These were some of the last of the summer vegetables: little Japanese eggplants, summer squash, and bell peppers. They were in my fridge for far too long, perhaps because I was afraid of what their absence might mean (a whole 6 months of eating winter vegetables). There are still the occasional summer vegetable at the farmer’s market, but they look tired now, and misshapen. With the chill of the last few days I want my food hot, and I want an excuse to turn on the oven.
Roasted Vegetable Soup
2-3 tomatoes fit for broth, diced
1 onion, half diced and half coarsely chopped
2-4 Japanese eggplants, cut into coins
1-2 summer squash, cut into coins (or equivalent size)
1-2 bell peppers, cut into strips
Dash of red wine vinegar or red wine
Salt and cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the coarsely chopped onions, eggplant, squash, and peppers with olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Put the dressed veggies on a tray to bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning the veggies after 20 minutes. The roasted veggies should be shrunken, golden brown around the edges, and smell heavenly. While the veggies are roasting, saute the diced onion in olive oil in a soup pot. When the onion is soft and golden, add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down. This process is faster if you salt the tomatoes. Add the dash of red wine or red wine vinegar (I use leftover red wine that’s been sitting on the counter for months) and around 6 cups of water (or however much you gauge will fit in your pot to give the consistency of soup you want once you add the veggies). Let this tomato broth simmer, perhaps with some additional herbs (bay leaves, thyme, oregano?). Once the roasted veggies are done, add them to the broth and cook for a little longer. I like eating this soup with a bit of yogurt in it, and plenty of salt.