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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tomato Basil Parmesean Soup

It's no secret that we love Rao's in this house.  Their pasta sauces are some of the yummiest I've ever tasted!  My favorites include Vodka Sauce, their new Four Cheese Sauce, Arrabiata, Garden Vegtable, Tomato Basil, Garlice sauce, Marinara (AND Sensitive Marinara).... Basically all of them!  

This past month, Tomato Basil has been my favorite favorite.  The flavor of the month if you will. 

A while back, I had found a recipe for Tomato Basil Parmesan soup.  If you've read my blog before, you know that I love making soups in the crockpot - I HAD to try it!  The original recipe called for canned tomatoes and dried basil as the main ingridients.  Honestly.... I wasn't impressed.  Fresh ingridients can make all the difference in how a soup tastes.  But the basil I had purchased from the farmers market wilted, so I couldn't use that. I had two bottles of Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce on hand and I decided to try it out.  After all, Rao's uses fresh ingridients in their sauce, and I already know it tastes good!  So, another Craftmeister cooking experiment....

And what a successful experiment it was!  

Here's what you need:

2 jars Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce
4 cups chicken broth
~2 cups of celery 
~2 cups of carrots
~2 cups onion
1 tablespoon oregano
1 bay leaf
3/4 stick of butter
2/3 cups flour 
2 2/3 cups half n half 
1 1/2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste 
1 teaspoon dried basil 

Chop the carrots, celery and onions.  Put them in a food processor to dice them very tiny.  Add the Tomato Basil sauce to the slow cooker.  Stir in chicken broth, veggies, bay leaf, and oregano.  Cook on low for 6 hours. 30 before done time melt the butter in a sauce pan and stir in the flour.  Add this to the crockpot and mix it in.  Warm the half n half and stir it in with the Parmesan cheese. Stir it all in. The soup will look more orange than tomato red.  Sprinkle in dried basil and add salt and pepper.  Serve hot with grilled cheese sandwiches. 

And there's bacon in those grilled cheeses, double yumm :)