1. Elegant and easy tomato soup

    I adore soup. It makes a fabulous lunch or an elegant first course. I particularly love spicy tomato soup and its endless variations. This recipe makes your life easy when you entertain and are pressed for time, yet no one will be short-changed.
    Serve it hot or cold.
    Grind 1tbsp Chipotle chilies in adobe sauce (canned) with 1 lg. clove of garlic in a processor or blender. This is a smoky chili in smoky-sweet tomato sauce. Canned is easy to use and find. It is hot.
    Or, roast 1-2 dried chipotle Chile(s), cool and de-seed.
    Soak for 20 minutes and then grind with 1 large garlic clove in a processor or blender.
    (Save extra in jar)
    Sauté 1 small chopped onion in 1tbsp. of good olive oil (not best) until soft, not brown
    Add 1 scant tsp. chili paste, and sauté 2 minutes with 1 heaping tsp. of ground cumin. If you like spicy, add more, but be cautious.
    Purée and then add 1 large can Glen Muir Organic Fire Roast tomatoes or a large can of good quality San Marzano tomatoes. Must be this quality. In the summer, you can substitute three cups of seeded and pureed very juicy fresh tomatoes.
    ½ cup water
    1½ tsp. smoked paprika
    1 tbsp. sugar
    Bring to a light boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes
    1 tbsp. Kosher salt.
    Correct salt and serve.
    To serve, finish the soup with a good olive oil and large toasted croutons of good bread. Just put a light circle of oil on the top of the soup.
    Toast the bread lightly. Rub it with a peeled clove of garlic, and sprinkle lightly with the fried or fresh herbs of your choosing. Then toast it again lightly! Simple and delicious.