You say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to ... however you pronounce it, these scrumptious little treasures are one of my favourites. The question is though, are they a fruit or a vegetable? Both in fact! Scientifically speaking they are a fruit because true fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower and contain the seeds of the plant (unless they are cultivated resulting in them being seedless). As they are used as a vegetable in cooking they fall into that category too. Clever little things aren't they? 🍅
So the next question is "Do I buy organic?" Yup, yes, absolutely, undoubtedly, no question about it. Personally, I believe that pesticides are evil. Why would I want to eat chemicals? So I choose not to buy non organic fruit and vegetables, hoping that one day I will have a plot of land to grow my own. It is claimed that fruit and veg which haven't been treated with pesticides and artificial fertilisers have a greater concentration of health giving chemicals as when they are growing they have to fend for themselves. A study showed that tomatoes grown on organic farms were 55% higher in Vitamin C levels even though they were smaller in size. Size doesn't matter here 😉
Tomato soup is comforting, nourishing and should be healthy right? I decided to create a vegan tomato soup that would be just that, taking the minimum amount of time and effort yet still mouthwatering. I found this recipe particularly handy when travelling recently in our RV. We spent days in Norway where the weather was absolutely diabolical. It poured and poured, so comfort food most certainly made it easier and vegan food was hard to come by.
Tomatoes also contain an abundance of fabulous antioxidants and fancy scientific words which I will list below as fun facts 🤪. All these fancy scientific words are super beneficial for us, particularly for the immune system which I have struggled with. Being ADHD, I naturally hyper focus on certain subjects. The correct nutrition for my immune system is certainly one subject I am especially drawn to as it has had a huge impact on my health and well being.
Fun Facts 🤪 - Fancy Scientific words broken down into descriptions we can understand.
🤪Phytochemicals - Phyto means plant and plants are the only natural source of phytochemicals. Chemical compounds produced by plants, generally to help them thrive or thwart competitors, predators or pathogens. Some have even been used in poisons (technically cocaine, codeine, nicotine and ricin are phytochemicals), however the good ones offer incredible health benefits and can protect against cancer.
🤪Carotene - The body converts carotene into Vitamin A. It is good for healthy skin, mucus membranes, immune system and eye health.
🤪Carotenoid - These are the pigments produces by plants and algae. Carotenoids are responsible for the colours red, yellow and orange in fruits and veg, also in the autumn leaves 🍁🍂. They help plants absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis and act as antioxidants in the body. They protect against cell damage, effects of ageing, certain cancers and eye disease.
🤪Lycopene - Tomatoes are a major source of this antioxidant. It is a phytochemical and has an E number code of E160d (not all E numbers are nasty) and is responsible for the bright red pigmentation in carotenes and carotenoids.
Onto the recipe ...... I use a tablespoon of maple syrup as otherwise it can be quite tangy. You are welcome to use agave too.
🍅🍅🍅🍅 Super Tomato Soup 🍅🍅🍅🍅 (Serves 4)
400g Passata (I use Mr Organic or if you fancy making your own, go for it)
1 red onion chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder (I use Marigold Organic Swiss Vegan Bouillon Powder)
125 ml Oat cream (Oatly is my favourite brand)
1 Tablespoon Organic Maple Syrup
Saute the onion until soft. Add the passata, oat cream and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then whizz up (I use a hand held whizzer) until creamy, taste and add the maple syrup if you feel it necessary.
Per serving : Calories 98/ Protein 2g / Carbs 12g / Fat 4g / Sugar 10g
WILL TURN YOU INTO A SOUP-ER-HERO ✅
Would love any feedback or comments. Have a souper day everyone (couldn't help myself 😆)