Immune Boosting Tomato Soup

By: Julia Huston

Yields: 5 Cups 

Total Time: 30 minutes + 45 minutes baking time

As November and the colder months approach, I find myself gravitating toward meals that are warm, nourishing, and simple to prepare. When the weather dips below sixty degrees, one of my favorite foods to make is soup. Whether it’s chicken noodle, vegetable, or tomato, soup is always a warm and wholesome meal that transports me back to the comforting days when my mother would make it for me while I was sick. This tomato soup recipe is everything you could want in a soup and more—not only is it rich in flavor and extra creamy, but it is also packed with nutrients that will give your immune system that extra boost during the cold winter months. There are four major ingredients in this recipe that have been proven to strengthen the immune system: red bell pepper, garlic, bone broth, and turmeric. Red bell pepper is high in both iron and vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that can prevent infections by helping the body form beneficial antibodies (Nerdy). The second ingredient, garlic, is one of my personal favorite herbs and has an incredible range of benefits. Garlic’s antiviral qualities are twofold; it firstly prevents viruses from entering cells and, secondly, boosts the immune system’s ability to fight off intruders. It also contains potent antioxidant properties that benefit blood vessels and reduce inflammation (Adaki). The hidden gem in this recipe, bone broth, is a highly nutritious stock that has been proven to improve gut health, which subsequently strengthens one’s immunity. Bone broth also helps to seal openings in the gut which, if left untreated, could lead to a weakened immune system (Cooan). Lastly, for an extra added punch, this recipe calls for  turmeric. Curcuma longa—the scientific term for turmeric—has been used in Indian cuisine for a millennia as a spice and medicinal herb to cure inflammation, pain, wounds, and digestive issues. Turmeric also keeps the immune system functioning properly with its plethora of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (Jagetia). 

While this tomato soup recipe is incredibly simple, it is still abundant in health benefits that strengthen your immune system. All you have to do is roast your ingredients, toss them in the blender, and voila. You’ve got homemade immune boosting tomato soup, keeping you warm and nourished on a chilly day. 

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 leaves fresh basil + more for garnish 
  • 7 medium sized tomatoes
  • 5.4 fl oz can of unsweetened coconut cream 
  •  2 red bell peppers 
  • Half of a sweet onion 
  • Half of a garlic bulb 
  • 1 ½ cups bone broth (I use chicken)
  • 1 can 
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp pepper 
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh rosemary 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 

Instructions:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Next, prep your produce by cutting your tomatoes in half, removing the stem and seeds from the bell peppers and cutting those in half, and then cutting the onion and bulb of garlic in half. 
  2. On a large baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Drizzle extra olive oil on the bulb of garlic.
  3. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until all ingredients are soft and slightly browned.
  4. Squeeze the garlic out of its bulb and then transfer all ingredients to a blender. Add bone broth, coconut cream, turmeric, sugar, and basil. Blend on high speed until smooth. (Leave a tiny bit of coconut cream in the can for garnishing later). 
  5. Transfer ingredients from blender to a large saucepan and stir on low heat until soup is warmed through. 
  6. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, coconut cream, fresh basil and enjoy!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Reference List:

Adaki, S., Shah, K., & Karagir, A. (2014, October 1). Garlic: Review of literature. Indian Journal of Cancer. https://www.indianjcancer.com/article.asp?issn=0019-509X;year=2014;volume=51;issue=4;spage=577;epage=581;aulast=Adaki

Cooan, H. (2019, October 31). Bone Broth: 5 Health Benefits. Functional Nutrition Consultant and Educator – Heather Cooan. https://heathercooan.com/bone-broth-benefits/

Jagetia, G. C. (2007, January 9). “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. PubMed. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17211725/

Nerdy, N. (2018). Determination of Vitamin C in Various Colours of Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) by Titration Method. ALCHEMY Jurnal Penelitian Kimia, 14(1), 164. https://doi.org/10.20961/alchemy.14.1.15738.164-178

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