Yield: approximately 8 servings
6 carrots, cut in half lengthwise (approximately ¾ pound)
3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (approximately 1¼ pounds)
8 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and seeded (approximately 1½ pounds)
4 large unpeeled cloves garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2½ cups chicken broth
½ cup half-and-half
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup sour cream
Garnish: smoked paprika
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut carrot pieces and zucchini pieces in half crosswise.
2. In a large bowl, combine carrot, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, oil, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; toss well. Arrange vegetable mixture in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
3. Bake, turning occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove peels from garlic cloves.
4. In the container of a blender, combine one-third of vegetable mixture (including garlic and juices from baking sheet) and one-third of chicken broth. Process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of container. Pour puréed vegetables into a large saucepan. Repeat procedure twice with remaining vegetables and chicken broth.
5. Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper, half-and-half, and paprika. Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated, approximately 10 minutes.
6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Garnish with smoked paprika, if desired.