So I am currently studying to become a Holistic Nutritionist, and for an assignment this week I was instructed to find a healthy food I have never cooked before and make it into something magical. Uh…. I was in a bit of a bind. I’ve cooked almost everything at least once. So I set off for Whole Foods in search of a bright, new health food. It was difficult. Kohlrabi? Been there. Celeriac? Done that. Nutritional yeast? Yes, even nut yeast. I was about to give up. And then I saw them. Hemp seeds! A ha! I have never even tasted hemp seeds let alone cook with them. So I filled a bag from the bulk section and brought them home. Now what the heck to do with them? I took a little taste to see what I was working with. Their flavor was like a cross between walnuts and quinoa to me – nutty but grain-like at the same time. It’s been a little chilly in L.A. recently (I think it got down to 50 degrees a few days ago!) and I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade tomato soup, so I decided to make tomato soup with hemp seeds. Lucky for me it worked out great and tasted delicious! And I discovered hemp is quite the nutritional powerhouse, loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, and Omega 3 fatty acids. All that in a bag of hemp! Happy Health!
* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.
Creamy Tomato Soup with Hemp Seeds
five or six medium tomatoes, chopped
ten to fourteen cloves of garlic, chopped (you should maybe use less, I like a LOT of garlic)
1/4-1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup or so tomato juice (optional)
1/2-1 cup chicken or veggie broth
1/2-3/4 cup almond milk (or whatever sort of milk-like liquid you have on hand)
1/2 cup or so hemp seeds
tsp or so chopped fresh basil (you can use dried if you don’t have fresh)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of paprika
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Put garlic in a medium to large pot with olive oil and butter. Cook on medium heat until garlic starts to brown. Add a splash of red wine if it starts to stick to the pan. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato juice and paprika. Keep everything to a low boil until the tomatoes become very soft and the ingredients become stew-like. Add wine and boil five or so additional minutes. Add basil, turn off heat. Add almond milk and let cool slightly. Blend in a food processor or blender until you have the consistency you’d like. Return to pot and add hemp seeds. Heat and serve! Garnish with Parmesan if that seems like a good idea to you.