Saturday, December 1, 2012

On the menu: Tomato Basil Soup

Cool weather and soup are made for one another. Really, who can pass up a bowl of their favorite soup when there is a chill in the air? For me, tomato basil soup is my winter preference, but that may be due to my potager filled with juicy, ripe autumn tomatoes, fresh oregano and yummy basil.

Image via Alamodeus of tomatoes picked November 30, 2012.

Where this soup recipe diverges from most tomato soups is with the addition of Parmesan cheese, a yummy addition that sends me back for a second serving.

Image via 365 Days of Slow Cooking.

Crock pot cooking version

Makes about 2 quarts (about 8 servings)

14 oz fresh tomatoes, blanched to remove skin, then diced
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf (small)
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup butter
2 cups heavy cream, 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. 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 cream, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed to season to taste.
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for approximately 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

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