Winter’s over but not for this soup recipe.
I did a lot of soups over the winter months. Someone asked me one day back in February if I was enjoying the weather. It was 70°. I said “no, it’s winter”. Now, that Spring is officially here and the temperatures have started to get into the 70°-80°’s, I’m in hog heaven. But when the calendar says winter, it’s suppose to be cold. Let it get to 50° here and that’s cold enough. Something about the humidity I guess makes 50° seem like 30°. In the winter I want there to be a chill in the house that makes me want to snuggle up with a blanket and watch a good movie, and when I go outside I want to have to put a jacket or coat on and I want to have a pot of hot tea in the morning to warm me up not a glass of ice water to cool me down. When it’s Spring time I want to be able to smell fresh cut grass and the smell of a rainy day. This soup is good on a cold winter day or any other day for that fact.
One day after running around most of the day doing water aerobics (doesn’t that sound fun 🙂 — good for the knees though) and doing a bunch of other errands I decided to take it easy for dinner and make another pot of soup.
If I feel a craving for soup I just can’t pay attention to the weather; I might even have to turn the heat or air down to make it a little chilly inside so the soup taste nice and warm going down. Maybe I should start trying more chilled soups to make for the summer months.
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 T fresh oregano
- 1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ bay leaf
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups half and half warmed
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil and bay leaf to a large slow cooker (or heavy soup pot).
- Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. (In my Le Cruset I cooked about 5 hours on the lowest setting.
- 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 (or pot). Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed Half & 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).
*Note: If you want to cut the butter and flour in half it still turns out delicious. I really think you could omit this step.