Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup with Fresh Herbs
This is a treasured soup for me … I have made it before (in similar form), but last time I made it I used yellow tomatoes and cream. I immediately fell in love with the taste of the soup, but the yellow tomatoes didn’t do it justice. This soup needs red tomatoes to give it that enticing hue that pulls you into the bowl (although the scent of this soup cooking will be entirely enough to draw you in).
So this time I made it with red tomatoes. And I totally skipped the cream because it just didn’t need it. The soup is gorgeous and the buttery, tomato herb flavor is delectable. I can’t get enough of it. I had it for lunch and dinner yesterday and I know I will run out of it before I am done with the day today and then I’ll be sad because I’m out of red tomatoes. Oh I have a few little ones left, but not enough to make soup.
If you have a fear of eggplant, don’t worry. The eggplant doesn’t take over the soup … it just lends a buttery taste and thickness to the soup that is really delightful. Besides, it’s good for you. Your mom would be so proud that you are eating your vegetables (and really ENJOYING them, for a change).
- About 1/2 of a medium eggplant (about 1 1/2 cups after roasting and chopping), peeled & sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices (smaller fairy tale or Japanese eggplant need not be peeled)
- 3 – 5 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 of a yellow onion
- A bit of olive oil
- 4 medium fresh red garden tomatoes, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- About 2 Tablespoons fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme)
- 1/2 cup fat free half and half (optional)
- Goat cheese crumbles (or feta) & fresh herbs for garnish
- First, roast the vegies: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place eggplant slices, onion and garlic on large baking sheet. Brush vegetables lightly with oil. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown in spots, about 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and chop into hunks.
- Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes by dipping them briefly in boiling water, then pulling the peel off. (It should pull off very easily.)
- In a medium saucepan or soup pot over medium heat, add the tomatoes (with juices!) along with the roasted vegetables and herbs.
- Add the broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until all the vegies are very tender, about 20 – 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Puree the soup in your blender until smooth. Return your soup to the saucepan and stir in fat free half and half, if using. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the hot soup into bowls, sprinkle with a few goat cheese crumbles and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with crunchy toast to mop up every drop.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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