Who doesn’t love soup in the wintertime? It’s the perfect meal to curl up to in a warm blanket and sip on while contemplating how happy you are to not be outside in the cold 😛
While consulting Pinterest one night on what to make for dinner I came across this delicious-looking Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup. I was hoping to find something to make for my boyfriend who had just had his wisdom teeth taken out and much like a baby, still couldn’t eat solid food. I thought this recipe looked perfect – comforting, delicious, and easy to make since it’s made in the crock pot! I love the convenience of crock pot cooking – for students or the working woman it’s great because you can pop your food into the slow cooker in the morning & when you come home dinner will be done!
Since my goal is to always make a recipe as healthy as possible without sacrificing taste, I did what I call a recipe redo, swapping out the unhealthier ingredients for better ones.
Here’s what you’ll need:
28 oz can muir glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
½ cup multigrain flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
2 cups fat-free milk (you COULD try this with plain almond milk if you wanted to)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
*MAKES 8 servings
- Start by adding the tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. I am obsessed with the Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes so I use them every chance I get.
- Next, cover your crock pot & cook it on low for about 5-7 hours, until the veggies have all become well acquainted with one other and there has been lots of mixing going on.
- About 30 minutes before dinnertime you’ll need to make a roux! It’s like you’re a French chef or something…the roux thickens up the soup & gives it a better texture. I kept my roux blonde, meaning that I cooked it for less time than other darker roux. I swapped out butter for olive oil (yes, you can do that) since olive oil is a much healthier choice. Olive oil does have more calories and fat, but it does not have the sodium, cholesterol or the saturated fat that butter does (3x more saturated fat in fact). For those who don’t already know, saturated fat is the real villain when it comes to fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, “it raises total blood cholesterol levels which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes” so try to avoid this stuff as much as possible!
- To start the roux, put the olive oil in a skillet over low heat & add in your favorite multi or whole-grain flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes and slowly pour in about 1 cup hot soup at a time. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.
- Put it all back in the slow cooker, give it a stir, and add the Parmesan cheese, fat free milk (preferably warmed), & salt and pepper. You can also add in extra herbs since they often get lost in the mix of things.
- Cover & cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve. Top it off with your favorite whole grain crackers & eat up!
Not only is this recipe “soup-er” comforting and delicious, it only has 266 calories a serving! Enjoy it while the weather’s still chilly & it will warm you right up! If you’re looking for another healthy soup to make, try out my recipe for Chicken Quinoa Soup! Happy eating & come back soon 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe for more free recipes & healthy eating tips!