Soupy, soup, soup, soup.
This soupy soup is a fine soup indeed.
I don't know how to describe this soup to you without being lame. I feel like I'm always pathetically attempting to coerce you into making my recipes by telling you how freaking amazing they are. But here goes. It is my husband's favorite soup, and my little boy, who doesn't always dig soupstuffs, gobbled it right up! So good is this soup, this was the text my husband sent me during lunch the next day while eating the leftovers: "I think this may be the best tomato soup I've ever eaten. Yum!"
And, oh my, it IS tasty. A bit more fuss than your usual crock pot soup, but worth the effort in every way. It starts the way you expect, dump ingredients in, turn it on, and walk away for most of the day. But then it gets a bit more hands-on. I like this recipe for a busy weekend supper. Maybe after sledding or picking out a Christmas tree (that is, if you're not a cheater like me -- I like my pre-lit fake tree and you can't talk me out of it).
So that's the soup.
Shall I talk about the quinoa dippers next?
There's really nothing earth-shattering about them, but they sure are satisfying. And they make a great substitute for that greasy grilled cheese you had in mind. And they're not a bit more work. The whole meal is simple pleasure at its best.
Creamy Slow Cooker Tomato Soup
Adapted from Today's Mama
2, 14 oz cans (or 1, 28 oz. can) diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced carrots
1 c. diced onions
1 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. dried basil
4 c. chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. half and half (fat free would probably be fine -- or even milk, skim included), warmed
salt and pepper to taste
Place tomatoes, celery, onions, carrots, oregano, basil, chicken broth and bay leaf in the bowl of slow cooker and heat on low for 6 hours, or until vegetables are soft.
Puree until smooth, or as smooth as you like it. If you did this in a food processor or blender, return to slow cooker.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic, and saute in butter for one minute. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Whisk in one cup soup, then all of the half and half. Let thicken slightly before adding back into the slow cooker along with parmesan cheese and additional seasoning to taste (you can also add extra basil and oregano if desired).
Cover and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.
Cheesy Quinoa Dippers
1/4 c. flour
pinch (1/2 to 1/4 tsp.) salt
dash (1/8 tsp. or so) pepper
1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa, cooled
1 c. shredded mozzarella or fontina cheese
In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg and whisk in flour, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in quinoa and cheese until thoroughly combined. Heat about 1 Tbsp. oil in a large pan over medium heat. Drop mixture by tablespoons into the hot pan. Cook until golden on first side, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for about the same amount of time on the other side, patting down with spatula as needed to create a fairly flat disk. Continue until all the quinoa mixture has been made into patties, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Serve hot with the soup.