Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Entered for safe-keeping. This type of soup lends itself to 2-tone soup, by making contrasting soup purees in separate pots. Elsewhere on the internet I saw a soup that divided a red puree from a yellow puree in concentric circles; I have concluded that the chef either used a tall biscuit cutter or a form for a small-diameter cheesecake or folded aluminum foil double and into a circle, spraying exposed surfaces with non-stick spray, so the divider could be easily removed, leaving the areas distinct. For a simple 2-tone effect, ladle from contrasting purees into the soup bowl at the same time. Recipe found in "Jack and Steve's Heart Poundin', Blood Curdlin' He-Man Adventure Cookbook" aka "The Bears' Cookbook" by Steve Frietag and Jack Garceau on bearcooks.com, but Steve adopted the recipe from an AP newspaper story. You may use other vegetables as you prefer: mushrooms, zucchini, cabbage, etc. -- or vary the amount of type of vegetable to your taste. For a red puree, combine red bell pepper with tomato. For a yellow or orange puree, combine yellow or orange bell pepper with butternut squash and carrots. For a green puree, choose from green bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, and green beans, even green chiles.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (or olive oil non-stick spray)
- 2 tomatoes, sliced 1-inch thick
- 1 small eggplant, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 large red bell pepper, cored and quartered
- 1 onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups vegetable stock or 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash pepper
- 1 dash cayenne pepper
- sour cream, for garnish (optional)
- yogurt, for garnish (optional)
- parsley, for garnish (optional)
- cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Brush vegetables with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray) to coat on all sides; season with salt, pepper.
- Broil vegetables on rack closest to broiler element. Broil until vegetables are tender but not burned, about 4 minutes for the tomatoes and 10-12 minutes more for eggplant, red pepper and onion. (OPTION: vegetables may be grilled instead.).
- In a 5-quart pot, saute the garlic over medium heat with a teaspoon of olive oil.
- When garlic is golden, add vegetables, stock, basil and cayenne. Heat to boiling, then lower heat and cook 4 to 6 minutes.
- Puree mixture in batches in a blender until soup reaches desired consistency.
- Garnish as desired, with sour cream, yogurt, parsley, whatever.