I usually hate tomato soup. I don't hate many things, but a bowl of bland off-red soup is a rare exception. Blended soups in general tend to be boring and homogeneous, and tomato is, at least for me, the worst offender. So why am I telling you about a tomato soup, especially when I could be whipping up another sublime BLT?
Leave it to Martha Stewart to sort things out. Instead of simply blending all the vegetables, only the roasted tomatoes, carrots, and garlic are pureed. The eggplant and chickpeas are roasted and then simply folded in, adding a distinctive texture and flavor. A little bit of curry powder adds a subtle depth to each bite, and some cilantro helps add a freshness to a soup I don't actually hate at all. In fact, I kind of like it.
- 3 pounds plum tomatoes, sliced in half, stems and cores removed
- 1/2 pound carrots, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
- 10 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large eggplant, stem removed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, carrots, and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread out on a large baking sheet, making sure to keep the tomatoes cut side down.
Toss the eggplant, chickpeas, and curry powder with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread this mixture out on separate baking sheet. Place both baking sheets into the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Stir both about halfway through.
Remove both baking sheets from the oven. Peel off the skin from the tomatoes. Toss all the contents from the baking sheet with the tomatoes into a blender. Process until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large pot.
Add the contents from the second baking sheet to the large pot. Thin the soup with 3 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Then turn off the heat. Ladle into bowls, and serve with cilantro and some rustic bread.