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Add 'Creamy' Tomato Soup to your summer palette

By Melissa d'Arabian, Associated Press
Associated Press
Fresh summer tomatoes, which are packed with vitamins C and A, as well as lycopene, play a starring role in “Creamy” Tomato Soup.

Check out your grocery store right about now because I'll bet you'll find gorgeous tomatoes everywhere. Roma tomatoes are a bargain this time of year, and they are ideal for cooking in all sorts of recipes. Full of vitamins C and A, as well as lycopene, tomatoes are a healthy buy, too.

There is nothing better than a creamy tomato soup made from fresh summer tomatoes. Today's recipe, "Creamy" Tomato Soup, takes advantage of the roma tomato deluge and makes lunch. Since the tomatoes are more flavorful this time of year, I merely flash-roast them — about 10 or so minutes will do the trick — which keeps the oven use to a minimum. (Sometimes, I grill them, uncut, instead, but I'll confess that's a bit messier.)

My trick for creating that luscious pale-paprika-orange color that usually comes from a hefty dose of cream? Carrot. I cut up a large carrot (or two medium ones) and roast it right alongside the tomatoes. It adds just enough yellow tone to give the tomato soup a creamy look.

Plus, the sugar in the carrot boosts the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. I add a tiny splash of balsamic vinegar and a couple of fresh basil leaves and blend it all up. The result is deep tomato flavor, perfectly balanced.

A drizzle of the best-quality olive oil you own, just before eating, will take this easy-to-make soup to the next level. Don't let the simplicity of the recipe fool you: The flavors marry perfectly. Load up on those roma tomatoes, give them a quick roast and you'll have a perfect summer soup on the table in no time.

Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."