After a week of eating very, very well at my parents house and indulging in a bit too much vino, I had to make up for it by making something healthy. Usually after a long weekend or short get-away, I turn to soup and try to pack as many green leafy things into it as I can. I have to admit, I don't yearn for heaps of sauteed kale, steamed broccoli or just plates of simply cooked vegetables. (Seriously, who does?) I love eating healthy, but unless I am eating my veggies raw in a salad or I cover them with cheese, I just don't love them. Then I discovered that adding spinach, swiss chard, etc to basic soups actually tastes good and it bumps up the nutrient content. Problem solved! I have been doing this for the past year now and for me, it is a great way to eat my veggies.
This soup is a different take on my trusty chicken broth and greens detox. I went nuts at the farmers market and came home with a variety of vegetables. Roasting the vegetables in the oven gives this soup an intense, rich flavor, kinda reminiscent of ratatouille. After roasting, I used a food processor to chop them up to a salsa like texture.
This soup is filling, tasty and most importantly good for you. Chris and I have been eating it for days! It heats up easily and is perfect to take to work for lunch or have on a lazy dinner night.
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ripe roma tomatoes
3 large red bell peppers, halved, cored and de-seeded
3 zucchini, halved lengthwise
1/2 lb baby eggplants (or 1 small eggplant), halved lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, halved
2 onions cut into eighths
pinch of dried thyme
4 cups chicken stock (I used 99% fat free)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
shredded basil leaves, to garnish
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush a large shallow baking dish with olive oil or use an olive oil mister. Laying them cut-side down, arrange the tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplants in one layer (use two dishes if necessary).
Tuck the garlic cloves and onion pieces onto the gaps and drizzle all the vegetables with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme.
Place the dishes uncovered in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until soft and browned around the edges. Leave to cool, and then scrape out the eggplant flesh and remove the skin from the bell peppers (doesn't have to precise).
Working in batches, put the eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini in a food processor to chop to the consistency of salsa. Be careful to not puree. (Alternatively just chop the veggies with a knife).
In a large sauce pot, combine the chicken stock and chopped vegetable mixture and simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors have completely blended. Add extra thyme, salt of pepper if needed and garnish with the basil and serve. Enjoy!
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