Roasted Eggplant and Saffron Soup

1 medium russet potato (about 8 ounces)
olive oil
1 large eggplant unpeeled, cut in 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
5 cups stock or canned broth
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Pierce potato with fork. Place potato on oven rack and bake until very soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool.

Line 2 baking sheets with foil and brush with olive oil . Arrange eggplant rounds on prepared sheets. Bake eggplant 15 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake until very soft and brown, about 30 minutes longer.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and oregano and sauté until onion and garlic are translucent, about 10 minutes. Cut potato into pieces. Combine potato, eggplant and onion mixture in processor. With machine running, gradually add stock and blend until smooth. Transfer to saucepan. Add saffron and bring to simmer. Serve hot.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat before serving.)

Serves 6.



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