I once ate hot soup on a day with 90% humidity while we were sailing in the Caribbean. Scott shook his head, opened an ice cold beer and took a bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (of course). Yesterday when I made soup it was about 80º outside, but it's one of my favorite things so I eat it when I want.
This soup recipe is simple and cheap. If the spiciness isn't your thing, you can easily omit some of the ingredients to suit your palate (or your family's). The other thing that's great about this soup is that it's high in potassium and vitamins A and C. Plus, making it yourself allows it to have far less sodium than the pre-packaged varieties, which are typically pretty high in that category.
I used a VitaMix to make this recipe, but all you really need is something to liquify the ingredients below and then heat them. I got my VitaMix for Christmas a few years back and I think it's worth mentioning that I bought it (with my mom) online on Black Friday, so it was half-off. This might be something you want to keep in mind in case you're interested in giving or getting one for the holidays. I will say it's a great thing to have if you want to make large quantities of something, for cleansing and detoxing, and because it's easier for the body to digest blended raw foods. Plus, when making soup it heats it for you, which is awesome.
Here's the recipe I created, along with the VitaMix instructions for blending it that can hopefully be adapted to other appliances if necessary.
serving size: 3-4
3 beef steak tomatoes
2 cups of spicy tomato juice (or not spicy)
1 red bell pepper, seeded
1 clove of garlic
1/4-1/2 jalapeño (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
a few sprinkles-1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it, again)
a pinch of sea salt
green onions for garnish, chopped and set aside
Place all ingredients, except the toppings, into the VitaMix container. Secure lid. Select variable speed #1. Turn on VitaMix and quickly increase the speed to #10; then flip switch to high. Run for four-six minutes until smooth and steamy. Sprinkle green onions and cheese on top and serve immediately.