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roasted eggplant soup

February 9, 2011

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t completely excited to try this recipe out. I mean, meh, it’s soup, and meh, it’s veggies. Even Deb said she didn’t quite have the recipe down perfect yet, so I wasn’t expecting specatcularity, but Chris and I wanted something moderately healthy and light-ish, but still filling and warm for a wintry night.

And you know what? It was actually a lot of fun to make. (I mean, I wasn’t the one attempting to scoop volcanic eggplant flesh out of its skin, but details, details.) Sticking all the veggies basically whole on a baking sheet and into the oven together was satisfyingly simple, as was plopping them all in a pot with some liquid to stew for a while. And do I even need to talk about how great immersion blenders are at tackling inner frustrations? I don’t think so.

More importantly, though, this was a bowl of pure yumminess. It was creamy and warm, fresh-tasting yet rich and flavorful, and perfectly smooth (add brothy soups to the absurd list of things that give me cooties). The sprinkling of goat cheese really took it over the top for me, adding an extra creaminess and bite to the soup—but then again, when has adding cheese ever done me wrong? Chris—not a goat cheese fan—didn’t seem to miss it in his, though, so I’d still probs leave it for the end/personal preference. All the more cheese for me, om nom nom…

Roasted Eggplant Soup
3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lb.), halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup (about 3.5 oz.) crumbled goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, onion, and garlic on a large baking sheet. Brush or drizzle vegetables with oil and roast them until they’re tender and brown in spots, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop eggplant from skin into a heavy, large saucepan or soup pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme, and the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.
2. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until it’s as smooth as you’d like it to be. Add the cream and bring the soup back to a simmer in the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in four bowls, sprinkled with goat cheese.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

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