 bpm, 63.8 ± 8.2 bpm; P = 0.028, Friedman test), (4) REE increased (1980 ± 368 kcal/day, 2108 ± 440 kcal/day, 2149 ± 470 kcal/day; P = 0.0030, repeated measures ANOVA), (5) serum TG level decreased in the subgroup of women (n = 22) who had high TG (150 mg/dL or higher) at baseline (237.8 ± 88.9 mg/dL, 166.7 ± 86.1 mg/dL, 170.9 ± 109.7 mg/dL; P = 0.0002, Friedman test).

    Conclusions: Tomato juice intake alleviated menopausal symptoms, including anxiety, increased REEs and heart rate, and lowered high baseline serum TG levels in middle-aged women.

    Be well!

    JP

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