Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

This is one of my family's very favorite soups to have. It's been so cold here (single digits at night) that I've wanted warm food for nearly every meal! I love the combination of flavors in this soup, the basil makes the soup super yummy and I love the Parmesan cheese in her too! I also really like how fast and easy this soup is to put together. You just throw together the tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery and broth in your slow-cooker in the morning and allow to cook most of the day. Then the roux goes together pretty quickly and heat the milk at the same time. This time I tried something new with my soup, running it through the blender to get rid of the big chunks, I'm really glad I did! The soup was so creamy and it really brought out the flavor of the basil. This recipe comes from the blog of one of my friends, you should check it out, 365daysofcrockpot.com, she has some really amazing recipes and an amazing cookbook too!






Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
from 365daysofcrockpot.com








2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, don't drain
The ingredients
1 cup finely diced celery (you'll notice in the pictures there isn't celery, soup's still great without! I simply add a few more carrots and onions to balance it out)
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
4 cups chicken broth
If you have 1 tablespoon fresh oregano and 1/4 cup fresh basil to chop up, you'll add it here too, otherwise just add dried spices at the end with the roux, milk and Parmesan.
1/2 bay leaf



This is what they look like in the slow-cooker

Place these ingredients into your slow-cooker and set to low. Cook for 5 to 7 hours to soften vegetables and blend flavors. 






1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (milk works great too)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tsp dried oregano (if you didn't use fresh)
1 Tablespoon dried basil (if you didn't use fresh)
1 cup Parmesan cheese

After adding the roux

About an hour before serving make a roux by melting the butter and stirring in the flour.  Cook mixture for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat and slowly stir in 1 cup of the hot soup. Add another 3 cups of hot soup and stir until smooth. While I'm making my roux, I'm also heating up the half and half in a sauce pan on medium-low. Add the roux, Stir. 



Blend time!
This is when I decided to blend the soup. You have to be kind of careful when blending hot liquids, because the lid of the blender won't close. Start with a small amount of liquid and blend slowly. 








Finished

Also add warmed half and half, Parmesan, dried spices, and salt and pepper to the slow-cooker, I usually give this a quick stir before replacing the lid. Cook for one more hour on Low, until you're ready to serve. 

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