We recently found out about a Harvard study revealing that eating several servings of cooked tomatoes daily can reduce the risk of some cancers dramatically. While eating several servings a day might be difficult, tomatoes are so sunny and luscious, bursting with tart sweet goodness, that it’s certainly no hardship to eat them several times a week, which is still great for reducing cancer risk.
This comforting tomato and garlic soup is not only sinfully easy to make, it is designed to help ease colds and sniffles while it adds a little zesty spice to your supper. And since cooking actually increases the cancer-busting lycopene in tomatoes, we’re happy to use good-quality canned tomatoes in our healing recipe. A simple, nourishing soup that anyone can make.
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups canned tomatoes with their juice
1/4 cup celery leaves, diced
1 dried chipotle pepper, diced, or hot pepper flakes to taste
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup vegetable broth and more as needed
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
fresh basil or parsley sprigs for garnish (optional)
1. In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, squashing them with your hands, or using a potato masher to break them up after they’ve been added to the pot. Add celery leaves and hot pepper.
2. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes.
3. In a saucepan, heat butter until melted, then sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring frequently, until flour is golden. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and whisk until mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Add flour and broth mixture to tomatoes in soup pot, stirring until well incorporated and thickened. Add more broth if needed to adjust consistency, then add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve hot, garnished with a fresh basil or parsley sprig if desired.
Serves 4 to 6.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).