Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gluten Free Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup + Fall Mason Jar Centerpiece

Lately my talented musician of a husband and his equally talented bandmates have been having practice at our house. They have a cd release coming up, so they've been jamming a lot to try and get ready for the big debut. (Their band is called j.Wride. You can check them out here. And, if you're in the Utah area, you should consider coming out to one of their gigs. Fun times are sure to be had by all.) If there is one thing that I can say with certainty about a group of men practicing music for hours on end it's that they get really hungry. Thus, inspired by my guests and the cool fall weather I decided to put one of my favorite soup recipes together. They invited their wives, and it turned into a really fun get together. I even managed a new centerpiece for my table. (How domestic am I right now?) Here are my night's creations if you are looking to get into the fall spirit:

Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque 

This is a tried and true recipe that I've used on a number of occasions. I found it here and the first time I made it my husband fell in love--so much so that it became a cold weather staple. Due to my gluten intolerance, I modified it slightly by using Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour. We paired it with a garden salad and bread--for my gluten eating guests I provided a yummy cheddar cheese french loaf, while I ate it with a slice of my favorite GF bread from a local bakery.


2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (you can substitute this for milk for a lighter option)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper


1. Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

3. About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don't be afraid to always season to taste at the end). 

4. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.


Mason Jar Centerpiece

This is a pretty self-explanatory craft, and an easy one to throw together with items that you're likely to have around the house (or that can easily be obtained by a quick trip to the nearest craft store). Simply take a mason jar, add some flowers of your choosing, tie some burlap around it and... voila! You can also substitute and/or add lace to mix things up a little. For a more refined look you can wrap a rubber band around the stems of the flowers (this makes them more stable) and then cover this by wrapping it with a bit of burlap and securing it in place with super glue. To finish the craft, I placed my mason jar flowers on a place mat that I found at Ikea.


  1. Oohhh, the tomato basil parmesan soup sounds so heavenly...
    I'm totally not talented in the kitchen :P but I might have to give this a shot. :)


    1. Honestly, it's pretty easy, and so nice to throw it in a crock pot and come home to a basically ready meal. You will totally rock it :)

  2. 1st, that soup looks delicious. 2nd, wow i wish my home looked as sparkly as yours.

  3. Thank you! The soup is... sinfully good. And thanks about the house too :)


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