Culinary Anthropologist

Roasted aubergine soup with garlic cream

Leave a Comment

You guys voted it into third place, but it had a few particularly
passionate supporters, so this week I’m sending you the aubergine soup. 
It’s one I learnt at school and then played with at home. .It’s great for a cold autumn night.  Don’t omit the garlic cream – it’s essential.  Roasting the bulb first makes the garlic flavour sweet and smooth.

The aubergine
is simply a marvellous vegetable.  Do send me your own aubergine recipe
favourite if you have one.

aubergine soup.jpg

Recipe:  Aubergine soup with garlic cream.pdf 

Serves:  2 as a meal in itself or 4 as a starter
Total cooking time: 1 hr 15 mins

2 large or 3 medium aubergines
2 onions, diced
olive oil
one head of garlic, whole + 2 extra cloves
2 heaped tbsps minced fresh thyme (or oregano, or sage)
1 tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
approx 1 (UK) pint (2 1/2 cups) good chicken or vegetable stock
salt & pepper
juice of a lemon
3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
approx 120ml (1/2 cup) whipping/double (heavy) cream

  1. Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).  Slice aubergines in half lengthways.  Rub exposed flesh with oil, salt and pepper.  Place them, cut-side down, on a baking sheet.  Cut bottom quarter off head of garlic.  Rub cut surface with oil and a little salt.  Wrap in foil.  Put garlic (upside-down) and aubergines in oven and leave for approx 30 mins, or until very soft but not burnt.
  2. Meanwhile, dice onions, mince the 2 remaining cloves garlic, mince the thyme and toast and grind the cumin seeds.  To do this, place seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and cook for a few mins, tossing occasionally, until they give off a great aroma and just start to colour.  Then grind them finely in a coffee grinder or with a pestle and mortar.
  3. In a large saucepan gently fry the onions in approx 3 tbsps olive oil until soft.  Add the minced garlic and cook for another couple mins.  Add the thyme and cumin and cook another minute.
  4. When the aubergines are very soft to the touch remove them from the oven and scoop the flesh out into a sieve over a bowl.  Discard the juices if they taste bitter.  Add the pulp to the saucepan.  Stir it in and cook for a few mins.  Add a little salt at this stage.  (It’s good to keep adding a little salt each time you add an ingredient to a pot, so that everything is well seasoned and all the flavours shine through.)
  5. Add around half your stock to the pot.  Stir in and then blend.  Use a hand-held immersion blender, or let the soup cool a little and blend in batches in a blender or food processor.  You want a thick, smooth sludge.
  6. Return to the pan and add more stock until you reach the desired consistency.  It should not be watery, but also not so thick that it forms a heap in a bowl.
  7. Heat the soup up to a simmer and add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.  The soup should not taste lemony; the lemon is just to ‘lift’ and enhance the spicy aubergine flavour.  Don’t adjust the flavour when the soup is cold or you will end up adding too much salt and pepper.  
  8. If you can be bothered, peel and deseed the tomatoes before dicing them into small cubes.  To peel a tomato, cut a little cross in its bottom, dunk it into boiling or just-boiled water for around half a minute, then peel off the skin.  Stir most of the tomato dice into the soup, and reserve a little for garnish.  
  9. To make the garlic cream, squeeze the pulp out of the roasted garlic head and mash it up well.  Lightly whip the cream and combine with garlic paste.
  10. Serve the soup with crusty bread and garnished with a dollop of garlic cream and a sprinkling of diced tomato.

Learn more about aubergines.

Comments are closed