Red Pepper Soup With Tomatoes
There’s something very comforting about a warm cup of soup on a cold day. Having scientific evidence on certain plant compounds makes it even more enjoyable.
A Brazilian research institute did a study of a plant compound called apigenin. This compound is found in abundance in red pepper. The researchers already knew that flavonoids, a chemical group of which apigenin is a member, may support learning.
In this new study, though, the researchers were interested in specifically how apigenin affects human cells. What they found was astounding. Introducing apigenin to human stem cells in a petri dish resulted in an accelerated transformation of those cells into neurons with strong and efficient connections between them. While further testing in the human body is necessary to confirm any outcomes, this in vitro laboratory testing helps generate new hypotheses about what effects apigenin might have.
It’s no secret that flavonoids in plants are beneficial to human health. But to discover that apigenin, a compound in abundance in red peppers, may have such an important role in the body is amazing information.
This recipe for Red Pepper Soup contains roasted red peppers, which helps to release the deeper layers of flavor in the vegetable. Roasting red peppers is easily done at home, but they are also readily available in jars at major grocery store outlets. Just be sure that the roasted red peppers you buy don’t have unnecessary added ingredients like salt, which is not needed for this flavorful soup.
Brain Healthy Red Pepper Soup
Yield: 6 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
- 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and cored
- 3 roasted red peppers
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-1/2 tsp. thyme
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 2 dashes hot sauce
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
- Sauté spices, garlic and onion in a teaspoon of olive oil in soup pot until aromatic.
- Add tomatoes and simmer on low heat until soft.
- Add roasted red peppers and stir.
- Add liquid (broth or water).
- Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to simmer.
- Allow to simmer on low heat with lid off for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Blend with immersion blender or cool and blend in stand blender.
- Serve warm.
Make this a meal by adding a side of crackers or crusty bread, and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.