Homemade Tomato and Veggie Soup

Homemade tomato and veggie soup from scratch.  Paleo, dairy free!

It’s the end of the growing season here in Chicago, and I have tomatoes coming out my ears.  Instead of passing them off to my neighbors, who mostly all have their own tomato jungles, I have been trying to use them up as they ripen.  What better way to do this than making tomato soup from scratch!  My 6 year old is an extremely picky eater with several food allergies.  I am always trying to get him to eat soup because bone broth is so healing to the gut, which will help with his allergies.  We had some amazing tomato soup from Ted’s Montana Grill a few months ago.  If you ever get a chance to go there, I recommend it.  They have paper straws there which I thought was really cool.  Until my toddler literally ate one.  He’s been eating non-food items lately, like a plastic bag at the grocery store.  Sure, there was a tasty apple inside that plastic, but still.  I think he is becoming part goat.

But this post is about soup.  Ever since we ate that delicious tomato soup from the restaurant with the paper straws, my son has been asking me for tomato soup.  When that happens (like never) I will move the earth to get him that soup.

Up until these last two weeks, I had never made tomato soup before.  I was kind of disgusted for life by Campbell’s soup until that restaurant rocked our soup lovin’ world.   I tried making it three different times before finally settling on an awesome recipe that was a hit in the home.  The first time I made it, it felt like it took all day.  Chopping and coring the tomatoes, roasting them, blending them, straining them… well, yeah.  It takes a long time.  But it’s sooo good!

And let’s keep it on the down-low that there’s veggies in here, because my son has a history of gagging on carrots and other friendly vegetables.  It must be a texture thing, but when it’s pureed up in a lovely tomato soup, down the hatch it goes!

As I mention above, this soup is a multi-step process.  First the tomatoes must be roasted to remove the skins.  Here is how I did it:

First, preheat the broiler.  I did mine on high, but prepare to really watch your tomatoes.  Slice the tomatoes in half and remove the core and most of the seeds.  Place them cut side down on a greased cookie sheet with a rim, or in my case a foil tray because I do not own a cookie sheet with a rim.  It would be best to use larger tomatoes because it will cut down on your chopping time, however we only had cherry tomatoes and so that is what I used.

slicing3

Put the tomatoes in the oven for about ten minutes.  Again, really watch them to make sure they don’t get destroyed.  Once the skin becomes a little black, take them out and let them cool.  You can remove the skin by simply pulling it off once it is cool to touch.  Throw the skins away, or compost them if you are that amazing.

Tomatosoup1

I immediately threw the tomato flesh in the blender and blended it up.

tomatoes

Next you want to start getting the actual soup ready.  In a stock pot or other large pot, melt some butter or coconut oil.  I used about 3 tablespoons.  Add about a whole chopped onion and a clove of garlic, chopped, into the pot to saute.

onions

Once the onions become translucent, pour three cups of chicken bone broth.  Once that has melted (because good broth gels in the fridge), it is time to strain the pureed tomatoes into the pot.  More tomato steps?!  These tomatoes are high maintenance. I placed a metal mesh strainer on top of my pot and gently pressed the tomato mixture through, leaving the seeds behind, which I discarded.

tomatopuree

Next I added some cauliflower and carrots and let it simmer for about an hour.  The cauliflower is great in this recipe because it offers a bit of creaminess without using coconut or dairy ingredients.  Some members of my family have a strong sense of taste and can pick out the tiniest bit of coconut.  Once I made Carrot Ginger Chicken Soup with coconut milk… it didn’t go too well.

Once the veggies are soft, add your fresh basil and spices per the recipe below.  Allow the spices to meld while the soup cools.  My husband ate it before I put it back in the blender and pureed it.  My kids and I ate it blended.  It was liked by all!

Do you have a favorite tomato soup recipe?  Please let me know in the comments below!

TomatoSoupRecipe

Recipe for delicious and creamy homemade tomato and veggie soup, dairy free and paleo!This post was shared on Wake Up Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Show and Share Wednesday, Our Three Peas’ Pin-it Party, Real Food Fridays, Natural Family Friday and Friendship Friday and Simply Natural Saturday.

Gut Healing Journey – Elimination Diet Week 1 – Derailed!

We made it through the first week of attempting an elimination diet with my 6-year-old.  After a week of wracking my brain for food ideas, fighting with my son and feeding him fruit while he was distracted watching Power Rangers, I have definitely noticed an improvement in my son’s mood and listening skills.  He has been more pleasant to be around, with less whining and tantrums.  He even has developed a sense of humor unlike before, cracking jokes and using goofy sayings that he never has in the past.

