- 2 eggplants (about 800g), halved lengthways
- 1 large red onion (skin on), quartered
- 1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large red capsicums, quartered
- 3 large, ripe tomatoes, halved, seeds removed
- 2 large garlic cloves (unpeeled), pricked with a fine skewer
- 5 large thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra sprigs to serve
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice, or to taste
- Crumbled feta and sliced sourdough bread, to serve
1Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
2Place the eggplant and onion in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the oil and stir to coat. Sit eggplant, cut-side down, on one oven tray and strew the onion around. Put the capsicum, tomato, garlic in the bowl with another 2 tablespoons of oil and mix well. Spread on the other prepared tray, sitting capsicum skin-side up and tomato cut-side up.
3Roast the vegetables for 30-40 minutes until tender and wrinkled. Remove from oven. Once cool enough to handle, peel away as much skin from the eggplant, onion and capsicum as possible. Gently press the skins of the garlic cloves to squeeze out the buttery flesh. (Do all this over the trays to catch juices.) Chop 3 pieces of the roasted capsicum and set aside to garnish.
4Warm the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the thyme and chilli, then scrape all the vegetables into the pan, stirring to coat in the oil and herbs. Add about 1 litre (4 cups) water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 40 minutes. Using a blender or stick blender, puree in batches, then pour the soup into a large bowl or container. Add the lemon juice to sharpen it slightly, and more salt if needed. Cover tightly and chill. Once the soup is cold, taste again for lemon and salt and adjust if needed, as chilling it slightly mutes the flavour.
5To serve, ladle the chilled soup into small bowls and top each one with the reserved chopped capsicum, thyme sprigs and a little crumbled feta. Serve with sliced sourdough.
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