Eggplant this time of year, it's just so pretty! So plump, so perfect and oh-so-pretty – so pretty that last week, not one but two eggplants jumped into my grocery cart. The next day, My Favorite Cook stopped by the grocery for milk and (y'know where this is headed, right?) another one jumped into his cart! "It was so pretty!" he said. I had to laugh: we're so alike when it comes to vegetables, we can't resist the pretty ones. And then I wondered, What in good gravy am I going to do with three eggplants?
#1 Eggplant Soup. It was, um, shall we say, Not-So-Pretty? But I loved the silky texture and the smoky flavor. Win!
#2 One of these eggplant recipes. Right now I'm thinking Moroccan Chicken. (Yeah, I know, a better photo is in order.)
#3 Suggestions??? One to go!
RECIPE for ROASTED EGGPLANT SOUP
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 6 cups
1 globe eggplant, about 1-1/2 pounds (700g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
Sour cream thinned with a little buttermilk, for garnish, optional
EGGPLANT Turn on the broiler with the rack right below. Cut the eggplant on half lengthwise, place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler and roast until the eggplant skin turns dark and almost crispy and the interior is soft and creamy. (This took about 15 minutes in our upper oven but I'm getting the idea that its thermostat isn't working, so would advise checking every 5 minutes or so.) Once the eggplant is ready, let cool a bit, then scrape the creamy flesh off the skin. Discard the skin.
SOUP Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until shimmery. Add the onion and carrots as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Let cook until color (and thus flavor) really develops. Stir in the spices, cook for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, eggplant and stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes.
Let cool, then puree in a blender – you know to be careful-careful with hot liquids in a hot blender, right? If not, please review these warnings and tips. Return the soup to the pot and bring back to temperature.
To serve, drizzle with sour cream thinned with a little buttermilk
To serve, a sprinkle of smoke paprika
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
EGGPLANT A globe eggplant is the larger bulbous purple eggplant that, at least here in the Midwest, is most common. A globe eggplant has more seeds than the slimmer Asian eggplants and honestly, I wondered if the seeds would ruin the soup's texture. They don't! Even with just an expensive Target-sourced blender, the soup turns out as silky as can be.
DICED TOMATOES I used a can of Rotel with green chilies, great for adding a little underlying heat. "One of us" loved the heat, the "other one" didn't. Guesses, anyone? :-)
GARNISH Here's the thing, Eggplant Soup Is.Not.Pretty. You'll want to garnish it with something, anything.
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MORE FAVORITE EGGPLANT RECIPES~ Eggplant Steaks ~
~ Cajun Dirty Rice with Eggplant ~
~ Baba Ganoush ~
~ more eggplant recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole ~
~ Mediterranean Eggplant ~
~ Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry ~
~ more eggplant recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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