ONE OVEN, ONE TIME: ROASTED TOMATO BASIL SOUP

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Even though summer is considered the pinnacle of tomato season, in many parts of the country the last fall harvest before the first hard frost brings some of the tastiest and meatiest fruits to market.

And this is a recipe that gives those end of season tomatoes a last hurrah in a hearty dish perfectly suited to fall…Oven Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup.

Best of all, this version lightens up the calories and the clean up!

The original recipe from the Barefoot Contessa calls for 6 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter…which adds 920 calories and 104 grams of fat.

Instead, we’re using fat free half-and-half to add the creamy richness…which cuts the calories per serving by more than half and removes virtually all of the fat.

And while the original recipe requires roasting the tomatoes in the oven for 45 minutes, then transferring them to a pot and cooking them on the stove for another 45, you can now cook everything in the oven….which frees you up to do other things and saves you the trouble of washing another pan.

And since this recipe cooks at the magic temperature of 425, you can roast another vegetable dish or two (like oven Roasted Butternut Squash or Roasted Mushrooms with Vermouth) in the same oven at the same time so you can build your inventory!

ROASTED TOMATO BASIL SOUP

12 c chopped tomatoes

2 onions chopped

1/4 c garlic, chopped

2 t salt

1 1/2 t black pepper

1/2 t red pepper flakes

4 c chicken broth

1 t fresh thyme

2 c chopped basil leaves

2-4 cups hot water

1 t balsamic

1/2 c fat free half-and half

Preheat oven to 425.

Spray a large roasting pan (here I’ve used a 15 x 10 Pyrex) with cooking spray and add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt and peppers.

Roast, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Add the 4 cups of chicken broth, thyme and basil and roast another 45 minutes.

Ladle into a large serving dish and use your immersion blender to puree, adding in the 2-4 cups of hot water to thin it out and bring the concentrated seasonings back to earth.

Add the balsamic vinegar for sweetness and the fat free half-and-half for creamy richness.

Taste for seasonings and serve.

Note: even though I rarely count calories in most vegetables, after calculating everything in this recipe, it breaks down to just 60 calories a cup.

Have it as a starter before a skinny meal… Or have a hearty 2 cup bowl with a Skinny Grilled Cheese made with one slice (80 calories) of low glycemic Ezekial bread or 2 pieces of Sara Lee or Weight Watchers 45 calorie a slice wheat and a piece of 40 calorie Veggie Slices Cheddar Cheese. With a side of salad, it makes a lovely lunch or supper for under 250 calories!

About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
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