While vitamin-rich tomatoes are often enjoyed raw in salsas and salads or as toppers on sandwiches and burgers, you can maximize the benefits of this lycopene-rich fruit by eating it with a heart-healthy fat like olive oil. Because lycopene, a carotene antioxidant reputed to help protect against prostate and colon cancers, is fat-soluble, the body absorbs more benefits when tomatoes are eaten with a little bit of fat.

Although the weather is still warm, this chilled tomato soup combines a little bit of olive oil with tangy, sweet roasted tomatoes, and is a great accompaniment to salad or a grilled vegetable sandwich.

Chilled Roasted Tomato Soup  

7-8 plum tomatoes, washed and cut in half

2 unpeeled large shallots, tops trimmed

1 head unpeeled garlic, top trimmed

olive oil, for drizzling

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup grated romano parmesan blend

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place entire head of garlic on a small piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with a scant amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold up foil so garlic is covered and sit directly on oven rack; roast for about one  hour or until garlic is soft and lightly caramelized.

Place sliced tomatoes and shallots on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 45 minutes, or until shallots are soft and tomatoes are wilted and oozing a bit. Remove garlic, shallots and tomatoes from oven and allow to cool.

Holding garlic by the root end, turn head upside down over a blender and squeeze garlic out of its skin. Peel shallots, cut off root, slice in big chunks and toss in blender. Add red wine vinegar, thyme, a bit of salt and pepper and tomatoes. Whizz until mostly smooth. Add cheese and blend until just combined. Serves 2.