The cleaneating simplicity of this recipe caught my eye during the testing for the Post's Top Tomato recipe contest. Once the sample came in and the soup was measured against a strong field of finalists this year, it just missed the cut. Good news for this col-umn, as it turns out, because with the substitution of brown rice that's already cooked, this dish can be done in about half the time.
The vegetables and rice give the soup a satisfying texture, but the soup is also great when pureed. Using a mixture of red and yellow tomatoes yields a sunny color.
When local tomatoes are not in season, a 28ounce can of whole tomatoes, with their juices, can be used instead.
Cate's hearthealthy summer tomato soup
6 to 8 servings (makes 7 to 8 cups)
MAKE AHEAD: If pureed, the soup can be frozen for up to 3 months.
From Catherine Sutter of Spotsylvania, Va.
2 medium tolarge white onions 1 large clove garlic
3 jumbo tomatoes (a generous 2 1/ 2 to 3 pounds total)
2 basil leaves
1 teaspoon thyme leaves (may substitute 1/ 4 teaspoon ground thyme)
1 1/ 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil or canola oil or olive oil 1
1/ 2 teaspoons piment d'e-spelette *
4 cups nosaltadded veg-etable broth (may substitute chicken broth)
2 1/ 2 cups frozen, cooked brown rice
6 to 8 small sprigs flatleaf parsley, for garnish (optional) Flaked sea salt, for serving (optional)
1. Coarsely chop the onions if you plan to puree the soup; oth-erwise, finely chop them. Mince the garlic. Cut the tomatoes into large dice (leaving skin and seeds is okay). Finely chop the basil and thyme leaves.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
Once the oil shimmers, add the onions and garlic, stirring to coat. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the piment d'espelette. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occa-sionally, until softened and evenly spiced, then add the tomatoes and their juices, the broth, the brown rice (no need to defrost), chopped basil and thyme. Increase the heat to medium high; once the mixture comes to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium low; cook for about 1-0 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat.
Taste and stir in the remaining 1/ 2 teaspoon of piment d'e-spelette. Finely chop the parsley, if using.
4. At this point, the soup can be served, or use an immersion (stick) blender to puree.
5. Divide the soup among individual bowls; garnish each with a sprinkling of parsley and a few flakes of salt, if desired.
* Piment d'espelette is avail-able via Amazon. com and other gourmet spice purveyors.
Nutrition Per serving ( based on 8): 1-40 calories, 3 g protein, 2-5 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3-0 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar