Nick does most of the cooking in our house, but one thing he does not do is vegetables. This is really frustrating for me because I love vegetables. Last weekend the weather was just so nice and we had nowhere to be on Saturday morning, so I decided I just had to go to the farmer’s market. Nick begrudgingly tagged along and I got a pretty decent bounty for only $10: a big bushel of mustard greens, a bunch of squash, four juicy looking tomatoes, and an eggplant. All this week I’ve been cooking up single servings of vegetables to eat with my dinner. But last night, I realized that I had four tomatoes and an eggplant left over that wouldn’t be eaten before I went out of town this weekend (I’m making my annual trip to visit my friend Lauren in Atlanta–woohoo!). I was trying to think of a way that I could make use of them before they went bad. Maybe a salad to bring to work today? I googled and found some recipes, but just couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of cold eggplant, then, I came across this recipe from Martha Stewart: Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup. Sounds de-lish! And, bonus, soup can be frozen and enjoyed at a later date! Done. The only thing I had to do was run by the grocery store for an onion and a can of chickpeas.
I adjusted the recipe a bit based on my preferences. Here’s my ingredient list.
4 medium tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium eggplant cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
While my oven preheated to 425, I put the tomatoes and onions together on one cookie sheet and tossed them with some olive oil and garlic powder.
Then I tossed the eggplant and chickpeas on another cookie sheet with some olive oil, garlic powder, and basil. I wish I could say that the basil came from my garden. I used to have some, but it died. This was the kind you sprinkle from a little plastic jar.
I put both cookie sheets in the oven (tomatoes on top) for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Doesn’t everything look so nice and toasty?
I did like Martha said and used tongs to remove the tomato skins, although I’m sure a fork would have done the trick. My only tongs are of the giant barbeque variety so I looked rather silly wielding them over my little tomatoes. Then, I put the tomato and onion mixture in my blender and hit puree.
I left things a little chunky because that’s how I like it.
Since I knew I wouldn’t be eating this soup tonight I went ahead and just used a mixing bowl to combine the pureed mixture with the eggplant and chickpeas.
I mixed it all up, then added a little water to thin. The tomato puree was tasting a little bland at this point, so I added more garlic powder and a little salt and pepper.
Yum! I kind of wish I’d poured some into a pretty bowl and taken a picture of it looking all delicious and ready to eat, but since I’d already had dinner I just went straight to dividing it up into two ziplock baggies.
I know those bags aren’t made to survive the freezer for long, but I liked that they would each hold about a single serving. I’ll be sure to eat both portions within the next week or two.
I did have a little taste before bagging it up, and I can tell you that this soup is every bit as delicious as I thought it would be. Very smoky and fall-ish. If I made it again, my only modification would have been to cook the chickpeas for only half as long as everything else. They got a little too crunchy for my liking. But if you’re into crunch in your soup, they’d probably be just about perfect for you. The original recipe called for curry powder, but since I am not into spice I replaced it with my number one favorite flavor: garlic. I also replaced the carrots with onions at the suggestion of one of the comments on Martha’s page. And, of course, I completely ignored her suggestions of tomato and eggplant quantity and size and just used what I had. I’m so excited to defrost a serving of this soup when I get home on Sunday. It’ll be like a little welcome-home present from my freezer!