Mixed Vegetable Soup, Spanish Style

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

TIME: 1 hour

In Spain, a soup similar to minestrone is likely to begin with roasting the vegetables, which yields a more robust flavor (and takes a little more time).

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

1 medium eggplant, peeled and roughly chopped

2 medium zucchini or summer squash, peeled and roughly chopped

1 potato, peeled and roughly chopped

2 large tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped, juices reserved

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

6 cups vegetable stock or water

1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves

01 Preheat the oven to 450В°F. In a roasting pan or ovenproof and stovetop-safe casserole, combine the onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, potato, tomatoes, all but a tablespoon of the olive oil, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the cumin. Toss so that all the vegetables are coated with the oil and roast, shaking or stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are nicely browned, about 45 minutes.

02 Carefully move the pan to the top of the stove and add the stock and reserved tomato juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, another 15 minutes or so. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding.) Taste and adjust the seasoning.

03 At this point you have two options: cool slightly and purГ©e about half the soup, then reheat, add the parsley and remaining olive oil, and serve. Or do not purГ©e; simply add the parsley and oil and serve.