Tomatoes are one of the most popular and widely consumed fruits in the world. They are eaten as fresh or cooked in many different ways, and they can be served in their raw state or cooked for sauces and soups.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins. A few benefits of tomatoes include: they protect heart health, improve your vision, boost digestive health and help with diabetes management.
Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which is a water-soluble vitamin that can help prevent scurvy. Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of collagen and it is needed to maintain the integrity of connective tissue, such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for healthy skin. If you have scurvy, you may notice sores on your skin, which can be caused by a lack of vitamin C. It is also known to help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer.
Tomatoes are rich in powerful antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. One cup of cooked tomatoes has about 9 grams of lycopene, which is a compound that may prevent the spread of some cancers. A small study of women found that eating just two or three servings of tomatoes each week was associated with a significant decrease in the risk of breast cancer.
A favorite around my house is a bowl of tomato soup which has a long history of comfort. I like it for my family because it also includes the health benefits of tomatoes. I was inspired to create this recipe after making a version at home for my family, with the added benefits of cauliflower. It makes a great lunch or dinner, and is a simple and easy recipe to make.
Tomato Soup with "Rice"
- 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes, or 4 lbs very ripe tomatoes, cored
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or Aleppo pepper
- ½ tsp fennel seed ground
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 24 oz cauliflower rice
- fresh basil chopped, for garnish
- Puree tomatoes in a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary. If working with fresh tomatoes, cut out the cores and coarsely chop the tomatoes first.
- Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once warm, add the onion, garlic and salt, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are translucent and soft. Add the bay leaf, fennel seed, sweet paprika and cayenne pepper. Stir everything to combine and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine, cooking for another 3-5 minutes to allow the flavors to build.
- Add the pureed tomatoes and water; turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil then decrease heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes, until the soup starts to thicken.
- Once the soup has thickened, add the cauliflower rice to the pot and let it simmer, stirring until the rice is heated through.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving. Garnish with fresh basil or herbs of choice if desired.
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