I woke up this morning to blistering cold. Ok, maybe it wasn’t blistering, but it was dang cold… single digits. Way too cold for my blood. There are some positives to the cold weather. My boys like to snuggle up to mom more, they aren’t fans of the cold either, so our days have been spent mostly indoors the last few weeks. I get to wear sweaters and not get looked at strangely, and I get bake and cook more. Not like I really ever take a break from cooking in the summer, but it’s much more enjoyable walking into a house warmed by the oven (and a heater of course) when it’s 30 degrees outside vs. when it’s 90.
One of my favorite things to cook with this year is my crockpot. Not only is it easier to throw everything in and let it cook (My little guys love cooking too and it’s much easier to have them help put things in a cool crockpot then cooking on a hot stove), but it’s also makes the house smell great and it’s pretty to look at too! I couldn’t just buy the plain silver one ya know?!
Last week I had the opportunity to have some of my mommy friends over for a play date to try out some of Fisher Price’s Smart Stages toys. The kids loved playing and I had fun chatting and catching up with the moms. One of my favorite things about having parties is getting to make a bunch of yummy foods. Since the weather is getting cooler I thought it would be nice to serve a warm soup before everyone had to go home. Also, after playing with friends and having nice, warm soup in their bellies I knew the kids would be ready to take good long naps by the time they got home. Mine sure did.
I found this recipe for Tomato Basil soup from Creme de la Crumb that I had pinned awhile back and I knew it would be perfect! And perfect it was! I only had one bowl left after everyone left. I let my husband try it and he loved it, he finished the whole bowl in 2 minutes flat! He even asked for it again this week for dinner. The cream mixed with the tomato juices gives it a nice, rich flavor and the fresh basil is the icing on the cake, so to speak. I made a few changes from the original recipe the second time I made it and it tasted just as good as the first time. I have already been asked to make it again next week for my mother-in-law. This may become a weekly meal in our home! Try it out and you may feel the same way too!
- 2 cans (15 oz) Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes
- 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
- 4 cups tomato broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1½ cups parmesan cheese, shredded not the stuff in the green can
- For the roux:
- 4 Tbsp butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Combine all ingredients for soup, except the cheese, in a crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours.
- Pour ingredients into blender (you may want to do 2 batches depending on the size of your blender) and pulse for 15-20 seconds.
- Add soup back to crockpot and add parmesan cheese.
- In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
- Add flour and whisk to combine.
- Slowly whisk in heavy cream and stir until starts to thicken. Make sure to get out any lumps from the flour/butter.
- Add to soup and stir to combine.
- Cook for additional 30 minutes.
- Serve with rolls or baguettes and additional cheese to sprinkle on top.
I used my Blendtec for this soup and it made it so much easier. Pulse on 2 for 15 seconds and everything is nice and smooth. Right now Blendtec is offering their blenders at the lowest price ever! You may want to add one of these on your list to Santa 😉
I had considered making my own baguette but realized I wouldn’t have enough time the morning of the party so I decided to buy one instead. While at Walmart picking up other things for the party I found a bake at home baguette and it turned out great! Plus it was only $1.50… I’m all for easy, inexpensive alternatives when I am cooking for a group.
Do you have a party (or two) coming up this holiday season? Check back in two weeks for some tips on how to throw a great party on a budget and with little stress on yourself!