We added a few surprise ingredients.
Roasted Tomato-Eggplant Soup with Garlic Croutons Recipe
Credit: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

I start craving tomato soup right around the time the weather cools off and tomatoes disappear at the farmers' market. Fall is a great time to eat tomato soup—especially with a buttery grilled cheese sandwich—but it's not a great time to make it. Of course, you can buy tomatoes at the grocery store year-round, but we all know that they're not as juicy and tangy-sweet as the ones grown in the summer.

To fix this problem, our test kitchen came up with a brilliant soup recipe that gives out-of-season tomatoes a big flavor boost. Instead of only using tomatoes, we add a few more vegetables to the soup pot. Eggplant gives the soup a smooth, creamy texture with nice body, carrots and onions amp up the sweetness, and garlic adds a bite to balance everything out. Tomatoes are still the lead singer, but now they have a little backup support.

Watch: Try This Trick To Make Tomatoes Taste Better

The other key to this recipe is that the vegetables are roasted together on a sheet pan before they go into the pot with vegetable broth and half-and-half (for added richness). Not only is this super easy (just cut the vegetables up, place them on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and roast until tender), it's another way to boost the flavor of the tomatoes. Roasting caramelizes food and brings out the natural sugars. If your tomatoes are a little under-ripe, this will give them a rich, sticky sweetness.

Of course, you can make this recipe with tomatoes picked at the peak of ripeness and it will be beyond your wildest dreams. But if your tomatoes are anything less than perfect, this soup certainly won't taste that way.