SLOW COOKER TOMATO, BASIL AND PARMESAN BISQUE

28 oz. plum tomatoes or other garden tomatoes OR 2 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 TBS butter
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS fresh oregano
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tsp dried basil
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup half and half
1 cup whole milk
salt and pepper

Saute the onions, celery and carrots in 1 TBS butter and 2 TBS olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Put the mixture in a slow cooker. Add tomatoes, oregano, basil, chicken stock and the bay leaf. Cook on low for 5-7 hours. Using a stick blender, emulsify the soup to the consistency you like. I like mine finely minced but not smooth.
At the end of the cooking time, turn the slow cooker on high.

Make a roux... Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet. Add flour and whisk together. Cook for 3-4 minutes to get rid of the raw taste of the flour. Remove 1 cup the tomato soup and add to the mixture. Whisk. Add an additional 2 cups of tomato soup and whisk until smooth. Pour the roux mixture back into the soup and whisk. Add the Parmesan cheese and warmed half and half and milk. Whisk well and cook for 1/2 to 1 hours until the cheese has melted and the soup is thickened.
Garnish with extra basil and toasted crouton rounds. 
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