Grilled Vegetable Soup
This rich, velvety soup of eggplant, zucchini, & tomato is a meal unto itself. Oven dried tomatoes add concentrated flavor, but fresh tomatoes will also work fine.
Prep time: 60 minutes total: 30 minutes unattended (salting/purging the vegetables), then 20 minutes (not including oven dried tomatoes)
Cook time: 20 minutes
2 large eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4" slices
2 large zucchini, scraped and cut crosswise into 1/4" slices
1-2 onions, thickly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
About 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges, and oven dried, or fresh tomatoes, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh basil and parsley, chopped
4-6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Layer the eggplant and zucchini in a large baking dish, salting each layer, and set aside for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, rinse and dry the slices. Preheat the grill. In a large bowl, turn the zucchini, eggplant, and onion in the 3 TB olive oil. Grill vegetable slices for 6-8 minutes, turning once, or until they are soft and blackened. Return to the bowl to cool. When they are cool enough to handle (about 5 min) coarsely chop them to facilitate processing.
Place grilled vegetables, along with tomatoes, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and 4 cups chicken stock in a large stock pot. Process with an immersion blender to a smooth consistency, adding more stock if necessary. Bring to a simmer, and serve. Toasted nuts are a tasty topping for this rich creamy soup.
Tips: Thick onion slices are less likely to fall through the grill! A blender or a food processor can also be used in place of an immersion blender, although you'll want to process the soup in batches to avoid explosions.
Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick