Saturday, December 31, 2011

Food on Friday: belated

So, I will warn you now that this, my friends, is another soup recipe.  Yes, I know.  I am a soup-a-holic.  But if you lived somewhere that was desperately dark and dreary in the winter, you would understand.  (And those of you who do live someplace equally as dark and dreary, you definitely know what I am talking about.)  Some days, only a good soup and a pot of tea can warm up your cold bones.

And this soup is gooooood.  So good, in fact, that I would eat it everyday for the rest of my life...if I didn't contain enough butter to kill me within a week.  Rich and hearty, this soup is a tomato, basil and Parmesan delight!  Next time the wind rages, the snow falls and you think you might freeze to death, make this soup.  You will feel better, I promise.


Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Soup
from 365 Days of Slow Cooking

Makes about 2 quarts

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

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.


I don't have a crock pot, so I adapted this recipe a bit to work on the stove top.  Instead of putting the tomato, celery, carrots etc into a crock pot, I sauteed the carrots, celery and onion first in a little olive oil.  When they were soft, I added in the tomatoes, chicken broth and the rest of the ingredients from step 1.  I let this cook for about 30 minutes until everything was soft and then started with step 3.  I used 1% milk instead of half and half because I couldn't imagine adding more fat after seeing all the butter go in.  (I wasn't worried about calories so much as my poor, post-Christmas stomach...he's been feelings a little rumbley and tumbley lately.)

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