I found a fabulous soup book at the library!
New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup is written by a local woman who operates two restaurants in the Boston area. I’ve never heard of her restaurants, but the book looked interesting with gorgeous photos and glossy pages, so of course I borrowed it!
Now that the cooler weather is upon us in New England, I’m starting to crave soups & stews. I was thrilled to find a whole bunch of intriguing recipes to try in the book, but the Eggplant Parmesan Soup (pg 51) really caught my eye. I knew I’d be getting some eggplant in the CSA share this week, so I made a commitment to myself to make the soup!
I had to leave out a lot of ingredients from the original recipe though, as my summer pantry is lacking, and since the recipe makes 8-10 servings, I knew I’d also have to cut back on the quantity of soup.
My version of Eggplant Parmesan Soup (inspired by the New England Soup Factory Cookbook
- 1 med/large purple Eggplant
- 3 medium tomatoes (or more)
- fresh basil leaves (optional)
- 2-3 slices of whole grain bread
- 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 14.5 oz can of diced or stewed tomatoes
- Approx 1 cup water or stock/broth as needed
- Dried oregano and basil
- Salt/pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp vinegar – apple cider, balsamic, etc.
- 1 – 2 oz shredded/grated cheese (parmesan or cheddar)
- Wash eggplant & fresh tomatoes and pat dry.
- Prick the eggplant with a fork in many places. Slice the tomatoes into large halves/chunks
- Place eggplant and tomatoes in a roasting/baking dish
- Add a few fresh basil leaves (optional)
- In 300° oven, roast the vegetables until eggplant is soft – about 30-45 minutes.
- While the eggplant is slightly cooling off, heat a sauce pan on stove.
- Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and chopped onions. Cook for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the roasted tomatoes and basil leaves to sauce pan (with onions)
- Hold the roasted eggplant flat, and peel away some of the skin. It should peel away very easily. Use a spoon to scoop out the roasted eggplant pulp into a dish. Transfer the pulp to the sauce pan.
- Add can of tomatoes
- Add water/stock little by little as needed if soup is too thick.
- Season with salt/pepper, dried oregano and basil
- Allow to simmer covered for 30 minutes
- Toast both sides of the sliced of bread. You can also use a toaster for this step or arrange the slices of bread on cooking sheet (optionally drizzle with EVOO and/or sprinkle with garlic powder) in the oven and toast, flipping each slice half way . :)
- Allow bread to cool, then use a food processor to make bread crumbs.
- Once soup has simmered, puree it in a blender (in two or more batches if needed) or use an immersion blender in the pot (I gotta get one of those!)
- Pour into bowls, and sprinkle the bread crumbs and grated cheese on top. It’s gorgeous and tastes delicious! It’s deconstructed eggplant parmesan!!!
- Original recipe calls for celery, garlic, vegetable stock, tomato juice, and white wine
- The author doesn’t puree the soup, but I knew my DH would notice big chunks of eggplant (he doesn’t like eggplant), so pureeing was my secret weapon!
- Would I make this soup again? Not sure. Probably. It was a lot of work, with the roasting, scooping, bread crumbs, pureeing, etc. but I might possibly try it again. I would definitely add veggie or chicken stock next time, along with some tomato juice, even though it really tasted very good without it this time.
- DH thought it was “okay” – he didn’t hate it, but he didn’t rave over it. He’s not so much into pureed soups, he likes meaty chunks! LOL
The photo below really doesn’t look very appetizing. It looked much better in real life! :) The bread crumbs on top look like ground beef. LOL
I’m sure I’ll have more posts on several other recipes from the book coming soon. Looking forward to lots of soup this season!