I'm a big tomato soup fan. I don't have it often, but when a craving hits, I want this deeeelicious soup badly!!
I came across this tomato basil soup recipe for the Crock Pot on Pinterest (as many of my recipes nowadays are!) I could not wait to make it this week-- and who doesn't love a good Crock Pot recipe? Not only does it make the whole house smell delicious, but dinner is done when you're home from work! Yessss!
So as you can gather, I LOVE tomatoes. Sometimes I just eat them whole for a snack. But as much as I love tomatoes, Greg hates them. He wishes he could like tomatoes, but it just isn't in the cards.
He does love himself some great salsa, ketchup, and a few other tomato-based recipes, so I was hoping that this soup recipe would pass Greg's "I abhor tomatoes" test ;-)
2 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes with the juice
1 cup of finely diced celery (I actually left this out)
1 cup of finely diced carrots
1 cup of finely diced onions
1 teaspoon of dried oregano (or 1 T fresh)
1 Tablespoon of dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh)
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of butter
2 cups of half and half (or skim milk), warmed
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1.) Dice up the carrots and onions (and celery if you choose) As you might be able to see from the photo above, I bought a bag of shredded carrots and then carefully cut them into smaller diced pieces.
2.) Chop up the basil and oregano.
3.) Add the carrots, onions, basil, oregano, and chicken broth into the Crock Pot.
4.) Oh, and add the diced tomatoes as well. At this point I was worried that this would not pass Greg's "tomatoes suck" test. I mean, with the chicken broth and diced tomatoes, it looked very vegetable soup-y... not a creamy basil soup :-(
After the soup has been cooking for 5-7 hours, it is time to make your roux. For some reason, rouxs have always scared me. I used to be in the habit of calling my mom to walk me through roux, but I've since cut the chord. A roux is super easy if you just follow the directions.
6.) About 30 minutes before serving, prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a pan.
7.) Add the flour.
8.) Mix the butter and the flour together. It should mix up to look like paste. Constantly whisk or stir the butter and flour for 5 minutes-- make sure that it doesn't start to burn!
9.) Slowly stir in 1 cup of the hot soup and mix it together.
10.) Add another 3 cups of the soup and stir until smooth. By this time, there wasn't a lot of the soup left in the Crock Pot, mostly just the tomatoes and carrots.
11.) Add the whole pan of roux back into the Crock Pot and stir together.
12.) Add the Parmesan cheese, warmed milk, and salt & pepper. The recipe says that you may use either half & half or skim milk. The skim milk worked perfectly and I didn't feel as guilty using a less fatty option!
13.) Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the Crock Pot supposedly does a number on the spices while cooking) I added a bunch more of the basil because well... It's tomato basil soup ;-)
14.) Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.
Verdict: Soooo tasty!! I loved the (obvious) tomato flavor mixed with the basil, carrots, and cheese. I have to say that the Parmesan cheese added a surprise flavor, and it was really well received by my brother-in-law and father-in-law who ate dinner with us that night.
And as for Greg, Mr. Tomatoes Are the Devil? Well... He looooved it! I was pleasantly surprised and of course a bit proud of myself for taking a chance on this soup.
Another one to add to the Cookbook!!