March 01, 2015

roasted eggplant and chickpea soup

Yum

On a day like today, rainy and cold, some soup could really lift your spirits.  I may have just the perfect one... especially if you like eggplant.

I know I really like the mild flavor of an eggplant, but it isn't a vegetable that we eat often because I find it a bit tricky to come up with recipes.  You have your eggplant parmesan and you can grill them in thick slices, both delicious (in fact I will be posting a new recipe soon for eggplant parmesan with creamed spinach, so stay tuned), but beyond that it can get a bit fuzzy.  This soup is a perfect way!  Plus, for some crazy reason, this is a vegetable that my kids don't "prefer"... I think that sounds much nicer than any way they might put it.  If you have a hard time with the texture, then this recipe is for you!:)

To be honest... I can see some people thinking that eggplant soup just doesn't sound all that inviting, but I promise it'll surprise you and it's so simple!!  In fact, I have made this soup a couple of times for guest and they loved it! The chickpeas add the perfect crunch to vary the texture and the yogurt adds a coolness that is then one upped by the fresh oregano.

Servings 6
Total Time 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1/2 cup dry/1 can)
  • 32 ounces chicken broth or water
  • fresh oregano (optional)
  • plain yogurt (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  In a large bowl, toss together eggplant, onion, garlic, 4 teaspoons of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, leaving a wide strip of empty space at one end. In bowl, toss chickpeas with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Transfer to empty space on sheet. Roast until eggplant is golden and cooked through and chickpeas are slightly crunchy, about 35 minutes.

3.  Set chickpeas aside. Peel garlic and add to a medium pot, along with eggplant, onion, and broth. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high. With a potato masher or an immersion blender , mash some eggplant until soup is thick and chunky. Stir in chickpeas and season to taste with salt and pepper (do not under salt, the salt really brings out the flavor of the eggplant!!!!).

4.  To serve, top with fresh oregano and plain yogurt, if desired.

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