Sister's Cafe. They used a crock-pot, but somehow I often forget to start dinner that early, so I made it on the stove. It was the best soup we've had in a long time!
Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
2 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup finely diced onions
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups half and half, warmed
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt, to taste (I didn't need to add any)
In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and basil . Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about 30 minutes, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
Blend soup with an immersion blender or in batches in your regular blender. Next prepare a roux: Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour; stir constantly with a whisk for 5 to 7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup until smooth. Add another 3 cups soup and stir until smooth.
Add all back into the pot. Stir and add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for about 10-15 minutes until ready to serve. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper to taste.