Okay. So I’m going to forget for a few moments that it’s been in the 80s here in Indiana this week and last, and transport myself back to a time a couple weeks ago where the temperatures were barely in the low 60s and the rain was steadily pouring nearly every day. This requires a bit of willing suspension of disbelief, if you will.
Now that I’m back in those chilly early days of fall if only in my memories, I can recall a delicious soup that popped its way into my oven, onto my stove, and into my heart. A soup that requires little to no effort, sans some chopping, scooping, and measuring that yields a slightly spicy, thick, and comforting bowl of Roasted Vegetable Soup.
Now, despite my love of vegetables, I am by no means a Vegetable Soup kind of girl. Brothy soups are not for me. So when I saw this recipe pop up on my Google Reader, I was a bit skeptical. A soup just made out of vegetables? How much flavor can that really have? Sure, there are some herbs but what can they really do?
Oh, silly me. Clearly I forgot the lessons I learned with Roasted Tomato Sauce or any of the other roasted vegetable dishes I’ve shared on this ‘lil blog. Roasting vegetables makes all the difference. While cooking vegetable stovetop leaves them mushy and a little blah, roasting them brings out tons of flavor and that smooth, creamy texture that I love. This soup’s perfect for cozying up to on a cold, rainy evening, and is the best vehicle for endless bites of warm, crusty bread. Mmm, good!
I’m so glad I decided to give vegetable soup a try. What’s one food that you’re glad that you decided to try?
- 7 baby eggplants, halved lengthwise [about 3 1/2 cups; original used 1 large eggplant]
- 2 medium yellow squashes, halved lengthwise
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 4 small sweet peppers [or 2 bell peppers], seeded and halved
- 2 large carrots, chunked
- 3 medium tomatoes, halved
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 small hot pepper [optional]
- olive oil
- freshly ground pepper and salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the vegetables–eggplant, squash, zucchini, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and hot pepper–on a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet [or two, in my case]. Brush with a thin layer of oil and season with a generous amount of pepper and a little salt. Roast for 35-45 minutes, until tender and spotted with brown.
Add vegetables to a large stockpot, scooping pulp from eggplant, squash, and zucchini first. Add oregano, basil, and bay leaf, then pour in 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.