I found this little gem in my BYU alumni magazine this last month. It was the recipe the magazine featured in an article about a BYU alum who tried a new crock pot recipe each day for an ENTIRE year, then wrote a cookbook. I sure wish I had an idea like that so I could make a little extra dinero! Haha! Her website is here. We tried the soup last night and I must say, it was well deserving of the spotlight. Still, I'm not sure I'd really categorize it as a true crock pot recipe. To me a crock pot recipe means minimal effort--throw it all in, forget about it, & Wahlah, a yummy cozy meal. This recipe is a little more involved but tasty none-the-less. If I could do it again, I'd spend more time chopping my vegetables "finely." You could even use a food processor if you have one. I might try throwing the soup in the blender next time before serving. Oh, and we ate it in a bread bowl. Bread bowls always make the soup eating experience divine.
Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
2 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup finely diced onions
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups half and half, warmed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
In a large slow cooker, combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and basil (if using fresh oregano and basil; if using dried oregano and basil add those two ingredients in the last hour of cook time). Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
About an hour before serving prepare a roux: Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour; stir constantly with a whisk for 5 to 7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup from the slow cooker. Add another 3 cups soup and stir until smooth.
Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for another hour until ready to serve. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper to taste.