Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup

I must say, I really felt sad when the weather started feeling like fall and I realized that summer really was over. In the last couple weeks, though, I’ve embraced the cool air – I can wear that really cute jacket I bought at the end of spring earlier this year, running is perfect for a few weeks, and best of all, it is soup season.


I would easily consider soup to be one of my all time favorite foods. Any soup, really. I love soaking it up with a really good piece of bread and even better, it pairs perfectly with my other favorite food – salad. So when I was at the market last weekend rubbing shoulders with Rick Bayless – yes, we live in the same neighborhood and yes, I had my first sighting of him at our local market (!!), I picked up the last load of summer tomatoes.

I saw this recipe for tomato soup earlier in the summer but wanted to wait until fall, when I can bear a warm soup and am okay with the idea of cooking the perfect-as-they-are heirlooms. I think this soup would also work well with good canned tomatoes – I will definitely be trying that throughout winter. I served this soup with some fantastic sourdough bread from La Boulangerie, a new bakery in Logan Square that bakes up fresh loaves three times daily – and they post the times they’re fresh baked, so you can scoop one up just as it comes out of the oven.

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup

adapted, quite a bit actually, from Serious Eats

3 pounds tomatoes, quartered
2-3 whole  carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
15-20 garlic cloves (yes – a lot of garlic!)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2-3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup greek yogurt
crumbles of blue cheese or feta

Combine the olive oil with tomatoes, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper, eggplant, and chickpeas. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for ~45 minutes at 425°F. To be careful, you could roast all these separately until each one is perfectly tender, but I’m a timesaver and roasted all together – it worked fine.


Once roasted, put about half of the veggies in a blend and puree until smooth. The original recipe called for pureeing everything except the eggplant and chickpeas – you could do that as well. Just depends on what chunks you want in your soup, if any. Pour the pureed soup and extra veggies in a pot with the curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chicken stock – add more or less stock to get the desired consistency.

Bring to a boil then let simmer for 5-10 minutes. At the last minute, stir in the yogurt for a creamy finish. Garnish with cilantro, cheese, and if you’re feeling frisky, a drizzle of good olive oil.

Eggplant Caviar

Is it just me, or do certain recipes or ideas circle the blogosphere (NOT Blagosphere tehehe) every couple months? For a while it was kale chips, then I saw a billion recipes for eggs poached in tomato sauce (which I’m still trying to find the time to make), and lately, I’ve seen quite a few recipes for Eggplant Caviar.

Say what?


Really, this is just a fancy name for an eggplant dip that is not baba ghanoush (though really, it’s not that much different). It’s great because roasting the eggplant over a flame imparts this real smoky flavor into the dish. I personally love eggplant, but I think this might be a good recipe for those of you who are skeptical about this giant purple vegetable. It works with any variety of eggplant, so scoop up whichever one looks the coolest at the market.


Eggplant Caviar

3-4 medium size eggplants, any variety works
juice of one lemon
lemon zest from said lemon
handful of Italian parsley
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
handful of fresh tarragon leaves
salt and pepper

Cut the eggplant into manageable slices – about an inch thick. Over a grill or gas flame, char the eggplant slices until slightly blackened. (If you don’t have a grill or gas stovetop, just pop them in the oven.) Place the charred eggplant slices on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 425 for ~25 minutes or until very soft. Let cool, then remove the charred skins like you would on peppers or tomatoes. Place the soft innards in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until you get a smooth consistency. If you want it to actually look like caviar, let the mixture remain a little chunky so that the seeds remain in tact. Serve with crusty bread and a nice soft goat cheese.