Cool, refreshing and easy to make, this tasty summer soup is packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer. Cucumbers are an ideal food to stay hydrated on hot days since they are 95 percent water. They also contain compounds that support brain health and help fight inflammation. Not only does mint freshen your breath, but it also boosts oral health by combating harmful bacteria inside the mouth.
While this vegan, gluten-free soup takes just minutes to make, it should be chilled for at least two hours before serving. For a flavor variation, replace mint with fresh basil, cilantro or other herbs of your choice. Serves four to six.
1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 Persian (baby) cucumbers, peeled and diced, divided
½ cup fresh mint leaves, silvered
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped, plus additional for garnish
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
Ground black pepper to taste
Coarsely puree tomatoes in a blender, leaving a little texture but no large pieces. Transfer to large mixing bowl and stir in all remaining ingredients, reserving a small amount of diced cucumber for garnish. Chill for two or more hours, serve garnished with the reserved diced cucumber and chopped chives, and enjoy! Adapted from Yummybeet.com and Cooking.nytimes.com.