My son hates tomatoes. I blame Grandpa Z (my FIL) and Uncle Jeff (both of whom M2 adores) who are also tomato haters. Oddly enough this dislike of tomatoes does not transfer to pizza or smooth marinara sauces. However, if something has chunks of tomatoes or if it is called tomato___________ the fight over not eating it ensues.
A long-time pin of mine on Pinterest is a slow-cooker tomato-bisque type soup. We had a soup and salad lunch happening at the church and I figured this would be a good one to bring as I could be doing other things while it cooked. The original recipe is left fairly chunky and I decided that in order to get M2 to eat it I should make it smoother (I like a smoother tomato soup myself). Ultimately, he ended up liking it because it smelled like pizza and thus his new name for it “Pizza Soup”.
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 T dried basil
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
1 ¾ cup 1 % milk, warmed
¼ cup heavy cream (or just use another ¼ cup milk if you want to cut calories), warmed
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup fresh basil (for garnish)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish
Add tomatoes, carrots, vegetable broth, onions, oregano and basil, and to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
At this point if you want to blend with an immersion blender to take the “chunks out” do so.
About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 2-4 minutes (or until flour is cooked). Add the warmed milk and heavy cream (if using) and whisk until it begins to thicken. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Whisk in a couple of large ladlefuls of the tomato soup. Then add the milk-cheese mixture to the slow cooker and stir all together.
Add additional basil, oregano, salt and pepper if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end). Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.
Garnish with additional fresh basil and Parmesan if desired.