by David G. Woolley
Editor's Disclaimer: This recipe continues an on-going series of Word of Wisdom health posts where mild-mannered author David G. Woolley departs from his usual blogging and transforms into one of his many food Nazi apparitions. Today its Soup Nazi. His ranting and raving does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Top of the Morning, its owners or share holders.
Soup Nazi Note: Sandra, one of our Top of the Morning readers tried this soup. She also took photos of her attempt and featured her efforts on her cooking blog. Turns out she's a better culinary artist than our very own Top of the Morning host, David G. Woolley. After reading Tomato Soup Nazi, you may want to click over to Sandra's cooking blog right here.
Disclaimer? Where did we get this editor? Mild mannered author? Transforms into one of his many apparitions of the food Nazi? Sheesh! We hired him to write editor's notes, find misspellings, correct the grammar. No commentary. No opinion.
The Top of the Morning staff was assigned the task of posting this recipe as promised in Worse Than Beer. I told them it was outside my contract and my comfort zone. They declined. All four of them. Including our creative editor whose notes and disclaimers will appear much less frequently than before. The staff couldn't resist watching me sweat this one. So here it is. A guy recipe in all its masculine glory.
Sometimes you come across something that is nutritious, healthy and relatively easy. You're not going to find that in a can of already-to-eat-processed-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life tomato soup. Sorry Campbell's. Progresso. Krogers. In this recipe our canned tomatoes are of the non-processed variety. No salt or sugar added. Not everything in a can is totally taboo. You can go that route or throw in your fresh-from-the-garden diced ones. You choose.
Nutritious and healthy may sound the same. They're not. Nutrition is all about getting the essential vitamins and minerals you need for the millions of chemical reactions that take place in your cells every hour. Problem with nutrition is that minimum daily requirements are just that. Minimum. Don't you deserve more? Something like, say, the maximum daily requirement? Think of this soup as one step toward maxing out.
Healthy foods are full of all those enzymes no vitamin company has successfully fabricated in the lab. They're just too complex. In the lab we can isolate, say, lycopene, an important heart-healthy vitamin in tomatoes, but all those complex enzymatic compounds that encapsulate lycopene are still beyond our fabricating reach. Did you know that water is an enzyme? Sure enough. Anything that aids the chemical reactions in your body acts as an enzyme, essentially making it easier for the reaction to take place. Otherwise your body shuts down non-essential functions and transports the vital enzymes to the deficient cells.
Do you feel tired during the day? Lack energy? Fall asleep at the weirdest times even after getting a great night's sleep? Chances are you're not getting enough enzymes. Turns out your brain function isn't nearly as important as the beating of your heart. You fall asleep while your heart gets all the love. Its cellular triage. The most vital patients get the attention.
You can get all your essential nutrition from a fabricated pill, but you may be missing out on the enzymes your body needs to function at optimum levels. You may also be setting yourself up for future sickness and disease if you let your body go for too long without proper enzymatic maintenance. That's why eating healthy, nutritious foods is critical. In every seed, fruit and veggie God tucked away all the essential vitamins and carefully packaged them in complex enzymes. Its something those pill companies are ever learning to imitate but never quite able to come to a complete fabricating knowledge of the truth.
Think of this soup as a step away from the low-enzyme, poor-nutrition fast foods and processed junk foods so common in our daily diet. This recipe is written in story format. For cooks who need lists, there are none. Sorry. I don't know any other way than a little narration, a little interior dialogue, some action, some romance and a good plot. All that in a tomato soup recipe? Probably not. You'll have to wait for the Tilapia Salad recipe.
On a baking sheet empty one 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes and save back any juices. I never have more than a few spoonfuls. Is it really worth saving back three tablespoons? You can throw in more diced tomato if you like your soup deeper orange in color and more tomato flavor. Cover the tomatoes with between 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup of olive oil. Season with some pepper. Bake for 15-20 mins at 450 degrees. Its supposed to caramelize the tomatoes. Mine just get sizzling hot. Must be the altitude.
While the tomatoes are baking, cut up a whole white onion, a carrot, two garlic cloves, a celery thingy (is it called a stalk?), the saved back tomato juice along with about 8 ounces of tomato sauce and a 10 ounce can of chicken broth (I throw in 14 ounces because that's the size of the can in the pantry and I like the brothy taste, but that may be too much for your taste buds). Simmer all of this stuff in a soup pan with about 1/2 cup of olive oil and a bay leaf until the veggies are tender.
Dump the baked tomatoes and the simmered veggies into a blender and blend the snot out of em, which, translated into more feminine terms would be between 3-4 minutes on the highest setting until it has a creamy texture. If I were a blender manufacturer I'd design a snot setting one click beyond pulverize. You could also try blending this mixture until no celery threads get stuck between your teeth, but then you'd have to eat the soup before it was done and that would pretty much defeat the purpose of making it in the first place. Dumb idea. Just blend the snot out of it.
Dump everything back into your soup pan and while you let it simmer for, say 10 or 15 minutes, stir in 1/4 cup of chopped basil leaves and a cup of soy milk. The soy milk is optional. You can leave it out if you don't have any around the house. Everything else is pretty common kitchen fare.
There it is. A pretty healthy tomato soup. Its fairly fresh, but its not raw like fresh-from-the-garden cold soups. Its also fairly healthy though it doesn't max out on the high enzyme charts with all the cooking that degrades some enzymes. Add a leafy green salad (a big one) and you'll get all the enzymes you need to keep your energy levels up. This soup is a home run in every other health and nutrition category. From the tomatoes to the healthy olive oil, to the onion and celery and herbs. Its a great soup for you and your family's health.
Our family loves it. We hope you will too. If you try it and like it, let me know. If you don't like it, the soup Nazi has a word of advice: "No soup for you!"
Until the next meal or the next Book of Mormon post, whichever comes first, eat well, live well.
Join author David G. Woolley at his Promised Land Website.