Spicy Tomato, Carrot & Spinach Soup

“When I was growing up
Soup meant flu,
Under the covers
Stuffy and sore all through.
Negative and distasteful
I never liked the dish,
For it always brought with it
A  Get-well-soon wish!
Years have gone by
And older and wiser me,
Has re-invested the feeling
To that what mum claimed it to be.
Of warmth and comfort
Flavors varied and bold,
Soups simple, and soups rich
And even those served cold.
Vegetables and meat
Broth or creamy bite,
I can safely say I am over
My innocent soup fright.”
4 medium plum tomatoes
½ cup chopped carrots
¼ onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced or crushed
1 cup baby spinach leaves
½ teaspoon basil flakes
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chopped coriander for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste
Boil the tomatoes and carrots in 2 cups of water, till the carrots and soft and tomatoes are blanched enough for their skin to come off.  Remove from heat, and blend in a mixer with 1 cup of the water used for boiling. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté till brown. Mix in tomato carrot blend, add the dry spices, cover on medium flame and cook for 15-20 minutes till the tomatoes lose their raw taste. Stir in the spinach and cook till the leaves are just wilted. Mix in the milk, stir for a minute (do not over cook of the milk may curdle) and turn off heat. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve immediately.
A wholesome and comforting meal for a cold winter evening.