Spicy Tomato Soup

And just like that October went by in a blink of an eye. The first two months of school are so fast and furious, only to land us all in faster and more furious. I actually now see how that movie series is up to episode 9. Basketball started this week, and with that we are officially up to an activity every day after school which means I need simple in the dinner department. I love this recipe because it’s easier than pie, takes less than thirty minutes to prepare, looks sophisticated, and tastes amazing.

Spicy Tomato Soup, serves four
1 T grapeseed oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stems of fresh thyme leaves
Bay leaf
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 T tomato paste
1/3 c white wine
28 oz can crushed tomatoes 
2-3 c veggie stock
10 basil leaves, rough chopped
1/4 – 1/2 t chili flakes
1/2 t paprika

1/4 c cream

In a large pot, on medium high heat, heat the oil, add the carrots, onions, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally for five minutes. Add the garlic, and tomato paste, and let them become fragrant, about 30 seconds, and deglaze with the wine. *Lean your head over the pot and take a deep breath. Who really cares about the spelling homework now?* Add the crush tomatoes, veggie stock, basil leaves, chili flakes, paprika, and more salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and remove from the stove. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

In a Vitamix, food processor, or using an emersion blender, puree it all and return the pot, and on low heat to simmer for a few minutes. When ready to serve, add the cream.

A few easy garnishes –
House Toasted Croutons

Herbed Ricotta
1/2 c ricotta
4-5 basil leave, chiffonade
cracked pepper
Combine and serve a top of the soup

Oven Roasted Tomatoes
This is a nod to my neighbor Wendy, who is always encouraging me in the kitchen – this is a side dish she preps in her kitchen, and I hijacked it for my soup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and toss grape or cherry or vine ripened tomatoes with a little oil, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Bake for ten minutes. Serve on top of the soup or a long side it.

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