Eating a healthy diet, keeping our immune system strong and avoiding excess weight gain continues to be important over the next while. Have gratitude for this extra time we have in the comfort of our own homes; a “gift” and a chance to re-evaluate what we have been doing on “autopilot” for so long. Take the time to explore new recipes and modify and cook your old favorites from scratch; try some new foods and ways of cooking. Push yourself to take the next step to eating a healthier diet for chronic disease prevention and management.
Start with soup, an economical and easy way to use leftovers and incorporate immune boosting foods. Below is a favorite, my super “Easy Basil Tomato Soup” (with a little help from Jamie Oliver). A good way to use fresh basil and if you have, an abundance of fresh tomatoes from the garden. Make a double batch, and freeze for later. Happy cooking, stay healthy as we move into the Fall season and live one day at a time.
Easy Basil Tomato Soup
2 carrots, peel and roughly cut
2 sticks of celery, slice
2 medium onions, peel and roughly chop
2 cloves of garlic, mince or slice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 low sodium chicken or vegetable stock cubes
(check the label) or make your own broth
6 cups water, boiled
2 cans (about 400 g each) plum tomatoes
6 large ripe tomatoes
½ bunch of fresh basil, remove stocks
pepper and salt to taste
Put a large pan on medium heat with olive oil. Add first 4 ingredients. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes with the lid slightly open, till veggies slightly softened and the onion lightly golden. Put the stock cubes into a large pot and pour in 6 cups of boiling water. Add to the pot, the canned tomatoes and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached (these give an amazing flavour). Give it a good stir and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
To serve your soup: Season with salt, pepper and add basil leaves. Blenderize the soup until smooth. Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper. Tomato Basil Soup