Low to No Sodium Cooking-the Ultimate Homemade Tomato Soup
Tomato Soup Recipe
At first i wasn't sure I was going to like this. Tomato soup that was homemade? Was that possible? It wasn't Campbell's and it wasn't creamy. But I have learned to LOVE it over the years! I was also ecstatic that it could still be on mom's diet of low to no sodium!
- 7 Quarts of ripe tomatoes, (28 cups cut up)
- 4 medium sized onions, (I looked up medium onion, it said about 4 oz)
- 1/2 Stalk of Celery, more according to taste-add leaves if you like, adds to taste
- 1 or more hot peppers, -choose your heat-Hungarian wax to cayenne to jalapeno
- 7 sprigs of fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 Tablespoons of flour (more may be needed)
- 8 Tablespoons of butter (Fleischman's Omega Three with Sea Salt) or no salt butter (which has more cholesterol-can't win, huh?) Also if you use the no salt butter, might be able to use the salt
- 2 Tablespoons of salt-I haven't decided on this yet. This recipe makes a large amount of soup and would be quite spread out. So far it hasn't bothered mum yet sooooo....
- 4 Tablespoons of sugar (I always add a little more)
- 1 tsp of pepper
- Wash and cut up tomatoes removing stem ends and any blemishes. Place in a huge stock pot to start heating.
- Chop celery (and leaves if you are including), Celery is one of the foods that is higher in sodium. But sometimes it is worth it for the taste! Look up the following website http://oto2.wustl.edu/men/sodium.htm The Meniere's Page. Chop pepper(s) -seed or leave seeds in up to you- use caution and gloves when cutting. Wash hands thoroughly after cutting. Chop onions and parsley to add. Cook until celery is tender.
- Place "soup" into a food processor or blender to puree lightly. Then pour into a sieve to drain and squish the remaining pulp out. Do this with all the soup.
- Transfer to a new pot, add remaining ingredients and cook down to desired thickness. Be sure to remove the bay leaves when done. Can or freeze to preserve your soup however you feel comfortable. When I freeze I usually put about 1 1/2 cup servings for each person. I put the larger quantities of soup in zipper storage bags,remove air, freeze flat on a tray. When you go to thaw out a bag it thaws quickly in a microwave. Just don't "thaw" too long in a microwave as the bags tends to bust. Not that I can tell you from experience or anything! I have just learned how to can so I am still quite a novice so I won't give you instructions there. All the following recipes will be based on cups.
First A Go With-Low Sodium Toasted Cheese
Again, something that took me years to like. My dad's sister had me convinced (along with her four children) that I didn't like cheese. Took me till I was in my twenties before I realized I did! Again, this is something that is high in sodium. Even the low sodium sliced cheese is high (and frankly some of them have no cheese taste whatsoever--it's like eating plastic).Swiss cheese is low in sodium and the baby Swiss seems the lowest. The cheese sticks they have for kids lunches are lower in sodium and amazingly have taste! I also think you get more out of them. Kraft Parmesan and Romano grated cheeses are very low in sodium for two teaspoons which turns out to be quite a sizable amount. Cream cheese is lower in sodium than i ever imagined and used sparingly is a nice addition.
Bread unfortunately is another high sodium item. Since I make my own hoagie rolls at the pizza shop I make mum small loaves of bread. I figure that if I am putting only 1/2 tablespoon of salt into 5 lbs of dough that there cannot be that much sodium in the finished product. (Sorry, that recipe is not getting divulged!)
Butter one side of each slice of the bread (again choose low salt or no salt with cholesterol) Rip up one to two slices of Swiss cheese, set a side. Cut up a cheddar stick in small thin slices-use half per sandwich. Have a teaspoon of Parmesan or Romano (or both) ready to go. Preheat a nonstick or sprayed skillet or griddle. Quickly put the buttered side down on the hot surface add your cheeses and put the other piece on with butter side up. Check for desired doneness and flip so the other side may brown. Mum and I sometimes add tomatoes and onions and toast that right in with it, Repeat for as many sandwiches as you need,
Variation-Creamy Tomato Soup
- 1 cup sliced sweet onion, packed
- 1/4 stick of butter (again read your labels and choose)
- 1/4 cup of softened cream cheese or more if desired (watch your sodium count)
- 2 cups of homemade soup recipe
- Basil to taste, fresh and/or dried
Sauté the onions in the butter till clear. When sauteing, I will sometimes add some water to avoid more butter. Remove from heat and let pan cool about ten minutes. Add cream cheese and let it melt in the pan as much as possible without heat. Lower heat lets the cheese melt smoother and doesn't leave the cheese clumpy. Return to low heat and with a small whisk stir in the tomato soup slowly. Simmer till thickened or if need be add a little bit of flour. Dish and sprinkle with basil. Serves two.
Variation-Stuffed Pepper Soup
Until I started working at the pizza shop I presently own, I had never heard of this soup. It soon became one of my favorites. I am going to do my best to scale it down from the mass quantity I make at work!
- sweet onion size of a baseball, chopped
- approximately 6 lbs of green peppers (keep in mind you may not need all of this)
- 1 lb of ground beef-your choice of grease
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 4 or more cups of homemade soup recipe
- 1 tablespoon of paprika (very low sodium)
- 1 small can of no salt added tomato sauce
- 2 servings of rice cooked & cooled-instant or regular (when heating the water, add some onion, 1 clove of minced garlic, about one cup of chopped green pepper, and 1 teaspoon of paprika, then cook the rice)
Do the rice as directed above so it has time to cool. A friend of mine showed me a little trick when cooking vegetables with meat. Put the vegetables in first heat for a few minutes then add the meat on top. It gets quite juicy this way pulling out more flavor from the veggies. With that said, in a thick stock pot (tomato based soups tend to burn for me when I use something thin) put the onion and about two cups of chopped green pepper. Heat for a few minutes and add the meat. Halfway through browning the meat add two more cups of sliced green peppers and one cup of water. Add the vinegar and thyme. Cook till meat is thoroughly done through but hasn't dried out. Add the tomato soup till it is soupy enough for you and stir on a regular basis so the bottom doesn't burn. Add the paprika, tomato sauce and simmer till heated through. According to your taste you may need to add a little brown sugar. If you need more green pepper taste add desired amount to a microwaveable bowl with just enough water to cover and put plastic wrap over top. Heat on high for 2 minutes. Remove plastic wrap carefully as steam will escape and heat on high for 1 minute. The green peppers should be soft and dry enough to add to the soup. hope you enjoy all these recipes!