Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Once Upon a Pin 1

If you haven't already, you need to get on Pinterest. Pinterest is like Crack for the Crafty and everyone in between! I was introduced to Pinterest by a fellow blogger about a year ago and was instantly hooked.
I have tried a few projects that I have pinned and even blogged about one. I have a few I still want to blog.

This week I tried a recipe. I am a soup lover! There is just something more appealing about soggy veggies that float. I'll try most any soup, as long as there are no weird meats in them.

This recipe was right up my alley.

It originally came from a great website called 365 Days of Slow Cooking

Day 56: Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

Photo by Clair Buys/BYU Magazine
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.

So it's starting to be spring and soup season is about over, but add this recipe to try someday when it's cold because it is delicious! This is a recipe from my family cookbook and I just adapted it to the slow cooker. It turned out great. I brought it to a church dinner and it was completely gone, so I'm thinking that means it was good. It is very creamy and rich. If you wanted to make it a bit healthier, you could leave out the half and half and put skim milk or evaporated milk in. I've tried that before and it has turned out fine...just not as rich and fattening. I give this recipe 5 stars.

I actually made a few changes but thought it was super tasty, nonetheless!
1. I did mine on the stove top because I forgot that it was on the menu for the night and missed my "crock pot window."
2. I strained the veggies and pureed them in the blender for 2 reasons... 1. to disguise any undesirable veggies from my boys and 2. for a thicker base
3. I used only 1 cup of the 1/2 & 1/2 and substituted 1 cup of skim milk.

Here's mine!
I served it with a yummy piece of cheese bread!!! I was surprised that the boys ate as much as they did. Another plus, the recipe made so much that I've got a big ol' bowl left over in the freezer

I think it's definitely a keeper.

Thanks, Pinterest.

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