slow cooker tomato basil parmesan soup

Soup is pretty much the greatest thing in the world. I love, love, love it, and look forward to fall all year long so I can eat as much soup as humanly possible. Geoff’s favorite is tomato soup, and up until now I hadn’t found a great recipe for it. It never tasted quite right (too sweet, too acidic, etc.) and the texture was less than ideal. No longer! This is our new favorite soup!

It’s really easy to throw together (it seriously took less than five minutes using my little food processor) and it made the house smell great all day. I used whole milk instead of cream, and about five tablespoons of butter instead of the recommended eight (there I go, being rebellious again) and the texture and taste were just perfect. I served it with freshly baked baguette (recipe coming soon!), farmer cheese, and fresh honeycrisp apples, and it was the ultimate fall meal. I ended up with so much leftover that I put two meals’ worth in the freezer and still had enough for Geoff and I each to have a hefty lunch portion tomorrow. It’s pretty much perfection in a soup!

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
The Girl Who Ate Everything

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 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (substitute milk for less calories)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. At this point I added all of the vegetables to a blender and blended until smooth. If you prefer a chunkier texture you can leave it as is or even blend just some of it. Return blended veggies back to the slow cooker.

About 30 minutes before serving prepare the roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Stir roux constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly whisk 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. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

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