Smoky Tomato Soup with Cheesy Crostini
Serving meals that do not include meats, poultry or fish can sometimes be a challenge for me. Earlier this year I requested to review a book that had just been released by Judith Finlayson – The Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Over 200 Delicious Recipes. The words “Vegetarian” and “Slow Cooker” jumped out at me and I’ve been anxious to start trying some new dishes using my neglected but trustworthy slow cooker. I’ve had this great kitchen tool calling me to put it to good use and I haven’t used it nearly enough!
Like most slow cooker recipes, there is some prep work required before adding it to the slow cooker. However, the prep work was minimal and so worth it for the deep flavors that this seemingly simple soup boasts. I wouldn’t have thought of using allspice in a soup, but the combination of ingredients and the paprika was truly flavorful. There is a small amount of cream (or soy cream if you wish) that’s added towards the end of the soup and that’s just part of the soup’s surprise. The crispy crostini, topped with a generous slice of creamy and pungent fontina cheese (you can substitute vegan melting cheese) is the icing on the cake!
The soup is a light meal on it’s own, or serve a small side salad or half a sandwich for a larger meal.
- Could not find smoked paprika, so used regular paprika.
- You’ll need at least a 4 quart slow cooker for this recipe.
- If you purée in a blender, you must do this in small batches at a time. If your blender has a pulse setting, you should use it to control the warm ingredients being puréed.
Medium (approximately a 4 quart) slow cooker
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
5 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream or soy creamer, divided
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
12 slices baguette
Fontina or vegan melting cheese alternative, thinly sliced
Parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, peppercorns and allspice and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
Stir in broth. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours OR on High for 3 hours. Purée using an immersion blender. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, do this in a stand blender or food processor, in batches, and return to stoneware.)
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the cream and smoked paprika. Mix until blended. Add remaining cream and stir well. Add to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 10 minutes to meld flavors.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast under broiler, turning once. Lay cheese slices over top of each and broil until melted. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and float crostini on each serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Being fairly new to using a slow cooker, I can say that this experience turned out well and the soup was so tasty, that I’m looking forward to my next slow cooker meal! I may just be hooked! If you have any recipes, tips or suggestions for me on using a slow cooker…I’d love for you to share it with me…please. =)
About The Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Over 200 Delicious Recipes by Judith Finlayson: There’s over 200 recipes for you to enjoy, with more than 130 “vegan friendly” recipes. The recipes are broken out into nine chapters with a section on Using Your Slow Cooker. The Chapters include:
- Bread and Breakfast
- Starters and Snacks
- Soups, Fondues and Savories
- Mostly Veggies
- Pasta and Grains
- Beans, Lentils, Tempeh and Tofu
Most of the recipes have notes on tips, suggestions on what can be prepared ahead of time and whether the recipe is Vegan Friendly, Entertainment Worthy and if it can safely be halved. I’ll be sharing more recipes from this book and my slow cooker! Beautiful supporting food photography is used for many of the recipes throughout the cookbook. It’s a nicely laid out book with recipes not only for everyday dishes, but tasty meals that can be served when entertaining.