Monday, October 1, 2007

Eggplant - Yummy

I've been getting all kinds of free eggplant at work. When the skin doesn't look tight and perfect, they throw it in the back for us and the insides are still lovely and delicious. I think I'm getting the hang of finding good recipes online. Step 1: Look for one. Imagine that. I like this one, because it's simple and requires few ingredients. It was also delicious and the vegetables smelled wonderful roasting, so I had a fragrant afternoon preparing this. The long, slow cook time also imbues the soup with a deep warmth that's perfect for the rising cool of autumn.

3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 (1 1/2 lb) lb) eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400°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.
Serve with sprinkling of goat cheese.

Modifications: No cream - if a creamier soup is desired, use coconut milk. Vegan cheese or no cheese also works. Serve with fresh olive oil breadsticks!

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