Friday, August 24, 2012

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup





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 tbsp. fresh oregano
1 tbsp. dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 cup of flour1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed or skim, 1% milk to make healthier
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil and bay leaf to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are tender.

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 2-3 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 milk, salt and pepper.

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

*What's a roux?  A cooking mixture of flour and butter. It is the thickening agent of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking.  It is used as a thickener for gravy, sauces, soups and stews.

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