- 1 1/2# Japanese eggplant halved lengthwise
- 1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, unpeeled and halved lengthwise
- 3 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- 3 fresh thyme springs, chopped fine
- 3 fresh organo sprigs, chopped fine
- 3 fresh basil sprigs, chopped fine
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- twelve 1/4" thick slices of French bread, toasted
- 3/4# goat's milk mozzarella, grated coarse
In a bowl coat the eggplant and the bell pepper lightly with 1 T. of the oil and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. In a foil-lined roasting pan arrange the eggplant, skin sides down, the bell pepper, skin sides up, the onions, cut sides down, and the tomatoes, cut sides down, and roast the vegetables in the upper third of a preheated 400< oven for 10 minutes. Put the garlic in the pan near the tomatoes, roast the vegetables for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until the bell pepper is charred, and let them cool. Remove the skin from the bell pepper and the onions and coarsely chop the eggplant, the bell pepper, the onions, and the garlic.
In a large kettle melt the butter with the remaining 3 T. oil over moderately high heat, add the chopped vegetables including the garlic, the tomatoes, the thyme, the organo, the basil, and enough of the broth to just cover the mixture, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the bay leaf and simmer the soup for 30 minutes, or until it is thickened slightly. In a blender or food processor pure the soup in batches, transfering it as it is pured to the cleaned kettle (the soup will be thick and textured, flecked with black bits of the eggplant), and heat it with the remaining broth over moderately low heat until it is heated through.
Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with the mozzarella, and broil the croutons under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or unti the cheese is golden. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and top each serving with 2 croutons.
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Source: Gourmet 1992
Submitted By: Jan
Roasted Eggplant Soup