I loved making this soup for my book club earlier this week. They are fun to hang with and are a bunch of women who love home cooked food as much as I do. There is also always something lovely about cooking for a group other than my family. The opinions matter a little more, and therefore if they like it, it feels even better. Everyone really enjoyed the soup.
There is a roux (that can be made gluten free very easily!) and a decent amount of Parmesan cheese added at the end that helped achieve a little thicker texture than many soups I’ve made in the past and I very much enjoyed that. I also, of course, love that there is no corn syrup, sugar or sweetener of any kind. Every tomato soup on the shelf has some form of sweetener and artificial thickener, even the organic ones. Also, there are great aromatics added too. Carrots, celery and onion really round out the flavor profile. Another personal bonus is that tomato soup happens to be my daughters favorite lunch item.
Makes about 10 cups of soup
Creamy Slow Cooker Tomato Soup
(modified from SkinnyTaste Recipe)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 stalks of celery
2 small, or one large onion
2 large carrots, peeled
28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups vegetable broth
Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour (gluten free flour can be substituted)
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 cups half and half
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
Add celery, carrots and onions, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Scrape contents into the slow cooker.
Add the can of tomatoes to the cooker, cutting the tomatoes into large chunks with kitchen shears or a small knife. Add the vegetable broth, cheese rind, italian seasoning and bay leaf and mix until all liquid and spices combine.
Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours, remove the cheese rind and, using an immersion blender, blend the soup until velvety smooth. Check the pot with a slotted spoon for large pieces to be blended a second time.
Warm half and half and set aside. Melt the butter over low heat in a medium skillet and add the flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the hot soup, then add the warmed half and half and stir until all lumps are removed. Pour all liquid into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the grated Pecorino cheese and adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low 30 more minutes.
Slice the basil into small ribbons (by rolling up into little cigars before slicing) and add to each bowl. Serve with a sprinkling of additional parmesan and black pepper.