Creamy Tomato Soup with Chicken

So, I haven't been to the grocery store in about 12 years, but I still wanted to produce something good for the site... It's been a little while. After looking around the house, in the fridge, under the couch (just kidding), I found that I could probably make a really great soup.  And I enjoy soup in the crock pot, because there's little-to-no room to screw it up!  I had brought a piece of grilled chicken home from work, and figured that would also spice things up a little bit.  This soup is pretty perfect for a crisp, fall day.  Make sure you get some good-quality, shredded Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top!

What You'll Need:
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced white onion
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
(2) 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf
1.5 lbs. grilled chicken, chopped
1 lb. farfalle pasta noodles (or your favorite kind of small pasta, I also love ditalini)
1 tsp. smoked paprika
salt and pepper

1.  Coat the bottom of your crock-pot with the olive oil.  Add the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, and heavy cream.  Stir well to incorporate.  Cook on low for (6) hours.

2.  After 6 hours, all of your vegetables should be soft.  Use an immersion blender to blend your soup until smooth.  You can also use a food processor, but then you have to move it from one vessel to the other, and that's just a big fat pain.  I love my immersion blender, it's so handy!

3.  When the soup is smooth, add the bay leaf, chopped chicken, farfalle pasta, and smoked paprika.  Stir well, and continue to cook on low for about another 45 minutes, or until your pasta becomes al dente. (Could be sooner, keep checking, you don't want it to turn to mush!)

4.  Remove the bay leaf.  Remember: your pasta will release a lot of starch, which will thicken your soup.  If the soup gets too thick, simply add some water or chicken stock, until you've thinned the soup to your desire!  Also, add salt and pepper to taste, as always!

If you would like this soup to be vegetarian, simply use veggie stock instead of chicken stock, and omit the chicken.  Could also be vegan without the heavy cream!


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