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Healthy tomato soup; A homemade version of the popular canned soup

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One of my favorite childhood memories is a comfort food concoction my stepmother used to make called Rum Tum Ditty. After warming a can of Campbell’s tomato soup on the stove top, she would add a large handful of cheddar cheese to the warm winter soup.

Once the orange flecks completely melted away, my fairy-stepmother poured the cheesy tomato soup over several neatly arranged, buttered saltine crackers that lie waiting on nearby plates. It was a fun twist to a simple recipe; making for many happy childhood memories during our times together.

As an adult I have eliminated foods with added or hidden sugars. After learning the importance of reading labels from the South Beach Diet, I realized one of the reasons I loved Campbell’s tomato soup so much was because they sweetened it with high fructose corn syrup. Therefore, it has been years since I have enjoyed the rich, sweet tomato soup of my youth. And nearly all canned soup manufacturers use cornstarch as a thickening agent which quickly converts to sugar in the blood stream.

Another equally surprising discovery I made was the versatility of sweet potatoes: as a natural sweetening and natural thickening agent in one, a sweet potato would solve both problems and bring a healthy element to this popular soup recipe. So I modified a simple tomato soup recipe, inspired by my beloved Campbell’s tomato soup, and reclaimed the comfort food of my childhood!

Directions for a healthy, naturally sweetened (sugar free) tomato soup

In a large stock pot add the following ingredients and bring to a boil:
1 quart (6 cups) V8 or vegetable juice
1 can (14 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, pressed
3 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ cups water

  • Reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are softened. Approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the burner and cool. Approximately 10 – 15 minutes.

Transfer into a food processor and add:
¼ cup cashews

  • Puree to desired smoothness.
  • Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Yields: 16 cups

Tips:
• Chop up fresh tomato and fresh onion to add back into the blended soup if you desire texture to your soup.
• You can replace the V8 or vegetable juice with 4 cups of fresh quartered Roma tomatoes; I prefer the V8 simply for a richer flavor and added nutrients.
• Homemade, extracted vegetable juice is suggested for optimum health benefits. Organic is always a good choice to purchase, but again – read the ingredients list on the label for added sugars.
• Any variation of canned tomatoes may be used; be sure to read the ingredients for added sugars.
• This recipe is fine to double and any excess soup freezes beautifully.
• If you desire a grilled cheese sandwich with your soup, consider using a sprouted grain bread such as Ezekiel 4:9 and Tillamook reduced fat cheddar cheese. Sspread a little coconut oil on the bread in place of the butter; it provides a healthy source of fat and some added sweetness.
• Always consult your physician if you have special diet or health related issues.

For additional information and local places to shop for healthy foods, click on any of the following links:

From my home to yours: another favorite recipe - enjoyed with nutrition in mind.

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