I love a good tomato soup—the rich flavor, the meaty melt-in-your-mouth feel, the way it fills you as much as it warms you…. I can’t believe I waited years to make my own (vegetarian) version. But when it came to a winter-friendly smoothie, the tomato soup vibe wasn’t working for me. I wanted something lighter … something that felt like a sunny day. Thus, Sunny Italian Smoothie was born.Jump to Recipe
While I was all caught up with my Broccoli Goat Milk Smoothie, thinking vegetables were the only route to a warm winter smoothie, I totally forgot that tomatoes are technically a fruit. We just treat them like a vegetable. Whether you get a serving of fruit or a serving of vegetables out of the deal, just know you’ll get a serving of sunny, delicious warmth.
Let the Sun Shine
Did you know that the sun is actually closest to Earth in the winter? It’s true—about 3 million miles closer than in summer. Close enough to bite. The reason we feel that winter bite is is due to Sun’s angle and Earth’s tilt during the season. (I sometimes learn these random things while working on poems. This research was for a poem appropriately titled “Helio” that’s in editing phase right now.)
About Sunny Italian Smoothie
The Italian part of this smoothie comes from canned, diced tomatoes: basil, oregano and garlic. The sunny part comes from lemon … a fresh-squeezed lemon lightens things up just like the sun breaking through the dull winter gray. Vegetable stock and buttermilk round out the recipe. It fits my simple ingredient recipe category of four ingredients or less!
I use my Vitamix on soup mode and have a smoothie batch ready in under 10 minutes. If you don’t have a Vitamix, just heat your liquids through on the stovetop, then blend. And if you don’t care about the smoothie being hot, simply blend and go—it’s also tasty chilled.
Sunny Italian Smoothie is vegetarian. For those with sodium dietary restrictions, use a low sodium version of the diced tomatoes. For a vegan version, sub out buttermilk with a non-dairy milk that leans more sour than sweet. You can also make this using fresh tomatoes (see recipe tips).
“Isn’t ketchup technically a fruit smoothie?”―Arizona Tape
Sunny Italian Smoothie
- Vitamix with soup setting (optional) or other blender
- 29 oz. flavored diced tomatoes basil, oregano and garlic (2 14.5 oz. cans)
- 2 C vegetable stock
- 2 C buttermilk
- ¼ C lemon juice one large lemon
- Juice lemon.
Using Vitamix with Soup setting
- Combine all ingredients in blender.
- Select Soup Setting and blend until smooth and heated through.
- Combine ingredients in sauce pan and heat on medium until warmed through.
- Remove to blender and blend until smooth.
Serving SuggestionsPour in a soup mug or thermal cup for a warm smoothie, or serve as a soup. Great snack, too! This smoothie also works chilled right out of the refrigerator.
- Substitute for canned diced tomatoes: dice equivalent quantity of fresh tomatoes; add 2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp basil and a dash of sea salt.
- For VITAMIX users: The blender will put a lot of air into the beverage, simply skim off foam into container before serving.
- Store in refrigerator. Best in pour-friendly containers, such as canning jars.