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Roasted Tomato & Vegetable Soup With Tasso Ham

Roasted Tomato & Vegetable Soup with Tasso Ham

As I have said before, summers here are hot and muggy. Very. And usually hot, muggy and wet in the late afternoon when thunder rolls in and we get caught by quick rain showers. Except these past few days. Rain has been around pretty much from sunset ’til dawn.

And we love it. Our backyard loves it. Our pecan tree is digging it. Bailey is literally jumping in and out of the creek to catch rain drops. On the other hand, Tippy gives me this look of "Hey! Can you do something about this rain? Really cramping my style now" every time we go for a walk. I suspect though that he enjoys the towel drying time afterwards.

Roasted Tomato & Vegetable Soup with Tasso Ham

The sun will trick you into forgetting your umbrella. The heat will convince you that you don’t need to take your rain coat. We have gotten soaked more than once lately and we really just laugh it off. It actually feels good. Being neither hot or cold feels darn appropriate after our temperatures were steadily hovering between 100F-110F down here. Sunny with a side of rain? We’re in!

The only problem with this weather is what it does to our eating habits. Braising, stewing, roasting are very much kept to a minimum. We love to be reminded that seasons are here for a reason and to take full advantages of the changes and new rituals they bring about. Thus, we are grilling and enjoying cold or warm fares a lot. Our favorite lentil salad is now served cold. Cooked and cooled rice gets a boost from freshly chopped basil and some feta chunks.

Roasted Tomato & Vegetable Soup with Tasso Ham

When the weather turns to rain as it has these past few days, all we really want is to sit down in front of a warm bowl of soup. B’s favorite, tomato soup, quickly became mine too when I started making it from scratch with some basil and cream. As years went on I replaced the cream with eggplant which gave the same creamy results as well as a boost of nutrients and flavor.

This time, I picked up loads of local San Marzano tomatoes at the market, as well as some zebra eggplant, baby Vidalia and garlic, roasted them all together one evening and pureed them the next day into a soup. I served it at room temperature with some homegrown basil and a splash of tea seed oil (gift).

Roasted Tomato & Vegetable Soup with Tasso Ham

We have a wonderful pork purveyor at the market, Meathouse, operated by Jason and his wife Katie who always have freshly made Butifarra, Italian and andouille sausages, fresh cut applewood smoked bacon, and one of our favorites, freshly smoked and perfectly seasoned tasso ham. It is perfect with the creamy soup and you could substitute thick cut bacon if it’s easier. I think it took us every bit of restraint not to polish off the entire pot on our own.

Before I head out, congratulations to J M. Smith from Do It All for winning the Threadless tee-shirt and BlogAid Cookbook! Send me your mailing address at mytartelette [at] gmail [dot] com. Thank you!

Roasted Tomato & Vegetable Soup with Tasso Ham

Roasted Tomato and Vegetable Soup With Tasso Ham

Serves 4-6

2 pounds fresh tomatoes
2 small zebra eggplants or one medium regular eggplant
1 head of garlic, cut in half
4 small vidalia onions, cut in half
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil
olive oil or tea seed oil, avocado, walnut or pumpkin (optional)
1/2 cup diced tasso ham or thick cut/slab bacon, cooked and drained

Preheat the oven to 450F.
Slice the tomatoes and eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the garlic and onions on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil (if you have room left in the first pan, skip that step and add the garlic and onion to the tomatoes and eggplant). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast the veggies until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
Peel the garlic off its skins and place with the rest of the vegetables, saving a few tomato slices for garnish, in a food processor. Add about 1 to 2 cups of water and puree until smooth. Add enough water to reach your preferred consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved tomato slices, drizzle of your favorite oil and some basil. Add some tasso ham as desired and serve.

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Jackie August 17, 2010 um 9:54 pm

My mouth literally started watering when I looked at that soup! Mmmmm. What a fantastic recipe. I love tomato-based soups.

I just love your photos and your recipes. You live well, Helene!

marla {family fresh cooking} August 17, 2010 um 11:32 pm

Helen, this soup is beautiful & I bet the flavor is wonderful with that Tasso ham. I have been loving that tea seed oil too. Been using it on the grill everyday while here in the mountains. Come to think of it your soup would be wonderful after a long day of hiking & the rain storms we have been having:) xo

Larissa August 18, 2010 um 12:22 am

This looks delicious! I think I'd like to try substituting some zucchini for the eggplant, to satisfy certain finicky eaters around here…I assume that will work out, no?

Nina Timm August 18, 2010 um 2:53 am

Mmmmmm, the color(and flavor) of this soup looks so amazing and intense! Perfect in-between-seasons-food!

Valentina August 18, 2010 um 5:02 am

Helen, can't wait to try adding the aubergine to this soup as it has made me very curious about the flavour it adds. Over here it has started to rain, and sometimes it looks as if summer was a long way back.

Amber August 18, 2010 um 5:38 am

Absoluty delicious!
Beautiful pictuers.

Paula August 18, 2010 um 7:39 am

That`s a masterpiece!

