The changing of seasons is inevitable, especially here in Minnesota. A beautiful spring turns to glorious summer turns to (if we’re lucky) a lovely fall, then finally winter where we seem to spend most of our time.
While we each have our favorite season, it’s possible to pull good from all, a point easily illustrated by the foods we eat. Salads say spring and summer, heartier stews and the like comfort when cool weather arrives.
That said, saying goodbye to summer is always hard. Knowing that garden-fresh local vegetables—eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, and the like—will make themselves scarce for nine months or so can seem almost too much to bear. Tomatoes, especially, are at their best locally grown and it’s hard to see them disappear from farmers’ markets and backyard gardens.
Thank goodness then, for canned. While they won’t pass for fresh in a salad or on a sandwich, canned tomatoes do just fine in soups, sauces, and other cooked dishes. You can enjoy creamy tomato soup—with deep, roasted, genuine tomato flavor—in the middle of winter without having to resort to tinny canned tomato soups.
You’ll need only a can of tomatoes, handful of fresh herbs, and carton of milk. To bump the tomato flavor up a notch, first roast the canned tomatoes along with chopped onion. A quick puree followed by 1 1/2 cups soymilk adds a creamy texture and loads of protein to an otherwise protein-light meal. Serve with a whole-grain roll for gold-star nutrition.
While soymilk may seem an odd choice, it really isn’t. Its creamy texture and neutral “dairy” flavor is a winner in almost any cooking or baking application. This is especially helpful for those who have allergies or intolerances to the lactose in dairy products.
As well, soymilk brings heart-healthy protein and antioxidants such as genistein that have been shown to possibly prevent against certain cancers. Soyfoods may also improve bone health. Using soymilk as an ingredient is a smart move in the kitchen. The proof is in the soup—sure to remind you of summer while keeping you warm this winter.
Roasted Tomato Soymilk Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (15-ounce) or 1 (28-ounce) can(s) diced tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups plain soymilk
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Plain lowfat yogurt, for garnish
Heat oven to 400ºF. Brush baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread tomatoes and onion on baking sheet in single layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until tomatoes and onion are fragrant and start to brown.
Transfer tomatoes and onion to blender container. (Or transfer to saucepan and use immersion blender to puree.) Add soymilk, basil, extra-virgin olive oil and reserved tomato juice; cover. Puree until smooth. Return to saucepan; cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until warmed through. Divide evenly among 4 bowls; drizzle each serving with yogurt to serve. Makes 4 cups.