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Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup

Did you know that January is National Soup Month? (Don't worry... I didn't know that until this week when I saw it on Facebook. Because, you know, if something's on Facebook, it has to be true, right?) It makes sense - January is typically the coldest month of the year, and soup is especially comforting after a long, cold winter day.   IMG_5748   I whipped up this Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup last week when the temps were in the negatives, and it definitely was a good choice. It's a creamy version of tomato soup, with basil, Parmesan, and chunky tomatoes. It's very easy to put together, and simmers all day in the slow cooker. You do have to put in a little bit of work at the end of the cooking time to thicken it up, but then you've got another 20-30 minutes to put together your grilled cheese sandwiches. (Because it's a crime to eat tomato soup without grilled cheese!) Get started by placing your veggies (tomatoes, carrots, onion, celery), chicken stock, and flavors in a slow cooker. Cook on low 5-8 hours or until the vegetables are tender.   IMG_5727   About 30-40 minutes before you are ready to eat, it's time to make the roux (what thickens it up) and add all the good stuff. Melt some butter over medium heat and whisk in some flour. Whisk about 2-3 minutes until it's golden brown. Then, ladle in about a cup of the soup to the saucepan with the roux; whisk until smooth. Repeat this a few times. Return the entire creamy  mixture back to the slow cooker, and add the milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Let cook 20-30 minutes more until it becomes thick and creamy.  

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Serve topped with croutons and additional Parmesan cheese.   IMG_5746   I loved that the soup still had chunky vegetables in it, but if you want it to be completely smooth, just run it through your blender or food processor. This recipe is definitely going to be a winter staple for us! I served it alongside some garlic cheese toast made with the Chief bakery ciabatta bread and it was the perfect combination. ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup

Servings/Yield: 6 servings
  • 28-oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ¾ cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • cups finely diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 32-oz chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 cups whole milk, warm
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • croutons, for serving
Method In a slow cooker, combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, oregano, basil, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low 5-8 hours until the vegetables are tender. About 45 minutes before serving, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden brown. The mixture will be crumbly, that's fine. Gradually ladle in about a cup of the hot soup into the flour mixture, whisk until smooth and bubbly. Add another 3-4 cups using this same process, one cup at a time. Stir the creamy, hot mixture back into the slow cooker. Add the Parmesan cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Let cook an additional 20-30 minutes until thickened. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese and croutons. Source: adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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