This recipe was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. Last night my roommate Emily came home with Creamy Tomato soup from Panera Bread and all of a sudden I found myself craving tomato soup. I’ve been attempting to post twice a week nowadays, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays, but I hadn’t thought of what to make for today (Tuesday) yet. That’s where tomato soup comes in!
This soup was influenced by a few different recipes. Last year I tried Au Bon Pain’s Eggplant Soup and found it surprisingly delicious. I’ve always loved tomato soup, but found the addition of eggplant enticing. One of the best tomato soups I’ve had in a while was at a local restaurant a town over from me. Back in September, when I had my wisdom teeth out, I couldn’t eat much other than soup and mashed potatoes. I was tired of eating soup, but found this restaurant’s tomato soup especially delicious. It was chunkier than usual and tasted like it had cheddar cheese cooked into it.
Soup also appealed to me today because I have the most horrible canker sore on the side of my tongue right now. Yesterday it was pretty painful, so I figured today it’d be starting to heal. Instead I woke up and it had just about doubled in size and was so painful I could barely eat anything. Even just swallowing or talking hurts. Not fun. After taking some medicine, my tongue feels a bit better but solid or tough food is still kind of out of the question for now.
If you are a tomato lover, you will love this soup. Roasting tomatoes brings out an incredible sweetness that you can’t really get with raw tomatoes. The roasted eggplant adds a nice, mellow flavor and the soup is finished off with some fire-roasted bell peppers. I chose to add some light cream and cheese to my soup, but you can eliminate these things if you’re looking for a soup that’s dairy-free (as well as vegan). This soup is comforting and will help keep you warm for these last few weeks of winter. It could even double as a pasta or pizza sauce!
Roasted Tomato & Eggplant Soup
makes 4-6 servings
- Two large tomatoes, cored, seeds removed, and cut into quarters
- 1 eggplant, stem removed and sliced in half length-wise
- 1/2 of 1 sweet onion, cut into large chunks
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 28-oz can peeled or diced tomatoes
- 1 small (6 or 12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers
- handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- optional: 1/2 cup light cream or half and half
- optional: 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange your tomatoes, eggplant, and onion chunks on top. To prevent garlic cloves from burning, insert into cored tomatoes (see photo below for reference). Drizzle veggies with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast your veggies for 30-40 minutes, or until the tomatoes have begun to collapse and eggplant is starting to shrivel. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large sauce pan, combine your peeled/diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, basil, chicken/vegetable broth, and red pepper flakes. Once your roasted veggies have cooled slightly, add them to the sauce pan as well.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the veggies to your desired consistency. (Or, alternatively, transfer the veggies to a blender and then return to sauce pan.)
- Heat the soup to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until hot. Stir in cream and cheese, if using. Serve with an extra sprinkle of cheese or your favorite type of bread and enjoy