I shouldn’t really call what we are doing an elimination diet.  My son is at summer camp during the day, where they serve a free lunch three days a week along with snacks.  I picked him up last Tuesday and he was eating a Ritz cracker.  That’s pretty much everything we are trying to avoid baked up into one buttery crunchy snack.  At his point, perfection is pretty much impossible.  I tried to pack him lunches which were fairly clean: sliced cucumbers or celery, bison burger with no bun, Happy Squeeze fruit and veggie pouches... most of this came back uneaten.  One day he was physically sick because he had not eaten all day.  As the week progressed I started including sandwiches made with one slice of Ezekiel bread or a gluten-free waffle, blue corn tortilla chips and gluten-free cookies.  The main reason I gave him foods which are not part of the diet was to make sure he eats something, however this is his first experience at summer camp and I want him to have amazing memories.  The other kids at camp are eating Lunchables, cookies and goldfish crackers.  While I won’t give in that far, I was willing to offer gluten-free options so we both felt happy at the end of the day.

The real difference has been at breakfast and dinner.  We have stuck to meat, veggies and fruits while he is at home and we can watch help him eat.  He still seems to be having problems swallowing dense or fibrous foods like meat or fruit, so I have to sit with him and ask him to chew still.  It can be frustrating, but the results I have seen are so motivating.

Here are some ideas on clean meals that my kids have enjoyed:

Breakfast

  • Tea with gelatin stirred in.  Every morning with breakfast my son enjoyed Egyptian Licorice Tea with a little grass-fed gelatin and raw honey stirred in.  He loves it!
  • Fruit!  Fruit is in season right now so we are enjoying everything from watermelon to peaches to berries.  I make sure to give each of my kids a large serving of fruit while I cook up something denser with protein.
  • Nitrate free sausage.  Ideally, I would get sausage from a local farm.  I used a delivery service called Irv & Shelley’s Fresh Picks, which only delivers in my area.  Farmer’s Markets often carry meat products from local farms but they can be pricey and hard to come by.  We also purchase the brand below from our local grocery store, which does not give me migraines like most processed meat.  To me, that says it’s not too bad although it is super processed.  Sausage is a great way to get some protein in my boys at breakfast, so the brand below is better than nothing.

018410_sausage

 

  • Leftover Breakfast Cakes.  I’ll admit that is the worst recipe name ever, but these are delicious and another great way to sneak some protein and veggies in at breakfast.  This morning I used a bit of leftover salmon and three egg yolks.  (I threw the whites away because my youngest is allergic and egg whites are definitely banned as part of our elimination diet.)  Season with a little salt and pepper, then cook up like a pancake.  They come out pretty well and taste delicious.  You can use left over steamed veggies or even diced up spinach or onions.  It will come out looking more like a mini omelette but tasty and nutritious nonetheless.
leftover breakfast cakes

Salmon and egg yolk… that’s it! A nutrition powerhouse for breakfast.

Lunch

  • I try to provide a protein, a fruit and a veggie in each meal along with a treat of some form.  Here are some photos of what I sent for lunch:
Ezekiel  toast, homemade popcorn, cucumber slices and Mary's Gone Crackers with nitrate-free Applegate pepperoni slices.

Ezekiel toast, homemade popcorn, cucumber slices and Mary’s Gone Crackers with nitrate-free Applegate pepperoni slices.

 

Homemade Kombucha jello, cucumber and celery slices, pepperoni and crackers (same as above) and an organic applesauce squeeze.

Homemade Kombucha jello, cucumber and celery slices, pepperoni and crackers (same as above) and an organic applesauce squeeze.  Don’t mind the lovely artistry on the napkin.

Again, he did not eat the fruit or the vegetables unless they were in pouch form, so those have been a life saver.  The jello and pepperoni he ate as long as I included an ice pack in his lunch to keep them fresh.  He will eat crackers and bread any day… of course the thing I am trying to eliminate he loves the most.  I started throwing in these or these cookies as well.

Dinner

  • Bison burgers.  I made my own recipe and did not use egg so it was safe for all.
  • Crock pot whole chicken.  See my recipe here.
  • Soup!  I made my son drink soup or broth every night.  I would put about a cup into a coffee mug and he drank it like tea.  (He likes it that way.)  I used the broth left over from the chicken.  Check out my recipe for delicious green soup here.
  • Burrito bowls.  I sautéed the leftover chicken from the crock pot with some onions, cooked up some white basmati rice, added some cilantro, fresh tomato and avocado.  With the right spices it was really good!  Read about why certain types of unprocessed white rice are a better choice than brown here.
  • Salmon.  I was hesitant to serve my kids salmon for a really long time, but recent studies are coming out showing the natural selenium in salmon aids in mercury detoxification to the point eating salmon once a week is definitely more beneficial than not.  Read this article by Chris Kresser to know more.
  • Veggies from our garden.  So far we have gotten wonderful green beans, tiny little onions and fresh basil.  I just threw the onion seeds in a large pot, so I am having to thin them out as they grow.  It’s really nice having the freshest organic produce ever to eat at home.  If only we didn’t have sub-zero winters here!

