Thursday, September 6, 2007
Roasted Eggplant Soup
Eggplant is a favourite vegetable of mine but it's not easy to cook. Sometimes it can be bitter and if the skin is left intact - well, it can remind you of moose lips. Epicurious has a fabulous recipe for a roasted eggplant soup. It was flavourful, smooth and deep. The addition of Landini brand white truffle oil elevated the soup to new heights. (No, no one pays me to say that but they are welcome to send some!)
Roasted Eggplant Soup
3 medium roma tomatoes, halved
1 large eggplant or two small ones (about 1 1/2 pounds - 650 gr), halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 30 mL
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 15 mL or 1 teaspoon dried, 5 mL
4 cups (or more) chicken stock, 1 L
1 cup heavy cream, 250 mL
Salt and pepper to taste
Truffle oil for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Put all the vegetables in a plastic bag and pour in the olive oil. Squish it around so everything is coated then put all the vegetables on a large baking sheet. There should be no vegetables overlapping each other.
Roast until the vegetables are tender and brown in spots, about 45 minutes. Check the vegetables about every 15 minutes to turn them or remove if they are too cooked. There will be a lovely roasted smell from the tomatoes, eggplant and garlic when they are ready.
Remove from oven. Scoop eggplant from skin into heavy large saucepan; discard skin. Squeeze the garlic out of it's peel. Remove the the skins from the tomatoes and discard. If the onion has burned a bit, cut off or remove the burnt layers. Burnt onion or garlic will give a bitter taste to your soup.
Add the roasted vegetables and thyme to same saucepan. Add 4 cups chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the onion is very tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. Stir in cream. Bring to simmer, thinning with more stock if desired. Season soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with a dash of truffle oil and sprig of fresh thyme.
The epicurious version of Roasted Eggplant Soup can be found here.