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Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, and Carrot Soup

22 Sep

I knew as soon as this combination of vegetables had been roasting for half an hour that this was going to be a delicious soup.  I couldn’t refrain from continually inhaling deeply and making “mmmm” noises.  It might not be the prettiest dish out there, but it has an amazingly complex depth of flavor from a very few ingredients.  Neither vegetable outshines the other, and taken together they are rich, sweet, creamy and caramelized with that addictive roasted flavor that is so comforting this time of year, as the weather changes from hot and dry to cool and wet.

I kept the spices to a minimum here in order to really feature the roasted vegetables.  I added just a hint of chili powder for a slight heat, but you might want to consider switching it up based on what you’re in the mood for – this would be delicious, I’m sure, with some curry powder, coriander, or fresh herbs.

It is also excessively easy to make with very little clean up.  Simply roast off the vegetables, throw out the tinfoil, throw them into a slow cooker, and have at it.  There is about five minutes of hands on time that pays off with a huge punch of flavor.  If you have an immersion blender, the clean up process takes place in about five minutes flat – so make it ten for a food processor.  This soup, as most soups do, also made for awesome leftovers – simply throw it in a to-go container and heat it up in a microwave for a couple of minutes for lunch.  Yum, yum, yum.

Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, and Carrot Soup

2 small eggplant, halved lengthwise

1 large tomato, cut into 6 wedges

2 medium carrots, scrubbed clean and halved

1 small yellow squash, cut into about four pieces (or 1/4 of one ginormous yellow squash your parents generously gave you)

4-5 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tbs. olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

4 cups homemade chicken stock

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 lemon, quartered, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°.

Toss all vegetables with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Place on a tinfoil lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast 40-50 minutes, tossing once or twice to ensure even cooking.  When cooked, the vegetables should be caramelized and the skin of the eggplant wrinkled.

Scoop flesh of eggplant out of its skin.

In a slow cooker, combine eggplant flesh, roasted tomatoes, roasted carrots, and roasted garlic.  Scrape as many caramelized bits from your baking sheets as as possible and add them to the slow cooker as well.  Add chicken stock.  Cover and set to “low.”  Cook about 6-8 hours.  Either in batches in a blender or food process or using an immersion blender, puree soup to desired consistency.  Add chili powder and taste for seasonings, adjusting salt and pepper as necessary.  Serve with a lemon wedge.

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