Meatless Monday: Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

February 6, 2012
Roasted Mediterranean vegetable soup is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter's day.  Vegetables are roasted in the oven to bring out their natural sweetness and the simmered in a rich vegetable stock.  If you prefer pureed soup, blend it in a stand blender or a hand-held one until smooth.  Serve this wonderful roasted Mediterranean vegetable soup with a grilled cheese or simple piece of bread.
3 tablespoons oil
1 lb 9 oz ripe tomatoes, skinned, cored and halved
3 large yellow bell peppers. seeded and halved
3 zucchini, halved lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, halved
2 onion, cut into eights
pinch of thyme
6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup cream or non-dairy creamer like MimicCreme
salt and pepper
shredded basil leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Brush a large shallow baking dish with olive oil. Laying them cut-sized down, arrange the tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant in one layer (use two dishes if necessary).
Tuck the garlic cloves and onion pieces into the gaps and drizzle the vegetables with the remaining olive oil.
Season lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme.
Place in preheated oven and bake uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until soft and browned around the edges.
Let cool, then scrape out the eggplant flesh and remove the skin from the bell peppers.
Working in batches, put the eggplant and bell pepper flesh, together with the tomatoes, zucchini, garlic and onion place into a bowl and chop together using a knife.
Combine the stock and chopped vegetable mixture in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors have completely blended.
Stir in the cream and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until hot.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, garnish with basil and serve.

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