The unofficial raw soup days I announced in the last post quickly turned into the unofficial raw tomato soup days, because when I had made the tomato soup once I was immediately captured by this in every way awesome dish, and I found myself making it again and again…..and again. This soup is definitely the real deal! It is incredibly easy to make, it is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it tastes like actual, fresh tomatoes (in contrary to the vague memory I have of the nutrient lacking pulverized versions you can buy in the store).
Originating from Peru, tomatoes have made their way around the world, creeping into people`s gardens, kitchens and hearts. In Norway we have a saying that children that are dear to us have many names. I could not figure out if there is an English version of it, but the meaning is nonetheless valid for the tomato. Throughout the years it has been described as the “Apple of Love”, “Gold Apple”, “Apple of Paradise”, “Wolf Peach” and even “Devil Apple” (due to the fact that North Americans considered tomato poisonous a few centuries ago).
Regardless of its name, there is no doubt that the tomato is a wonder fruit. In fact, I like to regard tomatoes as small nutrition bombs. They contain around 20 % of recommended daily dose of vitamin A and 30 % of recommended daily intake of vitamin C per 100 gram (the weight of a medium sized tomato). Tomatoes also contain lycopene, a rather unique antioxidant found to protect against several types of cancers, as well as skin aging. In fact, many new “beauty pills” use lycopene as their power ingredient, but hey! – who needs a pill when it is possible to eat a ripe and delicious tomato instead?
Studies have also found that tomatoes help reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammatory diseases, keep the cholesterol down, reduce the risk of hypertension and prevent urinary tract infections. They also contain iron, important for production of red blood cells, and potassium, which is essential for optimal nerve function, as well as vitamin K and B, manganese and several amino acids. Is it not amazing how “regular” fruits and veggies contain so many nutrients and are so incredible good for us? This is our medicine right here!
In my opinion, this soup tastes like a fresh summer dream. Preferably, it should be made with organic, dark red tomatoes, as they are the absolutely most healthy and flavorsome. When planning the dish, I decided to add something to make the consistency of the soup more thick and filling. My choice ended on avocado, and it turned out perfectly. Not only does the avocado yield a creamy texture, it also brings the health barometer even higher because of the omega fatty acids it contains. To top off the already gorgeous flavors, I also added some garlic that definitely turned the heat on, and some French tarragon that complemented the tomatoes with a subtle hint of sweet liquorice-like flavor. To me, the tarragon is essential to the dish. The combination of tomatoes and tarragon is a French twist I believe brings this dish from good to amazing. It is best to use fresh tarragon, as the flavor disappears quite a bit when the herb is dried. However, add the herb little by little, because it can easily overpower the other flavors.
Gives about 2 cups (4 ½ dl) – enough for 1 serving
400 grams tomatoes
½ ripe avocado
1-2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp French Tarragon
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup (1 dl) water
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and let it run until everything is well-blended. Enjoy!