This pale orange, chowderlike soup is loaded with eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, leeks, sweet pepper, and tomatoes. Serve it as a side dish topped with goat cheese croutons.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, leeks, sweet pepper and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in rice and tomatoes. Cook and stir for 3 minutes more. Stir in broth, wine, tomato paste, fennel seeds, salt and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
Process mixture in 4 or 5 batches in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir in cream and basil. Heat through, but do not boil.
To serve, ladle soup into shallow soup bowls. Top each with 2 Goat Cheese Croutons. Makes 8 to 10 side-dish servings.