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Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, Exclusive: Cozy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps

By Paula Deen

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches always bring my mind back to lazy lunches with my two baby boys. Seems like yesterday, y’all. So when I make this tomato soup with Parmesan crisps, I give a call over to my boys just to say howdy. They love that I’ve redesigned this recipe. Like me, they are eating healthier these days too. Good to know that mother and sons can still share this bowl of memories.



  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, until the onion is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and water. Increase the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan into the skillet in an even, pancake-shape mound. Flatten the mound with the back of a spatula. Repeat with a second 1⁄4 cup of the cheese. Cook until the cheese is lacy and the edges and bottom are golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip with a thin, flexible spatula. Cook until crisp and golden, about 1 minute. Transfer the crisps to a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat 
with the remaining cheese. Let the crisps cool and then break them into bite-size pieces.
  4. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender to puree right in the pot). Return the soup to the pot over medium heat. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Ladle into bowls and top with the cheese crisps and basil.

 Serves 4

More about Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Recipes All Lightened Up

Paula Deen has lost over 40 pounds and has maintained her weight loss for over two years by swapping out ingredients to reduce fat and calories. Paula’s key to weight loss is moderation and accountability, and one day a week she still enjoys good old southern cooking with biscuits and all. One does not have to give up taste when reducing calories, and these recipes are a testament to that. Paula shares 250 of her favorite recipes lightened up. This brand-new, New York Times best-selling cookbook presents lightened up versions of fifty of her classic southern recipes and presents new recipes that cut the calories but not the delicious taste.

The New-York Times Best-Selling cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, is now available now at AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget, and your local bookstores!

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.