Dessert & Snacks

  • Nectarine ‘Yogurt.”  Get my recipe here.
  • Homemade Jello.  Get my recipe here.
  • Banana Ice Cream.  The best version is just frozen bananas and a little almond butter.  We added frozen strawberries last night… oh my GOD.  You can also check out a super healthy ice cream recipe here.

strawberry ice cream

I have spent a lot of thought and effort into food preparation this past week and I really feel it paid off.  My son seems to be feeling better already.  We did not eat out at all and I really focused on providing gluten, dairy, egg white and nut-free options for him.  We are still avoiding as much as we can, but if he eats a cracker or two at summer camp it is not the end of the world.  Life is about having fun, after all!  We will see if anything changes with Week 2, as we approach the 4th of July holiday!

What I drink instead of green smoothies…

Green Soup for breakfast at MommyLivesClean.com

Green smoothies and juices are all the rage lately, with juice bars popping up in every upscale shopping center and recipes flying around the internet for the next greatest super-food smoothie.  People claim you can regain your health, lose weight and look amazing all from consuming blended greens, fruits and veggies.

Time and time again I have tried to go on a smoothie cleanse, consuming only green drinks consisting of fruits and vegetables for a period of time.  Every. single. time. I. fail.  Thirty minutes to an hour after drinking a green juice or smoothie I would be brain foggy and super hungry.  I didn’t understand why and was so hard on myself, assuming I just had an out of control appetite.  Then I realized something – the green smoothies I was making were too sweet for me and sent me into a blood sugar roller coaster!  Usually I would make a smoothie with 2 handfuls of greens, a little cucumber and some berries or other fruit on hand.  I would try to add a fat for nutrient absorption, like almond butter or coconut oil.  But still the smoothies left my body out of balance and craving more food.

Enter the green SOUP!

As my baby started on solids, I began cooking up his veggies in grass-fed butter, add some bone broth and then puree it.  (Bone broth is so nutritious – why would you use water when you can use broth!  Read about how I easily make my bone broth here.)  After a while it dawned on me – I wasn’t just making nutritious baby food, I was making soup!  Soup has always been on my “One day I’ll try it” list.  You see, the first time I ever cooked for my husband I tried making a soup.  It was a Ginger Carrot Chicken soup, made with coconut milk.  He HATED it!  He still makes jokes about how bad it was to this day.  That was the first time I made a soup from scratch, and it was the last for a while.   #scarredforlife.  Thanks to Sally Fallon and her book Nourishing Traditions, however, I found how to properly feed my growing baby with the right foods to keep him healthy and develop to a smart little boy.  This includes plenty of healthy fats, grass-fed protein and bone broths, along with organic vegetables and fruits.  I may just be a proud mother, but at 18 months my son understands almost everything I say to him.  I can ask him to pick things up, put them away, put his shoes on, give me kisses and hugs… he does it all.  I am quite amazed!

Enough bragging.

With the right combination of greens and vegetables, green soup can be creamy and satisfying without the blood sugar spike and crash the fruit smoothie or juice can cause. Further, bone broth contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus which are easily absorbable by the body.  Bone broth also contains gelatin which can improve digestion and help your skin look a little more beautiful.  I wrote a little about the health benefits of gelatin here.  Due to all the amino acids contained in the broth, it is also anti-inflammatory and can help prevent infection.

The bottom line, eating soup made with bone broth for breakfast can leave you feeling satiated because your body is getting the fuel it needs without any unnecessary sugar from the fruit.  Now I can save my fruit for the afternoon when I can better handle the sugar boost!

When I make green soup, I never follow just one recipe.  As long as you include cauliflower for the creamy texture, you can pretty much add whatever vegetables or greens you wish and it will blend up nicely.  The recipe below is a bit sweet thanks to the sweet potato, which my baby and I definitely loved.  I was very surprised to learn that there is no real science to making soup and it is pretty easy to make delicious soups once you get used to it.  I hope you are inspired to start experimenting with your own green soups.  If you have a favorite recipe, please share in the comments below!

green soup recipe

 

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/16/bone-broth-benefits.aspx

http://whole9life.com/2013/12/whole9-bone-broth-faq/

http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index.ssf/food-trends/making_bone_broth_recipes_that_are_tasty_and_surpr.html

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