This hearty Fall soup was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi's Roasted Vegetable Soup in Plenty. This soup takes about an hour to prepare, but most of that time is spent loosely supervising a grill and enjoying the early Fall evening. I added yellow fava beans (AKA Greek favas) which blend nicely with the roasted veggies and garlic to make a hearty, complete, one pot Fall dinner. An added benefit of this recipe is that there is almost no chopping since everything gets blended in the end! So take the time you would have spent chopping, and wander the garden. —lloreen
Preheat your grill. Prick the eggplants with a fork several times.
Cut the top off the head of garlic, drizzle with oil, and wrap in tin-foil.
Grill the eggplant and peppers on the hottest part of your grill. Put the tomatoes in a small roasting pan and grill over indirect or low heat. Also, grill the garlic over lower heat so that it does not burn. Turn the vegetables as they begin to char. Remove the pan of tomatoes when the skin separates and chars and the juices begin to run (save the juice). Remove the peppers and the eggplant when they are completely charred on all sides and let them cool. The eggplant and garlic take the longest and should be done at the same time. (about 30- 40 minutes)
In the meantime, sauté the red onion and olive oil over medium-low heat in a large soup pot until it begins to caramelize. (about 15 minutes)
Rinse the fava beans well and add to the onions. Add the vegetable broth or water and the oregano sprigs, bring to a boil, then turn to a low medium heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally skimming any foam from the surface.
When the vegetables are cool enough to touch. scoop the flesh out of the eggplant and peppers, discarding the burnt skin. Add the whole tomatoes, including skins, and the eggplant and red peppers flesh to the pot. Squeeze out all the roasted garlic cloves into the pot.
Add half the basil. Let the soup simmer for another 10 minutes, adding water if necessary. The soup should be thick and the fava beans should easily mush on the prongs of a fork.
Allow the soup to cool a few minutes, then blitz in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and cayenne to taste. Add the juice of a lemon and the other half of the basil, finely chopped.
Serve warm with an optional dollop of Greek yoghurt or a sprinkle of parmesan.