With a blog tagline like mine, “home is where your story begins,” you know that making memories is an important part of our lives.
With two adult married children, a grandchild on the way and two teenagers living at home, we cherish every opportunity to create memories together.
We have many Christmas traditions but interestingly enough, none really center around food. Unlike Thanksgiving, where the menu is set in stone and repeated every year, we don’t have a set menu for our time together.
For us, it’s just all about being together and enjoying those qualities that make us family: sharing laughter; reminiscing over family stories and playing games around the table. We’re not perfect and while everyone has their little (or big) quirks, we know God divinely brought us together through both the bond of blood and adoption.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
This year our entire family won’t officially celebrate together until December 26th, but I want to make sure our time alone with our teenagers is still full of memories.
I’ve been looking for a slow cooker tomato basil soup recipe that would fill the house with scrumptious smells while we celebrate the season together.
I have to confess I wasn’t really a tomato soup lover, but I have changed my tune thanks to this recipe.
My secret ingredient? Mezzetta’s Homemade Style Marinara sauce and Deli-Sliced Roasted Bell Pepper Strips.
I’d like to show you pictures of each step but I know y’all are smart cooks plus I had a little run in with a blender. Let’s just say I baptized our new countertops and bead board! You can definitely leave out that step!
Since my hubby had surgery this week I treated him to Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olives, his favorite salty snack.
Family owned since 1935, the fourth generation of Mezzetta family is continuing the commitment to bring theirr customers the highest quality foods available. They source the finest fresh produce from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece and prepare them according to their Italian family recipes in the Napa Valley.
- 1 24.5-oz.Mezzetta Homemade Style Marinara
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Mezzetta Deli-Sliced Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, diced (optional)
- 1 shallot (or onion), diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 cups half and half
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put marinara, tomatoes, bell pepper strips, shallot and chicken broth into slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 5-7 hours or on high for 3 hours.
- Thirty minutes before serving make the roux.
- Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add in flour.
- Stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
- Slowly add in 1 cup of hot soup.
- Add in 3 more cups of soup and stir until smooth.
- Put all back into the slow cooker.
- Stir and add parmesan cheese, half and half, salt and pepper, oregano and basil.
- Heat on high for another 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
- I used frozen chicken broth I had on hand, but you could also use one chicken bouillon cube per one cup of water.
- You could also substitute dried basil for fresh.
It’s all about the memories isn’t it?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?