Thursday, April 12, 2012

Late Summer Soup in the Springtime!

I try my best to eat seasonally. I try to convince myself that I eat seasonally.

But sometimes, I want to jump the gun on some summertime love, and I just need to make this soup:  a velvety combination of roasted red pepper and eggplant so decadent you would think there was cream in it.  And it's easy, peasy, cool breezy.

And, I promise, I will try to do better about eating with the seasons.

Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Soup

Take the time to roast your own peppers. Quite often the jarred peppers are in a brine and can add to the salt content.  Wow...that sounded so responsibly healthy.

1 large eggplant
3 red peppers
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 Tbl cumin
thyme bundle
1 bay leaf
4 cups water (or chicken stock)
salt 'n pepper 

If using an electric range:
Preheat oven to 450.  Arrange the whole peppers and eggplant on a baking sheet and let those suckers roast for about an hour.  The eggplant should look a little deflated and the peppers should have a char.  If there is no char, remove eggplant and broil the peppers for 10 minutes. 

If using a gas range:
Turn on three burners to a high flame and place peppers directly on the flame.  Char the peppers on all sides, turning frequently with tongs.  Preheat oven to 450.  Roast whole eggplant on a baking sheet for one hour.

Once the skin has blackened, place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes to let them sweat it out.  To remove the charred skins, simply rub them off with your hands.  Remove seeds and coarsely chop, reserving any liquid. Slice eggplant in half, and scoop out flesh.

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onions and garlic.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add cumin and thyme bundle, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Add peppers and eggplant, and allow the flavors to marry for a few minutes.  Add liquid and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove soup from heat, discard thyme and bay, and puree.

If your feelin' crazy, add a dollop of goat cheese on top when serving.

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