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Smoked Eggplant Soup with Red Pepper Cream

The distinctive, meaty flavor of smoked eggplant makes this silky soup something special. This traditional Italian recipe is adapted from award-winning cookbook author, cooking teacher, and world traveler Joanne Weir.

Ingredients

Serves
6
  • 3 pounds whole eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/4 ounces Veggie-Stock Gold® dissolved in 6 cups hot water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded*
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Whole Italian parsley leaves

Methods/steps

  1. Preheat the broiler.  Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and position them in the oven about 4 inches from the heating element.  Broil the, turning them with tongs, until the skin is blackened and blistered, about 10-15 minutes total time. (The eggplants may also be blackened on a grill.)
  2. Turn off the broiler and set the oven to 350 degrees. Leave the eggplants on the baking sheet and bake until they can be easily skewered, 10-30 minutes (time varies with the size of the eggplants). Cool. Remove and discard the skin and the stems and reserve the pulp.
  3. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté over low heat until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the eggplant and sauté for 15 minutes. Add the diluted Veggie-Stock Gold®, bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Purée the soup in batches with a blender and return to the pot over low heat.  Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If the soup is too thick, thin it with additional stock or water.
  5. Purée the red pepper in a food processor or blender to make a very smooth paste. Whip the cream in a small bowl with a whisk until soft peaks form. Add the roasted pepper purée and a pinch of cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the red pepper cream and a few leaves of parsley.

Additional Tips

*To roast peppers: Preheat the broiler. Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning as needed, until their skin is blackened and blistered on all sides.  Remove the peppers from the oven, place them in an airtight container, and cool at least 15 minutes (the heat from the peppers in the airtight container will create steam that helps loosen the skins.)  After they're cool enough to touch, slip the skin off the peppers, pull them apart, and remove the seeds and stem from each.

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*Applies to the 48 contiguous states only

 
Classic French Stocks and Sauces