Roasted Tomato Bisque RecipeAugust 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.
Tags: Antioxidants, Lycopene, Tomatoes
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Recipes