Who doesn’t love a good tomato? Lay a slice on a grilled cheese sandwich, tuck into a wrap, stuff and bake a cored tomato, grill or toss tomato chunks into a salad, there are so many ways to enjoy this succulent fruit. When they start to over-ripen on my countertop my go-to’s are homemade tomato sauce, soup or salsa. Tomatoes are a staple in many global cuisines as they are sweet and offer a “savoriness”, also known as umami. There’s a reason why we are naturally drawn to tomatoes as they ignite unique taste receptors on the tongue (as umami is our fifth taste sensation along with salty, sweet, bitter and sour).
I recall hot summer days when I was a child and my father would eat a whole ripe tomato with a pinch of salt over the kitchen sink (to catch any of the sweet juice that inevitably dripped down). To this day, when I bite into a tomato I think of my Dad — little did he know that he was craving tomatoes for a reason. Tomatoes are jam-packed with vitamin C, lycopene – a powerful antioxidant and potassium. All good-for-you things.
Today, I am going to simply toss whole tomatoes, basil and broth into my Vitamix and puree away. Presto, soup will come out! Feel free to add sautéed garlic, onions or mushrooms into the mix to kick up the flavors a notch. Without further ado, here’s a soup base you can make easily and refrigerate or freeze and heat up when the hankering for tomato goodness hits…
Spicy Tomato Basil Ricotta Soup
Serves 2 (1 1/4 cup each)
8 – 10 ripe Roma tomatoes, whole or 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chili sauce)
Place tomatoes, basil and broth into a Vitamix or blender. If using Vitamix 750, select ‘Hot Soup’ program, switch machine to ‘Start’ and allow machine to complete programmed cycle. (If you using a regular blender, puree ingredients and transfer liquid to a pot and heat over a medium heat stovetop for 10 minutes.)
Pour soup into bowls and dollop each with a tablespoon of ricotta cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha and stir. Serve immediately with whole grain crusty bread, if desired.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 89, Total Fat: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 4 mg, Sodium: 292 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber:4 g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 5 g
Enjoy eating simply,