Serious Eats: Recipes

Nordstrom's Tomato Basil Soup

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

This is what my wife asked me to accomplish: a) Recreate the tomato soup from Nordstrom, and b) don't mess it up. In case you're not familiar with this soup, it's rather famous, ranked regularly on lists of Best Tomato Soup Ever, enjoying something of a cult following for those who love tomato soup. And who doesn't? I'd be surprised to meet any American kid who doesn't have fond memories buried deep.

Thankfully, there are recipes for it pretty easy to come by. The secrets, I think, are the generous use of carrots, which bring a sort of untraceable sweetness, and the use of dried basil, not fresh. That might seem surprising since dried basil gets a bad rep for tasting very little like its fresh counterpart. But it's actually a useful ingredient, and the concentrated flavor is key for a puréed soup like this.

I suppose it's up to the eater whether this soup is a close-enough facsimile of the original dish—but I can guarantee that you won't regret making it, because it's delicious.

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