Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Soup with Spinach, Basil and Parsley
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the cut bell peppers and eggplants on the baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle vegetables with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Peel the skin off the peppers and roughly chop the flesh. Scoop the eggplant flesh out of the peel and roughly chop the flesh. Set aside.
In a stockpot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the shallot, with a small pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes, until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and red wine vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Add the roasted eggplant and bell peppers, the spinach and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth (or, working in batches, puree the soup in your blender).
Stir in the basil and parsley (reserving a small amount for garnish, if you like) and the grated cheese. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Simmer steadily over medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soup has reduced slightly and is thickened to your liking.
Top each serving of soup with the crumbled turkey bacon, chopped basil and parsley, and an extra grating of cheese. Serve with crusty garlic bread or crostini.
Yields 4 servings.