1/4 C olive oil
5 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
3 T tomato paste
2 T dried basil
1 1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 zucchini, chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
1 large (or 2 small) eggplant, chopped
1 small container of Cremini mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1 – 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (San Marzano brand is delicious)
Juice of 3 lemons
8 C chicken or vegetable stock
2 t salt
In a large preheated soup pot, add olive oil. Add onion, garlic and a generous spritz of salt and black pepper. Sauté over medium high heat until garlic is fragrant and onions are translucent. Add tomato paste, basil and red pepper flakes. Continue to sauté until tomato paste darkens in color and begins to stick to the pan. Add a small amount of the stock to “deglaze”.
Add bell peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplant and mushrooms. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, remaining stock and salt. Bring soup to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.
Serve over orzo pasta and garnish with basil pesto.