Rainy days were meant for slow cookers and soup. And of course, soup goes best with a grilled cheese sandwich so that’s what we’ll serve with this. I’ve mentioned it before but try and get a hold of some parmesan rinds – it really is delicious. This recipe was originally from here but I’ve modified and lightened it up a bit. Don’t let the roux scare you off – it is easy to do and helps add a creamy almost nutty layer of flavor to the soup. Also, if you want a smoother texture, feel free to use an immersion blender at the end.
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, do not drain
3 stalks of celery, diced
4-5 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded, plus the rind
1/4 cup butter
2 cups fat free half and half
salt and pepper to taste
- Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, cheese rind (if using), onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours
- 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 ladle hot soup. Add another 3 ladles and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, 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).
- Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.