I think the cool fall-is-on-its-way air this weekend turned me into Super-Productive Woman. I got so much done, including making one of the 5 recipes for heirloom tomatoes that I wrote about last week. I changed the recipe I chose enough that it’s worth sharing my version of it. I made Pureed Tomato, Eggplant and Yellow Bell Pepper Soup, inspired by the Heirloom Tomato Soup recipe on the Marin Mama Cooks blog.

The original recipe didn’t have eggplant or bell pepper in it, and called for more olive oil than I used. I made a few other minor changes, but the method I used to make my soup was similar to the one in the original recipe.

I added the extra vegetables because I had them in the fridge, bought from an organic farmer at the farmers market the week before. I was in the mood to be a little experimental, so I chopped up the additional vegetables. I weighed each batch of chopped vegetables before adding them into the pot so if the soup turned out good, I’d know how to replicate it again. It did turn out good. The vegetables complement each other nicely.


  • Tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces (but not peeled or seeded) – about 44 oz. worth
  • Eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces (I used Fairy Tale eggplant, but any variety would work) – about 4 oz. worth
  • Yellow bell pepper, diced – about 2.25 oz. worth
  • Medium yellow onion, diced (forgot to weigh that one)
  • 4 sprigs of basil and marjoram each, left on branch and tied together with kitchen twine
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  1. On medium-high, heat a pot large enough to hold all your ingredients
  2. Add olive oil and heat, do not let it burn or start to smoke
  3. Add bell pepper, onions, and the tied basil and marjoram
  4. Cook until the onion and bell pepper are soft, stirring occasionally
  5. Add salt and garlic, stir
  6. Add tomatoes and eggplant, bring to a boil for just a moment, and then turn down to a gentle simmer
  7. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and eggplant break down
  8. Remove from heat
  9. Take out the tied herbs and discard
  10. Add the balsamic vinegar and puree the soup with a stick blender in the pot or pour into a stand up blender to puree. Blend until the soup is as smooth as you can get it
  11. Taste to see if the soup needs more salt; add more if needed to suit your personal taste
  12. Run the pureed soup through a mesh sieve to take out any vegetable peels or seeds that remain
  13. Serve immediately (reheating a bit if necessary), or allow refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the flavors to mellow
Last thoughts
  • This soup was so good that I bought more of all the necessary ingredients at the farmers market on Sunday morning so I can make it again. I’m thinking of roasting the tomatoes, eggplant, and bell pepper first next time.
  • Can you guess what I served with it? Grilled cheese, of course. Grilled cheese and tomato soup are the first things I reach for when the weather turns chilly in early fall. 

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.