Meet the Sullivans: Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

September 3, 2012

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

Have you tried the tomato soup at Nordstrom's little cafe? It's a favorite soup of mine. I really like soups. I pretty much always go for the half soup / half salad option on restaurants' menus if they have them. Making soup at home is so easy and satisfying while not being too heavy. 

I made this soup using my slow cooker. It does not look and did not taste like a slow cooker meal to me at all. I'm adding this to my list of our top 5 favorite slow cooker dinners. (A post on that is coming your way soon!)


INGREDIENTS
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 tablespoons dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups half and half, warmed (I would go with only a cup and a half though)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS

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. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. 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).

4. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

*TIPS: 
  • To make this meal even easier you can use Trader Joe's pre chopped carrot / celery / onion mix. You can find it in the refrigerated section near the produce. 
  • After the 7 hours of slow cooking I used my immersion blender to puree the vegetables and create a smooth soup.
  • Don't neglect the roux! It will burn.  
  • Add a few dashes of cayenne for a little spice. 

Recipe Credit: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

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