The Book Stall

Not Afraid of Flavor

Spicy Green Tomato Soup 
with Crab & Country Ham 

excerpted from
Not Afraid of Flavor
by Ben Barker and Karen Barker
University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

serves 8

This has become an early fall signature dish at the restaurant, and it is one of our more requested recipes. We suppose everyone needs another use for all those end-of-season green tomatoes besides frying them.

This soup is equally successful chilled or hot, and you can modify the garnish depending on your preference.


5 ounces country ham, julienned
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced thin
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 jalapenos, stemmed and sliced, with seeds
4 green Anaheims, stemmed, seeded, and sliced
2 green pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, and sliced
2 bay leaves
3 1/2 pounds firm green tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
1 1/2 quarts shrimp stock or homemade chicken stock
1 handful fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco (or to taste)
salt to taste

ingredients for the garnish

country ham (see above)
1 pound crabmeat, picked over for shells, or 1 pound peeled, cooked shrimp, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup sour cream, thinned with 2 tablespoons milk
1 cup fresh tomato concasse, combined with 1/4 cup capers, chopped
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
1. Cook the ham in the vegetable oil until crisp and golden; drain, reserve the ham, and return the oil to the pot.
2. Cook the onions in the oil over moderate heat until soft but not colored. Add the garlic, jalapenos, Anaheims,
pasilla chiles, and bay leaves and cook 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, until the tomatoes
4. Remove the bay leaves, add the basil, and puree in a blender, working in batches.
5. Season with lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt. Cool and reserve.
6. Gently reheat the soup over medium heat and adjust the seasoning. Place crab or shrimp in warm bowls. Ladle
the soup into the bowls, and garnish with sour cream, tomato concasse and caper mixture, country ham, and
sliced scallions.

Back to the Book Stall
Recipes from Magnolia Grill
Recipes from 
Magnolia Grill


  • Caramelized Vidalia Onion and Bacon Crostata
  • Barbecued Smoked Salmon with Piccalilli and Buttermilk Herb Crackers
  • Spicy Green Tomato Soup with Crab & Country Ham 
  • Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Grits Cake, Country Ham, and Redeye Vinaigrette
  • Grilled Beef Tenderloin in a Cabernet Sauce with Roquefort and Summer Vegetable Chopped Salad
  • Striped Bass with Oyster Stew
  • Slow-Cooked Southern Greens
  • Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce
  • Tomato Concasse
Also by Ben Barker:
Taste of the Triangle 

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