Indulge In {Light & Creamy Spicy Tomato Soup}

Well, I was hoping for a much warmer day by today or at least a sign of warmth. Sadly, it's still cold. The good news is that means soup! I am a sucker for a hot bowl of soup on a cold night sitting by the fire. What I really can't say no to though is the classic combination of homemade tomato soup and cheesy grilled cheese. It was a childhood favorite of mine, but now a days I like to kick it up just a bit. This soup is a bit spicy which adds an extra level of warmth perfect for chilly night gatherings. One of my favorite ways to serve it up is actually with a build your own grilled cheese bar that I will show you next week. In the mean time, here's the recipe….

:: Ingredients ::
2 Large Leeks, diced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
3/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 (14 oz) Can San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes
2 Cups Unsalted Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup Half & Half
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

:: Directions ::
1. Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Saute leeks with cumin, paprika, red pepper, and salt about 5 minutes or until leeks have cooked down.  
2. Increase heat to medium high and add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
3. Stir in tomatoes, chicken stock, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Place half of the tomato mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining tomato mixture to the blender pureeing until smooth. Return all the soup to the pot and serve immediately.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light. Image courtesy of Cooking Light.

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