Sunday, October 31, 2010

BEST, BEST Tomato Basil Soup--from Nordstrom Bistro Cafe

I've been making this soup since our first year of marriage. We absolutely love it-no really, it's the best. and easiest tomato basil soup I have ever eaten. No peeling of fresh tomatoes either. If you have an immersion blender, this soup is a total breeze and requires minimal clean-up.

If you've ever eaten at Nordstrom Cafe and had this soup, you'll know why it's the best. Then again, their recipe (as seen below) calls for 2 cups of heavy cream--no wonder it's amazing. I just can't do that--so I lightened it up and it's still wonderfully delicious. Usually, I only use 1 cup of fat-free half & half. My changes are in italics below. This soup is particularly delicious with a grilled (fresh) mozzarella sandwich. ENJOY!!!!

Adapted from Nordstrom Cafe Entertaining at Home Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for Memorable Gatherings.


1/3 cup olive oil (I used a little less)
5 carrots, peeled and chopped (I used 4 the last time and the soup was still terrific)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. dried basil
3 cans (28 oz) whole Italian-style tomatoes in puree (really, that is too specific-any canned tomatoes will do)
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth (I usually seem to need a bit more)
Salt & pepper, to taste
A dash of garlic powder (not in original recipe)
2 cups heavy cream (to lighten, use half & half or as I use, fat free half &half)

Saute carrots and onions in olive oil until tender. Add basil. Stir occasionally and cook for 10-12 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and season with salt and pepper (to your liking). Bring the soup to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. (I cover mine to prevent splattering and it turns out just fine)

Puree soup in a food processor or blender (and if you're lucky enough to have a stick blender, just puree the soup in the pot). Then, add the heavy cream or half & half.
Garnish soup with slivered basil leaves.

Serves 10-12.

P.S. This soup freezes great!


  1. I want to try this recipe but have no can tomatoes...can I use fresh tomatoes?

  2. You know, I have tried it with fresh tomatoes (from a bumper crop in my mother's garden) and it was great! It's been a while so I can't remember exactly how many tomatoes I used, though. But, here's a site that might help (I just remember filling the pot).

    If you have a proportion that worked for you, please let me know! Sorry I cannot be more precise as I did not write it down at the time.