Motivation Monday: “Progress not perfection.”

I absolutely love this quote, and it was told to me at the perfect moment. Although visiting Denver was amazing, I did have a small setback with my eating disorder. I’ve learned that sharing these things with others helps me get through it. My eating has been really great recently and I haven’t had the same guilt that usually haunts me, but I did fall back into ED behaviors at one point on my trip. I ended up texting a friend for support and told her what had happened. Her response, “progress not perfection. Just keep moving forward.” From that short text, I felt so content, happy, and proud of myself for recognizing what emotion and feeling caused that small relapse. From that moment forward, I was able to move on and start fresh instead of dwelling on my “slip-up.” I don’t know what I would do without my friends!

Denver was so much fun. I loved seeing my friends and laughing until we cried, and enjoyed the snow and cold weather. Since Southern California basically doesn’t have real seasons, I am rarely in the mood for hot soups in the “winter.” I had to put quotes because winter here isn’t really winter. It was 80 degrees last week. Anyways, I get tons of requests for homemade soup recipes and although winter is coming to an end, I have a recipe for you! The day I arrived in Denver it started snowing and all I wanted for days was fresh tomato soup, so I made my friend Jason (he’s a Chef!) cook up a fresh tomato soup for Erica and I. Jason is a magical wizard in the kitchen. Seriously, no words here. He made soup from scratch in a matter of minutes and it was pure bliss. so. good. so. good. When I got home I was still craving Jason’s Tomato soup, so I thought I would branch out and try making a fresh vegan tomato soup!

The recipe is simple, and the prep time is under 10 minutes! Plus it has all of the creaminess you love without the added heavy whipping cream and sodium.
Have you ever looked at the nutrition label on Campbell’s Tomato Soup? 480 mg of sodium. PER SERVING! Have you noticed that there are 2.5 servings of soup per can? That’s 1,200 mg of sodium in one can, which is near the daily recommended limit of the American Heart Association! Yikes! High intakes of sodium increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, so it’s time to toss the can of condensed soup. Another interesting fact is that food labels can claim a product to be “low sodium” as long as it doesn’t exceed 480 mg of sodium per reference amount. Don’t let the term “low-sodium” fool you! Always read nutrition labels!

So how do we give this soup that flavor that we all love?
Sun-dried tomatoes!

And how do we make this soup thick and creamy?
Hemp seeds!

  • Hemp is a high protein seed.
  • Containing all nine of the essential amino acids.
  • Filled with high amounts of fatty acids and fiber.
  • Contains vitamin E and trace minerals.

Fresh Vegan Tomato Soup
Fresh Vegan Tomato Soup
Fresh Vegan Tomato Soup 
(Serves 4) – by Chef AJ

1 lb Roma tomatoes
2 red bell peppers – seeded
1 garlic clove
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup whole shelled hemp seeds
2 Tbsp ground sun-dried tomato powder (see note)
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
juice of 1 lemon

Wash and cut tomatoes into halves. Wash and seed the bell peppers and cut into smaller pieces. In a high-powered blender, puree the tomatoes followed by the bell peppers. Next add the garlic, basil, sun-dried tomato powder, lemon juice, and chipotle and blend until smooth. Add the hemp seeds and blend again on full power until creamy. Serve hot.

Note: If you cannot find sun-dried tomato powder, you can easily make your own. Just grind sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil) in a magic bullet or coffee grinder!
Second note: If you have a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, the friction of the blades in the blender will heat the soup. Simple turn the blender to it’s highest setting and let it heat for 4-6 minutes. The soup will be steaming when the lid is removed!
Last note: If you do not have a high-powered blender, transfer the finished soup to the stove and heat for a few minutes over medium high heat.

Fresh Vegan Tomato Soup
Fresh Vegan Tomato Soup
Complete your soup with a serving of whole grain crackers! I loveeee dipping crackers in my soup, so I opted for Mary’s Gone Crackers – Herb Crackers.
Why I love Mary’s Gone Crackers: Organic, non-GMO, vegan, d>airy free, wheat free, gluten free, whole grain, kosher, no hydrogenated oils, no trans-fats, and contains 450 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per 1oz serving.

Want to make your own crackers?
Checkout my Quinoa Flax Crackers recipe!

I can’t wait for a little rain in LA this week! I’m fully prepared with fresh tomato soup!

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13 Responses so far.

  1. This sounds delish. How can does one shell hemp seed?

    Response from Babs Donovan
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    • You can buy shelled hemp seeds from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, or brands like Nutiva, Hemp Hearts, and Navitas!

      Response from Catherine
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  2. this sounds so tasty and simple to put together. definitely worth pinning and trying out!
    as for recovery from eating disorders… it’s something you will probably always struggle with. i’ve been recovered for 2 years, but i still have slipups and fallbacks. but making strides toward healthy habits make the slip ups much easier to bounce back from and they’re usually fewer and farther in between.
    congrats on not letting it get to you too badly.

    Response from Holly Waterfall
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    • Thank you so much for the support Holly! xo

      Response from Catherine
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  3. Awe! Thank you so much for posting a great soup! I’m excited to get to the market to make this. I’m also stoked because it uses new ingredients.

    Response from Nicole
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    • I’m just like you, I get so excited when I get to make something with fun new ingredients! haha

      Response from Catherine
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  4. Catherine, your honesty is so commendable. I relate to a lot of things you mention; although I don’t have an eating disorder, I definitely can get guilty about things. I LOVE this blog!!!

    Response from Jen
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  5. Hi Catherine!! I just want to thank you & give you mad props for your honesty about the realities of recovery. I don’t know if this relates to the challenges you are facing, but my biggest challenge has been fighting the urge to binge eat. Leaning on friends is definitely a huge help — is there anything else that works for you when you feel yourself start to slip? What do you do when you need to fight a craving or find motivation?

    Response from Casey
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  6. I made this soup last night – it was so delicious!! I wasn’t sure about the “creaminess” factor coming from the hemp seeds, but it really was so creamy and rich tasting, and just enough of a bite from the chipotle seasoning. I think I might use this as a pasta sauce next time I make it! I love your blog, and I’m really glad that you’re back.

    Response from Jenna
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    • Aww thank you so much Jenna! I’m happy to be back too :)
      I’m so glad you loved the soup! I too was hesitant about the hemp seeds, but I love trying and learning new plant strong tricks in the kitchen! I want to try making this with cashews next time! xo

      Response from Catherine
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  7. This sounds absolutely amazing! I’m definitely going to try it. I’m 18 years old and a vegetarian; I’m so self conscious about my weight, I wish it was easier to stay fit.. I feel like one brownie gives me a billion pounds.. :/

    Response from Lisa
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  8. I found your blog a while back and absolutely love it– I’m not sure if you’ll see this since this is an older post I saved a while ago as a recipe to make. BUT, I just made this soup and it was AMAZING. I hope you find the time to start updating more, your recipes are wonderful!!

    Response from Lindsey
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    • Thank you so much Lindsey! More recipes coming soon! xo

      Response from Catherine
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