Wednesday, September 30, 2009

As Per Request

Apparently, the word "soup" means different things to different people. To me, "soup" means pretty much anything that must be eaten with a spoon (cereal and ice cream being obvious exceptions). Stew is essentially a soup as far as I am concerned, so is bisque. My step-father, on the other hand, equates the word "soup" with "broth", which is another thing altogether. "Broth" is the stuff that when you add stuff to it, becomes soup. At least, that's how it works in my mind. So when I offered him some of the roasted eggplant parmesan soup I made yesterday, he was expecting something a little less.... hearty.
Have you ever had eggplant parmesan? This was like that but more liquidy. It definitely needs to be eaten with a spoon, but this stuff is a meal unto itself. You could have it with bread, and I would recommend that, but you don't need the bread to fill out the meal like you might with a "thinner" soup. My step-father was surprised that it was so filing and informed me that he very much enjoyed it. He had two helpings, so I think it was a success.
I used the recipe from "The Daily Soup Cookbook" and only tweaked it a little. And most of the soups look fantastic in that book, if you like soup, and can find the book, get it. It's well written and has interjections of humo(u)r throughout.

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Soup

3 medium eggplants, halved
3 large tomatoes
2 Tbs butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 celery stalks chopped
2 Tbs thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs kosher or coarse sea salt
1/4 ts cayenne
4 to 6 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and diced
1 (3-inch) hunk of parmesan rind
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut one of the eggplants into 1 inch cubes, spread the cubed eggplant, and the other two eggplants (halved) AND the tomatoes on a baking sheet coated with non-stick spray. Brush the veggies with olive oil for good measure. ( The book didn't say anything about peeling the eggplants or the tomatoes so, I didn't) Roast in the oven for about thirty minutes.
Remove from oven and when you can touch them without burning yourself, core the eggplant halves and puree the centers, then cut the remaining shells into cubes (1 inch).
Melt the butter in a large stockpot (think 6 qts plus) over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, shallot and one of the garlic cloves and sweat until just translucent.
Add the thyme, bay leaves, salt, and cayenne and stir well, you want to coat the vegetables.
Add the eggplant cubes, and puree, and the tomatoes both roasted and canned, and the parmesan rind, AND the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and add both the basil and the parmesan.
Remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind before serving.

The above was adapted from the one in the book. I added my tweaks, since that was how I made it.
Today's endeavor? The poblano corn chowder. With minor tweaks (I can't find all the ingredients).
It's a good thing soup freezes well. I think I need to set up a sort of soup-schedule. Make a few different soups one week, freeze it in small(ish) batches and use when needed. It really only is good for a month, so two or three different soups ought to do it.
I think next week I'll try the Cheddar cheese with potatoes and bacon!

--Little bird aims to please


Jules ♂ said...

This sounds like a great soup, I'll have to give it a try.

I always tweak my recipies after I make them the first time. Most of the time I add things like barley, lentils, beans or other veg. to enchance flavor and make soup thicker. I like my soups to be be a meal so I make sure to add more ingreients to thicken and add more flavor to them.

Little Bird said...

Trust me when I say that you won't need to add anything to this soup. A spoon stands straight up in this stuff! The tweaks I tend to make are more of a "let's add some shallot to this, I need to use these things" or "I don't HAVE mexican oregano, but I DO have just regular oregano" or "Six freaking huge onions? I think not!". Those kinds of tweaks!
The folks who wrote the cookbook I used really knew what they were talking about!

Ms B said...

You are the best! I can't wait to try this one. I may need to go find this book too!

Sascha said...

Sounds very tasty! Thanks!