I really don’t feel good. Last time I checked in I was recovering from a colonoscopy, which revealed that as a whole, my colon was actually in pretty good shape. Only the end was inflamed and suffering from a colitis flare. I was told to up my Prilosec OTC since I was having so much upper digestive problems and was also given a round of steroid retention enemas. My inflammatory markers were also slightly elevated and over the standard range (28 as opposed to within the 0-20 range).
I had three days to both recover from the colonoscopy and hope that the steroids would kick in because on Friday I had to drive to Sonora for a wedding on Saturday. I would spend Friday and Saturday night in Sonora and I was worried about being able to make the 3 hour drive without any mishaps.
Since being diagnosed I’ve been lucky that all my big social engagements have fallen in times of good health. It’s actually fairly easy when you are an introvert who likes to occasionally hang out and be social. I need my alone time and space but I love it when I get to see my (few) good friends. One of them was getting married and all the group was going to be there so I WAS GOING. No ifs, ands, or buts.
I did pretty good too. The day I left I only had sourdough toast and didn’t eat again until dinner, which I kept small. I stayed away from fiber (gosh I miss greens) and timed my meals based on digestion time. This meant that I usually avoided eating anything after breakfast because I might risk having to mow people over during the ceremony trying to get to a bathroom.
As soon as I got home on Sunday though I made a couple of mistakes. Because my bowl movements had gotten so much better I ate like I normally do. It’s like all the times I suppressed my hunger over the weekend caught up to me all at once. I was HUNGRY. I had a big serving of scrambled eggs at the hotel before leaving. At home throughout the day I had a ham and cheese hot pocket (a future blog post), popcorn, and Special K cereal with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. I had seaweed salad and sushi for dinner and some chocolate for dessert. And I ended up staying up till 3 in the morning painfully going to the bathroom. So, needless to say, I am back to eating very little, very slowly, and nothing really interesting.
However, this soup actually works pretty good when I’m like this. I just have to get up and make it. And when you’re feeling ill or you’re just too busy, you can use canned fire roasted tomatoes. It actually comes out just as good. There is a little spice from the roasted tomatoes and red pepper flakes that I love, especially on cold days. It also goes great with grilled cheese and sourdough bread. If you’re using all canned tomatoes, it takes about 25 minutes total. Overall, this is a delicious, healthy, quick and easy meal. Enjoy!
Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
- 18 to 20 fresh Roma tomatoes or 3 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced or crushed
- 1 tablespoon diced oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 leaves basil
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded.
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a foil covered baking sheet, cut side down. Move an oven rack to the highest position and turn on the boiler. Broil 5 to 15 minutes, until the tomato skins are blackened. Move the pan around every few minutes to ensure equal roasting.
Remove from oven and cover with foil, letting the tomatoes cool and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the skins from the tomatoes and transfer to a high speed blender.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add to a blender along with basil leaves, yogurt, broth, and shredded cheddar cheese. Blend on high until smooth (if using all fresh tomatoes, you might have to do this in batches).
Pour into a large pot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Add more salt to taste.
You can use all fresh tomatoes, all canned, or a combination of both. I change it up all the time depending on how busy I am or if tomatoes are in season or not. This time I only used one can of fire roasted tomatoes. I actually like to add it after I mix everything else in the blender. I use an immersion blender to blend it in a little, but still leave some chunks in it.
6 to 7 peeled Roma tomatoes is equivalent to one 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes.
The amount of salt needed changes drastically depending on whether you are using fresh tomatoes are canned. Just keep adding and tasting until all the flavors blend together to your liking.