Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
2 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 c. finely diced celery
1 c. finely diced carrots
1 c. finely diced onions
1 t. dried oregano or 1 T. fresh oregano
1/4 c. fresh basil
4 c. chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ c. flour
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. butter
2 c. half and half (or milk), warmed
1 t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
Blend the soup partially or completely, depending on how chunky you desire it. Return to slow cooker.
About 30 minutes before serving prepare the roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Stir roux constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly whisk 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.
Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.