We should always be doing all we can to fortify our immune systems, especially during the winter months (not to mention in the middle of a pandemic).

I don't know about you, but I plan on cuddling up with comfort foods like soup and crackers and other nutritious dishes that provide protection against winter illness woes.

When it comes to cooking healthy, I do my best to find local ingredients at the farmers market. The farther a food travels and the more it's processed, the less nutrients it has by the time it gets to your table.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Creamy Tomato Basil Soup and Parmesan Crackers

On a recent trip to the farmers market, I was tickled to find tomatoes, little powerhouses of goodness. One medium tomato contains nearly a third of the vitamin C we should get in a day.

Tomatoes are not nearly as prolific in the fall and winter, so when you find some, grab a few. 

I Eat La.: Enjoy a night in with these delicious lamb chops and fluffy sweet potatoes

My tomatoes became a silky tomato basil soup, which is creamy but not too heavy. The fresh tomatoes and fresh basil give the soup a bright, rich flavor. A dash of sugar adds a touch of sweetness, and the cream takes the edge off any sharp acidic taste from the tomatoes.

These Parmesan crackers are the perfect complement. The crackers are crisp and salty, with the cheese providing a good source of calcium. A melty grilled cheese sandwich would also be quite tasty with it.

I Eat La.: There's a little brrrrr in the air! Let's cook chili

As we venture forth into this holiday season unlike any other, I wish you all good health throughout the winter season.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at ieatbrla@gmail.com.