Have a nice time!

ann August 18, 2010 um 12:27 pm

This looks wonderful. I love the ham addition and the eggplant!

cheers –

Emily August 18, 2010 um 2:04 pm

As a fellow Charleston FM fan, I have been loving your site for inspiration. Last week I made your wonderful galettes and tonight I am planning to make this soup. Thank you!

Barbara l Vino Luci Style August 18, 2010 um 2:11 pm

You had me at tomato soup. Out of desperation one day I had to make some from canned tomatoes and now…whether canned or fresh (the best) I'll never buy a ready made product again.

I can't wait to try using eggplant and omitting cream; wonderful and tasty idea.

I know your weather; I was in Raleigh for 10 years and we had a condo in SC too so know exactly how you feel. Now in Colorado at a mile high, we're already seeing signs of fall and those cool nights are perfect for a dish like this!

Veronika August 18, 2010 um 5:09 pm

This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it.

Veronika August 18, 2010 um 5:10 pm

This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it.

Lindsey @ pickyeatings August 18, 2010 um 8:00 pm

After reading about the rain, I am really glad I was in Charleston last week, where it was still hot and humid (LOVE that), but NO rain whatsoever!

The InTolerant Chef ™ August 18, 2010 um 9:24 pm

I like the idea of the eggplant adding the creaminess to the soup. Isn't it a shame that the beautiful patterns on the eggplant skin basically disappears once it's cooked?

Kristen August 18, 2010 um 10:25 pm

That soup looks amazing. I can't stop thinking about fall weather. This will be perfect!

Bailey and Scout do look alike 🙂 Maybe we'll see y'all around.

Helene August 18, 2010 um 11:16 pm

Lindsey: we record rain because we recycle rain water and here in Charleston it rained/showers on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th and 17th so far. You probably were under a few lucky clouds which is not unthinkable. It sometimes rain at the beginning of my street but not at the end. Go figure 🙂
Now, a few drops is "rain" for us – I guess that's the only way we differentiate with a hurricane 🙂

Jo August 19, 2010 um 12:07 am

Oh wow, I'm also drooling at this dish. It looks so robust and omphhh full of flavours. Love the texture and colours of the dish, plus not forgetting the gorgeous photos.

Kelly-Jane August 19, 2010 um 1:34 pm

Looks lovely, and the zebra augergine too – natures bounty can be so beautiful.

Engineer Baker August 19, 2010 um 6:30 pm

I'm still dreaming of that bacon… It's raining here too, but it's just too muggy to even think about roasting anything. I've been avoiding the oven like the plague!

Susan August 19, 2010 um 8:19 pm

Looks flavorful and healthy. Yum!

Tv Food and Drink August 20, 2010 um 4:54 am

Stunning photos, but aren't they always here? Thanks – Gary

Paula August 20, 2010 um 10:59 am

here is so many inspirations!

have a nice time!

Gen August 20, 2010 um 12:33 pm

Refreshing even in summer! I love your soup, the color of th eggplants and the dry tomatoes, oh yummy!

Cooking in Mexico August 20, 2010 um 1:52 pm

I love this time of year with all the beautiful produce. The baby eggplants look so special. It looks like you are making the most of the season's harvest. Thanks for the lovely photos and for sharing.


Robin August 20, 2010 um 4:54 pm

Your blog is gorgeous. I love the white against the food. Also, I'm waiting out this heat and will keep this soup in mind for fall. Beautiful. Do you think it would still be good served hot?

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking August 20, 2010 um 5:32 pm

This is absolutely lovely! I'm so craving a good fall-inspired recipe, and this is just the ticket.

christelle is flabbergasting August 21, 2010 um 2:08 am

Quelle superbe blog tu as ! Je ne peux m'empêcher de regarder tes photos encore et encore et de lire tes petites histoires ! Merci de me faire saliver à chaque fois, Hélène !

pigpigscorner August 21, 2010 um 11:09 am

The presentation is beautiful! So comforting!

Jessica August 21, 2010 um 7:15 pm

Beautiful pictures, Helen. I'm looking forward to cooler seasons and more excuses to make yummy soup.

Thanks for the tip about using eggplant in lieu of cream in your soup. I've never heard of that, but will definitely try it in my homemade tomato soup!

[email protected]

FigandFennel August 22, 2010 um 4:12 am

That looks like absolute perfection!

atsuk August 23, 2010 um 11:41 pm

I came across your site googling for recipes one day.

You're food photography is perfection!

Hope it's OK to add you to my blog list.


Weekend Cowgirl August 24, 2010 um 4:38 pm

I love any tomato soup and this one looks very good. I think that it will be on the menu in September! Thanks

Damaris @Kitchen Corners August 25, 2010 um 5:09 am

roasted tomatoes are so good. I would add a spoon of whipped goat cheese on top of this soup.

Thanks for the recipe. It looks divine.

Lucy August 25, 2010 um 2:43 pm

Ooh I just love tomato soup and the moment I saw the pictures I knew I would love it! I can just imagine the salty crunch of the ham – gorgeous.

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