Whole Chicken (optional)
- 1Tbsp Sea Salt
- 2 Eggplants (about 2 ½ lbs.), cut into cubes
- 2 Red Bell Peppers (about 22 oz.) OR 1 cup Roasted Red Peppers in a jar
- **Note: Roasted Red Peppers in the jar may be priced better if Peppers are out of season
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 2 Onions, cut into cubes
- 1 medium Leek, cubed
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 8 ½ cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- ¼ cup Basil, fresh, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Thyme, fresh, chopped
- 3 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
- 1 ½ Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Parmesan Cheese Shavings
You can make this yummy soup the hard way…or the easy way! In our busy world, I choose easy. When you prepare this, put a whole chicken in with your veggies and you’ll get a full meal. Since you will puree all the cooked veggies, you can cut them into chunks. I placed all the veggies and the chicken into an oven bag to make things easy. Then, my blender of choice is the Vitamix, but you can use any good quality blender. I put some of this soup in mason jars and froze them for a future meal.
Preheat oven 450°F
- Place eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sea salt. Let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse well.
- Place the Eggplant, Peppers, Onions, Leek and Garlic Cloves into a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Put all veggies and the chicken (optional) in an oven bag and place it in a lined baking pan. (note: I line the baking pan with foil for easy cleanup).
- Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Veggies will get a little black, and that’s totally okay!
- Set Chicken aside (if you chose to add a chicken when you roasted the veggies).
- In a large stock pot (enough to hold at least 12 cups of liquid) add Eggplant, Peppers, Veggies, Chicken Stock and Tomato Paste. Bring to boil.
- Stir in Basil and Thyme. Cool slightly
- Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add butter and lemon juice; stir over low heat until soup is heated through (about 5 minutes).
- Season with salt and pepper (I didn’t think it needed salt, but a little bit of pepper was good!).
- Serve in bowls, garnish with Parmesan Cheese shavings.
To make your own broth, purchase an additional chicken and boil with veggies on your stovetop while the eggplant and veggies for this recipe are cooking in the oven. You can use the chicken you boiled for the broth in another recipe or shred a freeze for a later time.