Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup

Summer Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup with Phyllo Dumplings
 Like everyone else in the food world, my favorite part of summer (aside from not having to wear a jacket outside) is the produce. Trips to the greenmarket become wonderful discoveries of fresh summer bounty and I have to force myself not to come home with everything I see.

Lately, the vegetarian and I have been traveling a lot so we haven't had time to enjoy the greenmarket as much as we'd like. Our travels took us to Hancock, NY, where we were costarring in a new play that about the founding of Laramie, WY. While this was a lot of fun, culinarily it left something to be desired (aside from an amazing restaurant we discovered on the way home, in Ellenville, NY).

The other thing that's been going on is that, do to some lingering behavioral problems, we had to send Ozzy to boot camp for 2 weeks. Now he's home and we're training him pretty hardcore. It's taxing but, ultimately, will be worth it.

So on our trip to the greenmarket yesterday, we wanted something fresh, non labor-intensive and that we could make into comfort food. There were beautiful baby eggplants at the greenmarket and we picked up several (white and purple). To stick with my theme of miniature produce, I grabbed two pints of cherry tomatoes as well. And, because our basil plant had died while we were away, a bunch of lemon basil came home with us as well.

My favorite way to prepare eggplant is to roast it. This concentrates the flavors without leeching out too much moisture. A quick internet search found a recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Tomato and Feta. I loved the flavors but wanted something more comforting than a warm salad. A quick cookbook search found me a recipe for Summer Roasted Tomato Soup. I put on my thinking cap, combined both recipes, and -- poof! Summer Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup was born. Enjoy!

Summer Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup
Freshly Pureed Soup
adapted from A Slob in the Kitchen and Green Lite Bites

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss eggplants, tomatoes, olive oil (at least 1 teaspoon), garlic, salt, basil, chickpeas and feta together.on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes, stirring halfway through and adding more olive oil if eggplant has dried out. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a stockpot, heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cooking, stirring, 5-10 minutes, until onion has turned translucent. Add roasted mixture and stock. Cover, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove cover, lower heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Season with additional salt and, if desired, black pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Phyllo, hot out of the oven
Make it a Meal: While you can serve this as an appetizer in a multi-course meal, it is also heavy enough to be a wonderful main dish. While everything roasts, make some phyllo dumplings (a wonderful stand-in for croutons) by wrapping basil and/or feta cheese in phyllo packages. While soup cooks, bake phyllo 15 minutes in a 375 F oven. Serve in soup or alongside. To drink, I'd recommend a rose, specifically a 2010 Biohof Pratsch. A sauvignon blanc would be nice as well. And for dessert? Pomegranate seeds. Bon appetit! 

Leftovers: Make a pound of pasta and pour over as much soup as you want instead of a prepared sauce. Yum!

Links to other roasted eggplant noshes:


Anonymous said...

Brilliant--and so easy--to roast everything at once, including feta! Look forward to trying this streamlined process after my next Greenmarket foray. Did Ozzy get a taste?

Roni said...

OHHH that looks great!