Garden Tomato-Roasted Eggplant Soup
My garden is providing me with oodles of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and herbs. I have been eating salads everyday (see pictures!), but what to do with so many tomatoes that are ripening at the same time?! As I looked at recipes for garden tomatoes, I kept on seeing tomato soup. I was never a fan, unlike so many other Americans. However, I added other veggies, roasted eggplant and an apple to cut the tomatoes’ acidity and what a great soup! I made the soup vegan but you can use a chicken or beef stock if you want a heartier soup. You can also sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on top. Fabulous taste and summer fresh.
Leaving her husband and dysfunctional marriage, Isa packs her suitcases and heads for France, her grandmother’s birthplace. “In a separate bag, she carried her laptop, electronic reader and two of her most cherished books, Pride and Prejudice and Somewhere in Time.” Isa hopes for true romance and magic across time and relationships....She would fix her broken life.”
Author Jerri Schlenker (pronounced Jera), travels along with her characters. “I write a lot of my experiences into my characters. I don’t think I’ve ever written a book that doesn’t have a spiritual component. Writing is a part of my spiritual journey.”
Garden Tomato-Roasted Eggplant Soup
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts or 6 generous portions
1 medium eggplant
1 tablespoon olive oil, more if needed
1 small onion, sliced or chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini or yellow squash
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium apple, cored and chopped (I leave it unpeeled, but it’s your preference.)
6-7 basil leaves, chopped
1 small sprig rosemary
6 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 cups stock, homemade or store bought
Peel and chop eggplant. Place eggplant in colander over a bowl or in a sink. Salt the eggplant and let sit for about 15-20. Rinse gently. Reserve. If you have very small eggplant, you can leave the skin on and not salt. Use 2-3 very small eggplant in place of 1 medium.
Place eggplant pieces on a parchment lined oven proof sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and place a few rosemary sprigs on the eggplant. Roast at 400 F for 25 minutes or until the eggplant pieces are slightly browned. The time will depend on the size you cut the eggplant pieces. I check the oven after 15 minutes and then every 5 minutes. Remove eggplant and reserve.
Add olive oil to a stock pot over medium heat. Warm olive oil for 1 minute and then add onion. Sauté onion for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add celery and garlic. Stir occasionally for 2 minutes.
Add carrot, zucchini, green pepper and apple. Stir together. Add basil, rosemary and tomatoes. I don’t bother to deseed or peel the tomatoes as the soup will be puréed. This is your preference.
Sauté for 5 minutes.
Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning. Usually I season my stock so there is no need for a lot of salt and pepper. This depends on your stock and how you like your soup seasoned. Add eggplant and stir.
Cool to room temperature. With an immersion blender or standing blender, purée until very smooth.
Garnish with some ripe cherry tomatoes or additional fresh basil and rosemary, if desired.
To freeze: Make sure soup is completely cooled. I freeze 4 cups at a time, enough for 3-4 servings. Ladle soup into a measuring cup. Then pour into a freeze bag, using air out gently. Pouring from a measuring cup has been less messy for me than ladling in the freezer bag. I freeze the bags on a cookie sheet, so the bags are nice and smooth for ease of freezing. Keeps in freezer 3 months.
Stock: To keep the soup vegan, use a vegan stock. You can use a chicken or beef stock for a heartier flavor.
Garnishes: I used a chopped cherry tomato for a garnish. Try basil or rosemary or Parmesan cheese. For a spicier taste, add a spoonful of salsa.
Roasting vegetables: You can roast the zucchini, pepper, squash and garlic (uncut and unpeeled) in addition to the eggplant for a special added flavor. Try adding roasted Butternut Squash for a very delicious addition.
Other herbs: Try dill in place of rosemary and basil. Add it after the soup is cooked and stir in.
Creamy Dairy: Add 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half to the soup as it is cooling. Or drizzle in a circle on top of each bowl of soup to make the presentation extra pretty.