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Tucchetti Roasted Vegetable Soup With Red Pepper Aioli

1 or 2 eggplants (about 1-1/2 lbs.)
2 red onions
2 to 3 red bell peppers
1 lb. carrots
3 large tomatoes
1 head garlic, peeled
1/4 C. olive oil
3 quarts water
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 T. basil leaves, chopped
1/2 C. mayonnaise for garnish
Croutons for garnish

Preheat oven to 400F. Trim the eggplant, cut off the stem and rub with some of the olive oil. Place cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until eggplant begins to get soft. Meanwhile, peel the onions and cut in half.

Cut peppers in half and discard core, cut tomatoes in half and trim carrots. Toss all the vegetables with remaining olive oil and place on cookie sheet with eggplant after initial roasting. Roast 20 minutes more, until onions are soft and eggplant begins to collapse.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out the eggplant flesh into a large stockpot and add all the vegetables, reserving 1/2 of a red pepper and 2 garlic cloves. Cover with water, add salt and pepper and simmer 30 minutes. Puree, adjust seasoning and add chopped basil.

Puree reserved red pepper and garlic. Mix with mayonnaise. Spread on croutons for soup or dollop into serving bowls and top with soup.

    
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