Roasted Eggplant Soup with Garbanzo Beans and Couscous
September 26, 2012 § 1 Comment
Oh, did this summer pass me by. And I am not just talking about here on the blog, which I have been absent from for 2 months. I always feel like summer will go on and on. Maybe because, growing up, it is the one season you really get to appreciate while you’re out of school, the others sort of blur. No matter, as each of my favorite stone fruit fell in and out of season – first cherries, then peaches and now plums – I am accepting the end. It is officially fall and not much of the summer bounty is left. Eggplant, however, seems to still be going strong – at least where I am. Baskets of eggplants sit right next to the winter squash, and from what I hear they will be here for a few more weeks.
Along with plums and grapes, eggplants help us transition into the flavors of fall without any shock or denial. And whether this soup should be considered late summer or early fall, when I tasted it, I knew it needed to be recorded here so that I would be able to have it again next year. No lazily taking a few pictures with the best intentions and then forgetting about the blog until it is too late. This recipe needs to be made again. It is very well seasoned with a bit of a North African feel, enhanced by the use of couscous which works as a thickener and fills out the meal. Feta and cilantro might not be the most appropriate toppings, but they go quite nice with the late-season, crazy flavorful eggplant.
1 year ago, today: Baked Yams with Spicy Tomato Sauced Pinto Beans and Caramelized Red Onions
Roasted Eggplant Soup with Garbanzo Beans and Couscous:
- 1 cup (7.5 oz) garbanzo beans, soaked and cooked
- 2 3/4 lb eggplant (2 very large end of season eggplants)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 4-6 cups stock
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup (6.5 oz) couscous
- feta and cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut eggplants in half from stem to tip, or in quarters if they are very large. Place on a greased/paper-lined baked sheet and drizzle with half of the oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes, or until pieces are quite brown and crisped on top but very soft inside. Once cool enough to handle, pull off the stem and leaves and puree the eggplant with the crushed tomatoes – do this in two batches (half the eggplant and half the tomatoes in each batch) if using a standard 8 quart blender. Alternatively, you could add both the eggplant and tomatoes without pureeing and use an immersion blender for a coarser texture.
Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and cook the onions over a medium-low heat fairly slowly, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10 minutes, the onion should soften without browning. Add garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, ginger, cardamom and paprika. Turn up the heat and cook until aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. Add eggplant/tomato mixture and allow to cook down for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups of stock with the cooked garbanzo beans and couscous. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper to taste. Add more stock for desired consistency if needed. Ladle into bowl and serve with feta and cilantro