August 8, 2012

I'm ready for fall

Just today I said to the hubs, that I was so done with summer and I'm ready for fall.

I'm ready for sweaters and flannel pajamas.
I'm ready for apple picking, leaf peeping, and pumpkin carving.
I'm ready for the crunch of leaves under my feet and the smell of a crackling fire.
I'm ready for crock pot dinners, hearty soups and stews, and snuggling in earlier at night with a good book.

And when I look back at my months of photos I'm behind on blogging and finding pictures of dishes I made back last winter, it makes me really long for fall.

I made this dish sometime in early spring and it was simply a wonderful and easy soup, but I most certainly strayed from the recipe. The concept of the soup sounded delicious to me, but I'm a picky soup eater, I prefer a creamy soup to a chunky soup. Enter Immersion Blender!!

Thanks to 365 Days of Slow Cooking for the starting point for this recipe! It's fantastic! I can't wait to make it again.

Realistic Eats Version of 365 Days of Slow Cooking Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice + 1 14 oz. can diced tomato with juices
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 vegetable broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups low fat milk 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 milk, 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. Place your immersion blender in the crock pot and blend the soup until it's smooth and creamy
5. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

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