Recipe: Roasted Eggplant Soup

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Roasted Eggplant Soup

8 servings

This a mellow yet hearty soup. Petworth resident Neema Enriquez has added leeks and shallots to the roster of vegetables for roasting. Adapted from a November 1997 Bon Appetit magazine recipe.

You can make this 1 day in advance, reserving the goat cheese garnish for serving.

3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, halved

1 large or 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, stem end trimmed

1 small onion, halved

2 leeks, cleaned and split lengthwise, tougher outer leaves removed

2 whole shallots, peeled, ends trimmed

6 large cloves garlic, peeled

About 1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

1 cup heavy cream

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a silicone pan liner.

Spread the tomatoes and eggplant (flesh side up), onion halves, leeks, shallots and garlic in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Coat them lightly with the oil. Roast for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browned in spots. (Some smaller pieces might be done sooner; remove from the oven earlier as necessary.)

When all the vegetables are done, scoop out the flesh of the eggplant and transfer to a large, heavy saucepan. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and the thyme. Add the wine and 3 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the onion is tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cream, stirring to combine. Use more stock or broth to thin the soup, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual bowls. Sprinkle with goat cheese; serve warm.

Per serving (using low-sodium broth, with the cheese garnish): 264 calories, 7 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 51 mg cholesterol, 10 g saturated fat, 148 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Howard Schneider; e-mail questions tofood@washpost.com


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