5 cups (1/2-inch-diced) peeled eggplant (1 pound)
2 large chopped leeks, white and light green portions
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
4 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
2 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 tablespoons sundried tomato paste
2 teaspoons whole dried fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Spread eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet, and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until soft.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a Dutch Oven, add the leeks, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the onion is tender but not browned.
Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the stock, roasted eggplant, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, fennel seeds, oregano, red pepper flakes, honey, salt, and black pepper.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 1-hour stirring occasionally. Puree the soup with a hand blender.
Stir in basil and taste for seasonings.
Serve hot in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.