Okay, that isn’t really the name of this soup. It is really called Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup.

Here is the friends and family explanation…

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Cathy called and asked it I wanted some fresh basil. Cathy is a professional farmer for Bonnie Plants. I hope to have a complete post about her farm one day. It is incredible. Of course, when she told me to come over, I wasn’t thinking “do a blog post”. I was thinking “get some fresh basil”. I didn’t even think to take my camera.

She had to trim back her basil plants and hated to just throw it away. Lucky me!

She sent me home with two Walmart sacks full of basil! The smell was incredible!

I had recently seen a recipe for this soup on Pinterest. Chip LOVES tomato basil soup, so I really pinned it for him.

The website, 365 Days of Slow Cooking, looks like a place I need to investigate further! Mmmmm.

Be sure you go to the link. She has listed a crock pot version and a stove top version.

Here is her crock pot recipe:

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 (or skim milk if you’re trying to cut some calories)
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.

I guess I made either the “crock top” or “stove pot” version.

I failed to read the recipe again before I went to the store. I left Cathy’s farm with a car full of basil and assumed I had the rest of what I needed. By now, it was about 2:00, and I had not even started chopping. The recipe say 5-7 hours on low!

I finally read the recipe carefully. I had thought I might need tomatoes for the soup, so I picked some up at the store. Well, it called for CANNED tomatoes! I could have used the fresh. However, this past Christmas, my mother-in-law held up a Kroger store got some really good deals on canned goods at Kroger. She brought me boxes and boxes of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beef broth, green beans, and more!

When I went to get the carrots out to start chopping there were no carrots to be found. Ugh! I was not about to make another trip to Walmart! So, I called my neighbor, Kim. Luckily, she had some baby carrots. I guess I could have made it without the carrots. Fortunately Kim saved the day!

Now are you seeing why I called this Friends and Family Soup?

I followed the directions, mostly. I dumped the ingredients in the crock pot and set it on HIGH for about 3 hours.

I made the roux in a large pot rather than a skillet. I added the ingredients like the recipe said.

I did not put it back in the crock pot. I just left it on the stove.

The soup had chunks of tomato in it. I didn’t think the kids would go for that. So, I pulled out my emersion blender, also a Christmas gift from the in-laws, and went to town.

It worked GREAT!

Just look at this soup!

Oh, my word! It was so yummy!!!

No one even complained that we were eating soup when it’s 80˚ outside. Everyone loved it!

You MUST try this one!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: It was like a bowl of liquid Italy. This is my new favorite Tomato Basil soup, even better than the soup at la Madeleine. (The link for la Madeleine didn’t really show up. Click on it anyway, it’s there.)

Megan: Soup, good!

sidenote–

            Dear Mom,

                        Please stop making such good food. I’m running out of comments!

            P.S.(just kidding!)

 Katie: I love el soup-o! I approve this…deliciousness! (Puss In Boots voice!)