Celebrate National Soup Month with Tomatoes!
By Sharon Palmer, RD
Chinese won ton, Italian minestrone, New England clam chowder, Russian borscht, Mexican tortilla, French onion… Soups have certainly made their mark as a staple in cuisines all around the globe. In fact, many food historians speculate that soup has been around for as long as the art of cooking. And while soups can be found in a variety of traditional ethnic cuisines, Americans tend to love their soups, too. Whether it’s creamy tomato, classic chicken noodle, or even a vegetarian chili, soups certainly have their place in the American dining world.
As someone who loves my time spent in the kitchen, preparing meals to nourish my family, I really don’t think it gets much easier, more comforting, or even more nutritious than a hearty homemade bowl of soup. All it takes is a variety of seasonal vegetables, hearty whole grains, canned beans and tomatoes, and a combination of herbs and spices to create a soup masterpiece. In fact, soups are nearly impossible to mess up! Perhaps this is why I recommend new cooks experiment with soup recipes in their kitchen first.
Not only are they relatively easy to prepare, soups are something everyone can feel good about eating. And here’s a fun question. Why do we “eat” rather than “drink” soups? Well, etiquette experts suggest that because soup tends to be a component of the meal, rather than just the beverage to enjoy with the meal, it is something we “eat.” It also makes sense that because we consume soup with a spoon rather than sipping it out of the container, it is something we would consider “eating.”
Since the nutrients simply concentrate themselves in the broth rather than being lost through various cooking techniques, a serving of veggie-packed soup serves up a bounty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And it should be no surprise to all of the tomato-lovers of the world that “eating” soups featuring canned tomatoes or other processed tomato products can do wonders in terms of helping to boost the immune system and fight off chronic diseases.
So eat up! And enjoy these tomato-filled varieties of soups and stews in honor of National Soup Month!
Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons: There is nothing more comforting than a warming bowl of soup on a cool winter day. Enjoy this lightened-up version of creamy tomato soup with mini grilled cheese croutons for a recipe the whole family will love. Get the full recipe here.
Lentil, Barley & Tomato Stew: For such a simple recipe, this fiber-rich meal is perfect for filling up even the heartiest of appetites. It’s packed with nutrition, loaded with flavor, and makes for a wonderfully satisfying lunch or dinner later in the week. Get the full recipe here.
French Wild Rice Vegetable Soup: This hearty soup is the perfect accompaniment for a sandwich or salad any time of the year. Packed with the health benefits of tomatoes, it will be sure to keep your spirit up all winter long. Get the full recipe here.
Tomato, Sausage and White Bean Stew: One of the simplest tomato entrées to pack for lunch is a tomato-based soup. Fill up a thermos of our delicious Tomato, Sausage and White Bean Stew and you’ll be filling up your family with not only a nutrition packed meal, but also a daily serving of vegetables. Get the full recipe here.
Chili Colorado : A great simple dinner! Recipe may be doubled, and then freeze half for another quick meal. Get the full recipe here.
Sharon Palmer, RD