Soup weather! It’s here! Well, sort of. Any day that I don’t have to turn on the air conditioner is a win around here, so I’ll take it.
I do love a good crock pot meal, too. There’s no scurrying around trying to fix everything at the last minute, which is especially great on a busy evening. I am on the planning committee for a neighborhood 5K happening this weekend, and our final meeting was last night, so it was so convenient to throw everything in the crock pot and have the hubby finish up the meal shortly before I got home.
I also made a loaf of Alton Brown’s whole wheat morning after bread (from I’m Just Here for More Food), which was delicious. In the end, though, I’m not sure that it’s worth the extra trouble over just making beer bread. This bread requires three rises (four if you include making the sponge), which translates to a lot of lead time.
It was, however, delicious with the soup. And what better way to ring out summer and ring in fall that with a lovely warm soup that makes great use of all that beautiful late summer produce, like tomatoes and basil?
Adapted from this recipe from Random Thoughts and Thrills
2 lbs tomatoes, peeled and diced or milled (or 2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice)
1 cup diced carrots (about 3 large)
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbs fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
Add the tomatoes, carrots, onion, vegetable stock, oregano, and basil to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until the flavors are blended and the vegetables are soft.
About 30 minutes before serving, melt the butter over low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for a couple of minutes, until the mixture is golden brown and bubbly. Slowly stir in about a cup of the hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, the warmed milk, and salt and pepper. Add additional basil and oregano if needed.
Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.