That’s one of the first things my mother taught me when I was a small kid. And while she used it mostly to explain me why I should never accept candy from strangers, today I’m going to use it in regard to this soup.
So don’t let its appearance fool you. The picture just doesn’t do it justice. It is a very delicious soup.
And inspired by my weekend in Chicago too.
Yup, you’ve guessed it — for my first visit there, the hubby and I spent over an hour in line in order to try Gino‘s famous pizza on Saturday night. And although I attempted to be a good girl by asking that half of the pizza be a “vegetarian” one (in a desperate attempt to pretend that I’m getting in my veggies), somehow, the other half (“4 cheeses”) still managed to bring on that annoying sensation of guilt.
I had to fight back. So, on Monday, I decided it was soup time, with plenty more of healthy veggies and a bit less of cheese and bread. Of course, the cheese and bread were not dropped completely; but the feeling of guilt definitely was.
PS: I’ll post more about my stay (and the food I’ve eaten) in Chicago at the end of next week 😉
PS2: I’ve created a new twitter handle, just for this blog! Follow me @BohemianKitchen
(For 4 bowls)
- olive oil
- salt, pepper, dried oregano
- 2 red peppers, sliced in medium strips
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced in medium/medium-large strips
- 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced
- 3 medium tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, sliced in large strips
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan (that’s what I had left in the fridge — but you can use plenty of other cheeses such as Gruyère, Cheddar, or even Feta)
- Salt slightly both sides of each eggplant slice and place aside for 30min: this will remove the bitter juices. (Tip: place them vertically in a pan so that the slices don’t just keep soaking in the juices.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush generously the pan (or pans) you’ll use to roast the vegetables.
- Place veggies (tomatoes, eggplant, onion, peppers – red, yellow, and jalapeno) in pan. (The cut side of the tomatoes should be facing up). Brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Then, also some oregano just over the tomatoes. Place everything in the oven.
- Roast and remove accordingly:
- The tomatoes soften, and their skin starts wrinkling, but not completely so. They should still have a slight firmness and should be able to hold their shape when your lift them.
- The peppers soften and start browning, but still have a slight crunch to them.
- The onion slices soften and start caramelizing.
- The eggplant is soft.
- Let cool enough so you can handle the veggies without burning your fingers. Then, halve the tomatoes again and again (you should now have quarter halves). Chop (and keep separate) the onion, peppers, and eggplant in small bits.
- In blender, place half the chopped onion, half of the red and yellow peppers, all of the eggplant, and all of the jalapeno with 2-3 cups of the chicken broth. Blend. (If needed, do this in two steps).
- In saucepan over medium heat, place the rest of the broth, the basil, the blended mixture, and the rest of the veggies. Mix well and wait till it warms up.
- Once the soup starts getting hot, add milk and stir well. Once it’s really hot, decrease the heat, add the cheese and stir again, energetically to spread the cheese and help it melt.
- As soon as the cheese has melted, the soup is ready to be served. A good piece of toasted baguette will be a great addition to it.