This Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup is creamy and comforting. It’s chock full of fresh veggies and cooks in your slow cooker all day long. This is one of my tried and true favorites and my family literally licks their bowls.
Who knew that the Roomba was the pet my kids always wanted? My husband surprised me with it for Christmas last year. If you don’t know what a Roomba is, it’s a flat black circular machine that roams around your house cleaning the floors. It even has a dock where it returns to once it’s finished. Supposedly it remembers where it’s been in your house so that it doesn’t retrace it tracks, but I’m not too sold on that. My kids follow it around and try to tell it what to do. It’s also has been quite useful to make crazy videos. Stick your phone on top of it and let it record you while you and your family hover over it. Hours of fun.
I guess I was expecting a magical machine – like a housecleaner packed into a little disk. I do admit my house might be a little much for the Roomba. Today I couldn’t find it anywhere. I had sent it off to clean while I was at the gym and it was nowhere to be found when I got home. I looked under couches, under tables,…nothing. I imagined that it was in a corner full of Legos somewhere rocking back and forth mumbling. Then I wondered if it had an S.O.S. button that it could trigger on itself if it felt like it was being abused.
Just when I had given up I checked the bathroom, whose door happened to be closed. Somehow that little sucker had gotten in there and closed the door behind him. Can he teach my boys to do that?
While the Roomba was cleaning today, I made this Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup. I thought it was fantastic. I’ve had a lot of soups like this, but this one is my favorite by far.
You can lighten this soup up by replacing the half and half with milk. Don’t feel too bad because the soup is packed with veggies. I used my mini food processor to chop them all up quickly. It doesn’t really matter if you do it by hand, it will just take longer. I ended up blending the entire soup in the end so it didn’t really matter how fine the vegetables were. I wanted a creamy texture but the original recipe does not call for blending. I might try it the chunky way next time to see if I like it, but this way was so good that I might have a hard time convincing myself. We started adding a small scoop of cooked orzo pasta to each bowl before serving just like Cafe Zupas does.
If you don’t have a slow cooker you can also do this on the stove top. Head over to 365 Days of Slow Cooking for directions on that.
- 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 cup finely diced celery
- 1 cup finely diced carrots
- 1 cup finely diced onions
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ bay leaf
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups half and half, warmed (substitute milk for less calories)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- (optional) cooked orzo pasta
- Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, oregano, basil, chicken broth and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. At this point I added all of the vegetables to a blender and blended until smooth. If you have a hand immersion blender that would work great. If you prefer a chunkier texture you can leave it as is or even blend just some of it. Return blended veggies back to the slow cooker.
- About 30 minutes before serving prepare the roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Stir roux constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly whisk in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 1-2 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.
- Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so. You can leave slow cooker on warm until ready to serve. Serve with warm rolls and a green salad. Add a spoonful of orzo to each soup bowl just like they do in the restaurants if desired.