Dinner Tonight: Heart-Healthy Tomato Soup

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tomato-soupOur last recipe in honor of American Heart Month is a lycopene-rich tomato soup. Better than anything you will ever get in a can, this heart-healthy recipe is loaded with antioxidants, particularly lycopene. Lycopene is the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color. It is particularly beneficial for cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention.

When it comes to heart health, studies have discovered that high levels of lycopene in the blood are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in both men and women. It may also have cholesterol-lowering properties.

Cooking tomatoes increases  the bioavailability of lycopene, making it easier for the body to absorb. This recipe will soon become a comfort food staple.

Heart-Healthy Tomato Soup

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 28 oz can plum tomatoes
1 sliced roasted red pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp  honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add leeks and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened and browned. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, red pepper, thyme, paprika, and black pepper to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Stir in honey and lemon juice. Place soup in a blender, food processor,  or use a hand-held immersion wand and blend until smooth. Return soup to the pot and heat for 5 minutes.

Pour in a bowl and enjoy!

Photo from here, with thanks.

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