Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

adapted from: 365 Days of Crockpot

2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with juice

1 c. finely diced celery

1 c. finely diced carrots

1 c. finely diced onions (I used way less)

1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 Tbl. fresh (I used dried)

1 Tbl. dried basil or 1/4 c. fresh (I used dried)

4 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 bay leaf

1/2 c. flour

1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 c. butter

2 c. half-and-half, warmed

salt and pepper

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, oregano, basil, chicken broth and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until vegetables are soft.  About 30 minutes before serving make a roux.  Melt butter over low heat and add flour; constantly whisk for 5-7 minutes.  Slowly stir in 1 cup of the hot soup.  Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.  Add all back to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients.  Season again, if needed.  Cover and cook on low another 30 minutes or until ready to serve.  

Jenn's Notes: I cooked this on low for 5 hours and high for 1 hour and my veggies were still crunchy and I was getting hungry. So, I poured it into a large pot and boiled it on the stove until they were done and I just finished cooking everything on the stove.  I added some cooked, diced chicken to this soup and I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to make it again.