Roasted eggplant soup (after a NY Times recipe)

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For abt. 2 Servings

1 medium eggplant
2 Tbs olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch cayenne
3 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp za’atar, Middle Eastern spice blend
1 teaspoons chopped parsley

Poke 2 or 3 holes in the eggplant, then place on a baking sheet under hot broiler, about 2 inches from flame. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, allowing skins to blacken and char. Turn and cook on other side until eggplants have softened completely, about 4 minutes more. (In my case this took well over 15 minutes). Set aside to cool, then scoop the flesh out of the skin.

Meanwhile, put some olive oil in a stainless steel or enameled soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and beginning to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and reserved eggplant and cook 1 minute more, then add broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check seasoning of broth and adjust salt.

Purée soup in batches in blender. If you want a finer soup, you can strain the soup through a fine mesh, or blend longer at a higher setting. Add the lemon juice and taste the soup again, adding more as necessary. Taste should be well seasoned and rather lemony.

Ladle soup into small bowls, topping each bowl with oil, 1/2 teaspoon za’atar and some chopped parsley (I used some cashew cream). May be served hot or cold. (adapted from NY Times recipe) ©2013Sabineart.com

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