Roasted Eggplant Soup

From www.smittenkitchen.com

3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (you can add more to taste, or skip this entirely)
3/4 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on a large baking sheet. Brush or drizzle vegetables with oil then roast them for 20 minutes, pausing only to remove the garlic cloves and returning the pans to the oven for another 25 minutes, until the remaining vegetables are tender and brown in spots. Remove from oven and scoop eggplant from skin into a heavy, large saucepan or soup pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme and the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until it is as smooth as you’d like it to be. Back in the pot, add the cream and bring the soup back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in four bowls, sprinkled with goat cheese.

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