La de dah…pretty fancy schmancy name for plain ol’ eggplant soup, right?
The first time that I heard of eggplant soup I did a head tilt. Eggplant Soup? That sounded intriguing to me. I looked at so many different recipes that I couldn’t decide on just one, but instead, settled on two not so different recipes. Plus a little of my own intuition. Both Mr. Fae and I like eggplant but we know many people who run in fear of the mere mention of the vegetable. I don’t get it. It tastes good! But then again, I love most vegetables out there so who am I to question tastes?
Right now most vegetable gardens are positively blooming with produce, so if you planted a garden this year (did you? I didn’t!), use your hard working efforts and showcase your veggies.
Still with me? Good. Cut the tops off the eggplant and then cut in two lengthwise. Cut the tomatoes in half and cut the onions into quarters. Peel the garlic and place all the veggies onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush with olive oil…you don’t need very much at all.
Scrap out the eggplant flesh. It’s easiest if you just keep it laying down on the baking sheet and scrape it all out into your pot using a wide spoon. Discard the shell. Place remaining veggies into the stock pot as well. Add the chopped thyme. Don’t eat the roasted garlic cloves…you must put them into the pot, too, ok?
I’m keeping my eye on you.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn it down and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. When the onions are soft, turn off the heat and let it all cool down slightly.
Once blended…taste. Oh my goodness. And you haven’t even added the salt or pepper yet. Or better yet…the PESTO!
Ok, I’ve held back long enough. Add the pesto and please taste it after each tablespoon. Some pestos (store bought) can be very salty, some can be very oily. But if you’re willing and able, use this Pesto Recipe from last week. You will love it. When I made this, I didn’t have any home made pesto ready. Don’t ask. Just let me say that some stores around here try to sell what they call basil and what looks like to me as browned/wilted green leaves. I had to punt with this recipe knowing now that home made pesto would have made this soup zing.
2 medium size eggplants
2 medium tomatoes
1 onion, quartered
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled
6-8 cups chicken broth
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
3 T (or more) pesto
Optional: cream for decadence
Oven 350˚. Place vegetables on rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Place all vegetables into soup pot, scrapping eggplant meat away from skin; discard skin. Add 6 cups broth and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Check to see if onions are soft all the way through. If not, simmer in increments of 10 minutes, adding more broth if necessary. Once cooked, let cool until easily handled into a food processor. In batches, process until smooth. Pour all soup back into soup pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add pesto, tasting after 3 T. If you want more, add it!
Optional: add up to one cup heavy whipping cream, or dollops of sour cream.