I had quite a bit of thyme left over from the turkey soup I made last week and I wanted to find some ways to use it so I went looking for new recipes that called for thyme. I had actually found this recipe for Roasted Eggplant Soup on Epicurious some time ago. I don't know what I was looking for or how I found this recipe; I don't visit there often because it's awfully busy. Funny how the layout of a site can affect how often you decide to visit it.
However I came to find it, it appealed to me enought for me to print it out and bring it home from work with me. As soon as I found it this weekend and looked over the ingredients I knew it was a perfect way to use up some of that thyme. So I went to the store early Sunday morning, brought home the eggplant and tomatoes, cut everything up, slathered it with oil, and threw it in the oven.
The recipe said to roast the vegetables for 45 minutes. I think half an hour would have been sufficient. I usually do cook things for around fifteen minutes less than the recipe says just so I can check it out and make sure it's not cooking too fast. I'm not sure why I didn't check it this time; maybe to illustrate to myself what a good idea it is to do that.
At any rate, nothing was unusable. The eggplant was a little crusty and the garlic was a little crunchy, but once everything was in the pot with the chicken stock it all softened up just fine. I was more concerned that the just-shy-of-burnt garlic might be too overpowering, but that also softened up and toned down just fine.
The recipe calls for cream and goat cheese. While I love goat cheese, I'm trying to be more healthy and I'm not all that crazy about cheese in soup so I omitted both. I tried some yogurt as a garnish (pictured below) and it was ok, but not fantastic. The yogurt didn't blend with the soup, it overpowered it. And the flavors of this soup all blend together beautifully, rich and full. The eggplant adds just the tangiest little bite. A splash of lemon juice ended up being just the thing to brighten up the flavors.
Home Cookin Chapter: Soups and Stews
Roasted Eggplant Soup
3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 large eggplant (about 1-1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
4 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream (optional)
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Place tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on large baking sheet. Brush vegetables with oil. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown in spots, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Scoop eggplant from skin into heavy large saucepan; discard skin. Add remaining roasted vegetables and thyme to same saucepan.
Add 4 cups chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until 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. Sprinkle with goat cheese; serve.
from Bon Appetit, R.S.V.P., The Tyrolean, Vail, CO. November, 1997. (epicurious.com)
Exported from Home Cookin 5.4 (www.mountain-software.com)