I've made it a few times now and tried it with other seasonal fall vegetables (like butternut squash) - this soup is all about process. You can easily modify it in any number of ways depending on what's in season or in your fridge.
NOTE: I've always made this with chicken stock but you could use vegetable stock to keep this entirely vegetarian and eliminate the creme fraiche to make it completely vegan.
- 2 medium eggplants, diced into small/medium squares (unpeeled)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6-10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 6-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4-8 cups, chicken or vegetable stock
- kosher salt and pepper
- olive oil
- dollop of dairy (creme fraiche or Greek yogurt or sour cream)
Pre-heat oven to 375. In a large bowl, toss to coat the diced eggplant, the tomatoes, and the whole garlic cloves with the thyme sprigs, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Pour into a rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Roast for 45 minutes, then remove from oven and move the vegetables around in the pan to prevent burning. Return to the over for another 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are completely soft.
Remove the woody stems from the thyme sprigs, and then place 2/3 - 3/4 of the roasted vegetables in a pot with enough stock to cover the vegetables by an inch or so. Puree the vegetables in the pot using an emulsion blender until very smooth. You may have to tilt the pan at an angle to get to all the vegetables. Or, place in a regular blender and puree.
Turn the stovetop to medium to heat up the pureed soup and stir in enough stock to get to your desired consistency. When the soup comes up to a simmer, add in the remaining vegetables and recheck for seasoning.
To serve, drizzle a very small amount of olive oil over each bowl and add a small dollop of dairy.
This will keep in the refrigerator for a week. When reheating, add more stock if its too thick.