This recipe is dedicated to my cousin, Mish Middelmann, who educates and encourages men with prostate cancer (and their partners) via his amazing blog, Recovering Man. When you visit him, please tell him hello from me. 🙂 

If you are affected by prostate issues — either undergoing prostate cancer treatment, recovering from it, or in a place of “watchful waiting” — this recipe is for you.

Why is this dish prostate-friendly? Because it contains several ingredients thought to offer protection against prostate cancer. While more research is needed to confirm their effectiveness, some foods show promise due to their nutritional content and potential anti-cancer properties. Here are a few examples:

Tomatoes, tomato paste: Tomatoes and tomato products (paste, juice, etc.) contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that gives them their red color. Studies suggest that lycopene may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It is most concentrated in the skins of tomatoes, which is why I use whole tomatoes here. As a rule, the smaller the tomato, the higher its lycopene content and aroma; red-colored cherry, grape, and currant tomatoes are the most flavorful and highest in lycopene and the types I use in this recipe. Cooking tomatoes can increase the availability of lycopene for absorption. Better still, researchers have found that cooking them in olive oil — as here — greatly increases the absorption of lycopene and augments the health benefits of lycopene and oleocanthal, an anti-inflammatory compound in olive oil.
Cruciferous vegetables: Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are rich in nutrients such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which have been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. These compounds may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Cannellini beans: While not as famous as tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables in the prostate-protection arena, studies indicate that a high intake of legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.) is associated with a low incidence of prostate cancer. Beans are rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, which are all essential for maintaining overall health, including prostate health. Additionally, beans are a good source of plant-based protein, making them a valuable component of a diet that emphasizes plant-based foods.
Allium vegetables (like onion & garlic) contain organosulfur compounds, which are believed to have anti-cancer properties and have been studied for their ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, induce apoptosis (cell death), and prevent the formation of carcinogens. Allium vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds, which help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress and inflammation are believed to play a role in the development of prostate cancer, so consuming foods rich in antioxidants may help reduce the risk.
Moreover, some compounds in allium vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is associated with an increased risk of cancer, including prostate cancer, so consuming anti-inflammatory foods like allium vegetables may help mitigate this risk. Lastly, some allium vegetables, such as garlic, contain selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties that may help protect against cancer.

Chicken is the one ingredient with no proven anti-prostate-cancer effects — though interestingly, a study funded by the American Cancer Society found that eating 3.5 servings of fresh, skinless poultry (chicken or turkey) had a lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer and a 10% to 20% lower risk of prematurely dying from all causes. (This benefit did not seem to extend to sliced chicken or turkey lunch meat that’s commonly used on sandwiches.)

Vegetarians could, of course, replace the meatballs with high-protein tofu and/or edamame beans, and the chicken bone broth with water or vegetable broth. However, if you omit the meatballs, the soup will yield a mere 17 grams of protein per serving, and if you replace chicken bone broth with water or vegetable broth, its protein content drops to 11 g per serving. By comparison, most men need about 30-35 grams of protein per meal.

Why do I keep going on about protein? Because it is probably the single most important macronutrient in the human diet.

For one, it helps us feel satiated and maintain steady energy levels, reducing blood glucose fluctuations and food cravings.

Moreover, protein is needed to build & maintain body tissues (muscles, skin, hair, nails, and internal organs), support immune function, produce enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters, form carriers (like hemoglobin) that transport nutrients, oxygen, hormones, and other molecules around the body. Not for no reason is it called protein, after the Greek word proteios, meaning “the first” or “the most important.”

Tomato Soup with Beans, Broccoli & Chicken Meatballs

Keyword: 30 Minutes Max., Dairy-Free (or can be), Gluten-Free (or can be), Legumes, Low-Carb, Lunch, Meat & Chicken, Soups & Stews, Vegan (or can be), Vegetarian (or can be)
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 448kcal
Great for folks with prostates -- and everyone else, too!
Print Recipe


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 15 oz cannellini beans, cooked rinsed & drained (either canned or soaked & cooked from scratch)
  • 3 cups chicken bone broth
  • 12 oz broccoli florets I buy these ready-trimmed, but you can buy whole crowns and trim them yourself
  • 12 oz chicken meatballs, cooked either homemade (here's my recipe; this makes 2 lbs of meatballs) or store-bought (I usually keep a few packs of Trader Joe's chicken meatballs in the freezer for quick & easy meals. Brown in olive oil before adding to the soup.)
  • 4 tbsp pesto I like Gotham Greens' classic pesto
  • 1 pack fresh basil coarsely chopped or torn


  • In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring, until the onion starts to turn translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and dried herbs and saute one more minute, stirring.
  • Add the halved tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until they turn soft and jammy.
  • Add the beans and chicken stock, stir to combine, and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering, place the broccoli florets in a microwave-proof bowl, add 3 tbsp of water, and cover with a plate to retain the steam. Cook on HIGH for 3 minutes; the broccoli should be al dente.
  • After 10 minutes' simmering, add the broccoli, cooked meatballs, and chopped basil. Bring back to a boil, then remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the tomatoes are very acidic, add a smidgen of maple syrup or sugar to soften the flavor.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a dollop of pesto. If desired, drizzle with a little additional olive oil and/or grate some fresh Parmesan on top.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 776mg | Potassium: 1083mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1808IU | Vitamin C: 94mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 5mg