Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Soup

Someone failed to tell my eggplants that it's fall, because they just keep producing. Temperatures slipped dangerously close to freezing last night, but as long as Jack Frost stays away, I'm going to let them keeping on growing. I'm glad this bumper crop arrived after my zucchini had waned, because turning eggplant into Thai curry, baba ganoush, and eggplant Parmesan has certainly kept me busy already. My winter CSA starts in just a couple of weeks and I'm confident I'll have put it all to good use by then.

The obvious place to turn to use up a lot of any one vegetable is soup, and though the list of ingredients is brief, this certainly isn't short on taste.There's a bit of chopping and peeling (if desired) involved to get your vegetables ready for primetime, but the ingredients mostly roast unattended, developing a deep flavor with minimal effort required. Chickpeas roast alongside the eggplant, onions, and garlic, picking up a nutty flavor and crunchy texture that is the perfect contrast to the silky, earthy eggplant. A dollop of yogurt or sour cream adds a rich, creamy, tangy accent, but isn't necessary if you're vegetarian or vegan.

This soup may be made with the last of my summer crop, but it most certainly has the soul of fall, each bite packed with the hearty texture and flavor necessary to fortify against the impending colder months.

Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart
serves 4

2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, if desired, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small yellow or white onion, diced medium
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth or water
Fresh oregano (optional)
Plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together eggplant, onion, garlic, and 4 teaspoons of the olive oil; 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.

2. 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 back of a wooden spoon, mash some eggplant until soup is thick and chunky, or puree to desired consistency with an immersion blender. Stir in chickpeas and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top with fresh oregano and plain yogurt, if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment