4 red bell peppers
4 vine-ripened tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, cracked and peeled
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
Salt and ground black pepper
1 small eggplant, cut into small dice
2 small zucchini, cut into small dice
1 small onion, cut into small dice
4-5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
2-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, depending on how thick you like your soup
1 small log goat cheese (about 4 ounces), crumbled, for garnish
Pre-heat the broiler.
Arrange the peppers, tomatoes and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and some salt and pepper. Give the veggies a good toss to evenly coat and transfer to the oven. Broil until tender and skins are blackened, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Place the veggies in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow them to steam for 10 minutes. While the veggies are broiling, place a medium size skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the eggplant, zucchini, onion, thyme and some salt and pepper to the pan and cook until the veggies are tender, 5-6 minutes. Keep the ratatouille warm until the soup is ready. When the veggies have finished roasting, peel the red peppers, discarding the skins and seeds from the red peppers, and skin the tomatoes. Place a medium size saucepan over medium heat with one turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Transfer the peppers, tomatoes and the garlic cloves to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth and transfer to the saucepan. Stir in the stock until the soup has reached the desired consistency and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve the soup with a scoop of the ratatouille and some crumbled goat cheese on top.