{Copycat} Nordstrom Cafe’s Tomato Bisque + Garlic-Parmasean Crostini

{Copycat} Nordstrom Cafe's Tomato Bisque + Garlic-Parmasean Crostini 1

{Copycat} Nordstrom Cafe's Tomato Bisque + Garlic-Parmasean Crostini 2

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m back after a seriously long hiatus. No excuses, but the last year was so busy: lots of traveling for work, a long trip to Europe and some wedding planning (K & I are engaged!). I neglected this little passion project of mine – but I am back and ready to share some delicious recipes!

So now on to this soup…is anyone else obsessed with Nordstrom Cafe’s Tomato Bisque?! Not only is Nordstrom my favorite department store, but their cafe is on my list of favorite comfort-food lunch spots.
No matter what my lunch order is, I always have a cup of their Tomato Bisque. I hunted down their recipe and had to share it with you guys! Okay, okay, so there are carrots involved in this recipe (CARROTS in a TOMATO soup?!), but don’t flip out…the carrots add another layer of sweetness to simmered tomatoes, which make for an extremely flavorful soup. And what is Nordstrom’s tomato bisque without a garlicky, cheesy crostini (for dipping purposes, duh!). 

{Copycat} Nordstrom Cafe's Tomato Bisque + Garlic-Parmasean Crostini 3

{Copycat} Nordstrom Cafe's Tomato Bisque + Garlic-Parmasean Crostini 4

Nordstrom’s Cafe Tomato Bisque with Garlic-Parmasean Crostini

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 28 ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes in purée (I like to use Cento)
15 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (if you want to skim the calories down, you can used 1/4 cup instead)
Salt & Pepper
1 bunch basil leaves, “chiffonade” or cut into fine ribbons (mixing half into the soup and saving the rest for garnish)

1. In large dutch oven or saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat
2. Add the carrots, onions and sauté until softened for about 12 minutes3. Add the tomatoes and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low to simmer.

4. Simmer for 40-45 minutes
5. Remove from the heat. Purée the soup by using an emulsion blender. Or, purée
the soup in a blender, in batches (I used my Vitamix)
6. Add the cream after you have returned the puréed soup to the saucepan. Stir on medium heat to warm until heated through. Add 1/2 of the chiffonade basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, garnish soup with 1 tablespoon of the chiffonade basil.

Nordstrom’s Parmesan-Garlic Crostini
(Makes about 1 dozen)

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (using a microplane to grate the parmesan I find works best)
4 cloves fresh garlic, grated on a microplane or chopped fine
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt & Pepper
1 small baguette, cut on a sharp diagonal into 3/8-inch-thick slices (ciabatta bread that’s sliced thin also works really well —that’s what I used)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Mash the butter, 1/2  of the cheese, salt, pepper, garlic and parsely together in a medium bowl with a rubber spatula until combined
3. Spread each slice of bread with a generous 2 teaspoons of the butter mixture in an even layer

4.Arrange the crostini on a baking sheet. Sprinkle leftover 1/2 cup Parmesan evenly over each slice (don’t be afraid to add some more Parm if you love cheese!)
4. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Serve warm with soup and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

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