Tomatoes, paired with roasted peppers, garlic, onions and carrots take on an outstandingly rich flavour in this good-for-your-heart soup. Lycopene is a phytochemical in tomatoes that is made more available to the body when tomatoes are cooked. A powerful antioxidant, lycopene has been linked to lowering cholesterol levels as well as reducing risk for some cancers.

Tomatoes are also very high in fibre and in Vitamins C and A. 
Grown in Yukon greenhouses or bought at their peak in summer, tomatoes can be frozen for use in the depths of winter.
Basil grown on the deck can be frozen for winter soups as well.

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

Yield: 8 cups

Enjoy this recipe as part of a Valentine's Day menu, or make it up for later – it freezes well.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 plum or roma tomatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cored and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise into four pieces each
  • 1 celery stalk, with leaves, sliced in fourths
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or one tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes (796 ml)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Bread or tortillas for croutons
  • Parmesan or asiago cheese

Instructions

  1.  Place tomatoes in a large, heat-proof bowl.
  2. Pour boiling water over tomatoes and allow to stand for five minutes.
  3. Drain, halve the tomatoes lengthwise and remove the skins of the tomatoes – they will slip right off.
  4. Prepare a large roasting pan by lining it with parchment paper.
  5. In the roasting pan, place the tomatoes, leek, red pepper, onion, carrots, celery and garlic.
  6. Drizzle the vegetables with two tablespoons olive oil.
  7. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and salt.
  8. Roast in a pre-heated 400F oven for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  9. Allow vegetables to cool slightly.
  10. In batches, puree vegetables in a food processor or blender adding canned tomatoes to thin.
  11. Transfer the puree into a large soup or saucepan and re-heat, adding chicken or vegetable stock, basil, salt and pepper to taste.