[center]Long-Life Tomato Soup [/center]
A few years ago I had a complete physical. And I mean complete. As I gingerly waddled to the car, I made a promise to myself that I was going to start paying attention to stuff besides just getting f’ing hyooooge. [insert chest bump, latest copy of Flex, and Imaginary Lat Syndrome here] You know, like all that health and longevity crap. After all, I didn’t want anyone’s finger on my prostate unless there was a bottle of vodka and a bachelor party involved.
And besides, I told myself, I wasn’t exactly 8 feet tall and bulletproof anymore. I was more like 7 feet tall and only mildly flame retardant. It was time to get serious about healthy eatin’, long-livin’, and disease fightin’.
One of my favorite go-to food references soon became Dr. Bowden’s 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Three of those superfoods are tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and onions. Dr. Bowden points out a few cool things:
Men who eat 10 or more servings of tomatoes per week have 45% fewer prostate cancers than dudes who only eat two or fewer servings per week. That lycopene ass-kickery also seems to help battle already-existing prostate cancers as well as protect against other forms of the Big C.
To get maximal absorption of lycopene you need to consume it with fat-rich foods.
Vine-ripened tomatoes are da bomb. Regular tomatoes are picked green then “ripened” with ethylenme gas. (I hear they do the same thing with Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.) This makes for a less-tasty and less nutritionally developed tomato – not as many vitamins for example.
You already know that olive oil rocks, and onions have some amazing health benefits too. Check out my article here for more info: <a href="http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/8_more_power_foods"target=“new”>8 More Power Foods.
Okay, so here’s a recipe that uses all that good stuff and takes full advantage of the health benefits of tomatoes. Oh, and since we all seem to be buried under a blanket of snow this week, this superfood soup will also keep you from getting snowballs.
[center]Life-Extending Tomato Soup i.e. No-More-Fingers-Up-My-Butt Soup[/center]
2.5 pounds of mixed tomatoes, preferably vine-ripened
Several cloves of garlic or a couple of spoonfuls of pre-minced jarred garlic
2 yellow onions
Half a cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1 quart reduced-sodium organic chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Pink sea salt and fresh ground pepper
4 tablespoons omega-3 Smart Balance stick butter
1/2 cup of fresh basil or a few tablespoons of dried
3/4 cup of half-n-half (optional)
Avocado (optional but highly recommended 'cause they’re awesome)
Preheat oven to 450. If you live in Boston, climb inside for a few minutes until you thaw out.
Wash and core the tomatoes, cut into halves. Slice onions. Peel garlic cloves if using whole ones.
Add tomatoes, onions, and garlic to a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 to 30 minutes. They should look caramelized.
Transfer it all into a big pot. Add chicken stock, bay leaves and butter. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced (evaporated and thickened) by about a third.
Add basil to pot, then use an immersion stick-style blender to puree the soup until fairly smooth. I like to leave mine a little grainy and chunky. You could probably use your regular blender too if you worked in batches.
Return soup to low heat, add half-n-half if your diet goals allow for it, then add more chicken stock if you want it thinner.
Add more sea salt and pepper if you want, pour into bowl, and garnish with avocado slices.
I like to have mine with a low-carb, high-fiber tortilla stuffed with turkey bacon. (UPDATE: I’ve ditched the tortillas since I’ve reduced my grain intake to almost nil.]
Enjoy this one as the snow melts.