The fall weather is starting to make it's presence felt in our southwest corner of the country, albeit little by little (minus one degree or so a day). It's windy in sunny San Diego today. The temps are in the low 60s which for us So Cal residents means it's time to break out the jackets (though many of us barely own one!).

The day is perfect for a warm bowl of soup. For me, it's another opportunity to take on a challenge of had with myself for a while now: to copy that delicious Nordstrom's Tomato Basil Soup I so enjoy when I go eat there – usually with a good friend.

I've been trying to make the perfect creamy version of this orange vegetable soup for over a year – since I discovered a recipe on the web – and I think I almost have it down. My guinea pigs, (ahem!), family, tell me it's really good!

I want to share it with you today, on this semi-cloudy and breezy day, and maybe you'll try it with your family or friends.

Let me know if it tastes just like the original soup at one of my favorite department stores!

TOMATO BASIL SOUP (7 – 10 servings)

3 T. Olive oil

2 large carrots, sliced

1/2 large onion, sliced

1/2 T. dry basil leaves

1 (28 to 32oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes

1/2 quart chicken broth

1/2 pint heavy or whipping cream

Salt and pepper (more than you think you need!)

Place olive oil in a 6-quart saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion and basil and cook 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add tomatoes and broth and simmer 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Puree soup in food processor, in batches, until smooth; return to saucepan. Stir in cream and heat, over low heat, just until heated through. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

For the ultimate comfort food expericene, serve it in bread bowls

Enjoy and stay warm!

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