Monday, April 8, 2013

Meatless Mondays Tomato Basil Soup


Have you tried Meatless Mondays? I think I am going to give it a try. The idea is to commit to give up meat just one day a week to improve your health and the health of the planet. Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays were introduced during World War I, to encourage Americans to do their part to reduce consumption and aid the war effort. The campaign was a huge success and many Americans realized they could eat less and feel no worse and sometimes better.
The campaign continued during World War II  and  the American  rationing helped to feed war-ravaged Europe.
Meatless Monday was revived again, in 2003, by Sid Learner as a health awareness campaign. His belief was that excessive meat consumption was linked to an increase of preventable illnesses. The revived movement was backed by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future and endorsed by 30 schools of public health. It has since turned into a global movement. Check out meatlessmonday.com .
I thought this would be a challenge at first, my family loves meat, but I was able to quickly find several of my family’s favorite recipes that just happened to be meatless. I am not going to tell them we are eating Meatless Monday today until after dinner, I will let you know if they notice, wish me luck:)

If this takes off, I might give Wheatless Wednesdays a try too.

I recommend doubling this recipe, my family really loves this soup. Great for lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich or as a first course for dinner. 

Update since posting; Meatless Monday was a huge success. I served this soup as a starter and also made oven roasted cauliflower with cavatelli pasta.(recipe to follow)
It all disappeared fast and no one asked "Where's the beef?"  

Low Fat Cream of Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium vidalia onion finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 2 cups nonfat, vegetable  broth
  • 1 cup skim milk (for a richer soup you can add 1/4 cup of half and half instead of the skim milk, but the nutritional info will be different)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:
1. Sauté onions, celery and garlic over medium heat in olive oil.
2. Add tomatoes and vegetable broth, season with salt and pepper.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil.* 
4. Puree the soup. 
5. Add 1 cup skim milk, heat until warm, do not boil then remove from heat.

Makes about 6 cups.
Nutritional Info Per cup: 
Calories 73, Total Fat 1.8g Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2.2g, Protein 3.5g

* If you don't have fresh basil, you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of pesto, I always have some in my freezer.

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