Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

This is taken from www.365daysofcrockpot.com. I was looking for a delicious soup recipe after sampling a flight of soups at Soup Spoon Cafe in downtown Lansing for Valentine's day.  It was so yummy, and exactly what I needed for these cold winter days.  And on top of that, it is a crockpot recipe, so a lot of the work can be done ahead of time.

picture taken from 365 Days of Slow Cooking blog
 but I plan on taking my own picture as soon as I can

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
~1 cup finely diced celery
~1 cup finely diced carrots
~1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano (have some extra in case you want to add more seasoning later)
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil (have some extra in case you want to add more seasoning later)
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf (dried or fresh)
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. 
4.  Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. 
5.  Add all back into the slow cooker. 
6.  Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  
7.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don't be afraid to always season to taste at the end). 
8.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

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