Welcome back to the United States of MyPlates Challenge. We are on the road to Alabama. And as spring has yet to make its appearance in Minnesota, we are traveling south to remind us of warmer weather. This recipe will truly remind you of summer, as its title makes you aware. This recipe was created by Falcon Wiles, age 9 of Alabama, allowing her to attend the Kid’s State Dinner at The White House. It’s easy to see why she won with this recipe.
Why this recipe was so great? I have been trying to find a recipe to replace canned tomato soup which my kids are quite addicted too. I wanted to make a recipe with fresh ingredients, sodium I could control and a full serving of veggies in every serving. I think I found a winner.
Yummy Summer Soup
With a few alterations, this recipe has the flavor reminiscent of the canned counterpart, and I feel great about serving it to my family.
This soup starts out as fresh tomatoes, bell peppers and garlic and then turns into a roasted, sweet veggie medley that begins the base of this soup. And by cooking those tomatoes, you unleash the lycopene to be better absorbed in your body, an antioxidant that may help fight certain types of cancers, especially prostate cancer, as well as heart disease and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in older Americans).
And this is a great place to get the kids involved, by cutting the vegetables. If you have a child that loves tools or machines, they will most certainly love working with kitchen tools. Safety in mind of course. What helps my kids eat more veggies is getting them involved in the kitchen. After all, this boy of mine ate every last drop of this tomato soup in his bowl.
Throw them into a large stock pot. And don’t forget that sauce on the bottom of the pan. It is full of flavor.
Get your kids to count up 8 basil leaves to add to the pot. My daughter loved this part, it was an easy way to get her involved, she even made the comment “this basil smells so good!”.
Another reason I love my immersion blender. Forget putting half the soup in a blender and worrying about it splashing your ceiling. Immersion blenders are inexpensive, with great models between $20 and $30.
Yummy Summer Soup
Serves 6 to 8.
3 pounds fresh tomatoes, just weigh them in the grocery store
2 red or yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered
2 – 3 garlic cloves, skin removed, pressed or minced with a knife
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
8 fresh basil leaves
5 cups low sodium chicken broth (boil a rotisserie chicken with 5-6 cups of water to make your own or just use a low-sodium broth)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place tomatoes, peppers, and garlic on large pan. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.
2. Roast vegetables in oven for 40 minutes. Add to large stock pot.
3. Add basil and blenderize until puréed. Add chicken stock and bring to a light boil. Slowly add milk and half-and-half, simmer for 15 minutes more. Add sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook, Alabama recipe by Falcon Wiles.
Make it a MyPlate meal by adding a chicken salad sandwich filled with celery and grapes on a whole grain English muffin and a glass of milk and you have vegetables, fruit, lean protein, whole grains with a serving of dairy.
MyCart Shopping Tip: To add lean protein to this meal, purchase a rotisserie chicken, you can use it to make broth and create the chicken salad sandwiches.
Husband Rating: 5/5 stars
Adventurous Eating Son Rating: 5/5 stars (the key is the cheese)
Cautious Sweet-Loving Daughter Rating: 3/5 stars (Remember, it can take kids trying a new food or recipe 10 times before they say they really love it, I am not discouraged)
This recipe will remain in my family’s recipe book to enjoy again. Another winning MyPlate Meal! Happy National Nutrition Month.