I found this recipe at the back of the most recent issue of Food & Wine and it looked too spectacular not to try myself. I love the idea that it’s a spin on a traditional mezze, incorporating eggplant, lemon, radish & green peas. Between steeping your garlic in half & half and roasting your eggplant, the soup is going to take a little over an hour to make properly, but it’s definitely worth it.
2 large eggplants
2 cups half & half
6 cloves of garlic
1 rind of parmesan (although I just used a handful of parmesan)
1 cup sliced radish
1 cup green peas
Start by preheating your oven to 450. In a small saucepan, combine the half & half, garlic, and parmesan and bring to a simmer. Turn the stove off and let the mixture sit, off the heat, for 1 hour.
Oh, you have an hour to kill while the garlic steeps in the cream? I have the perfect suggestion to help pass the time- roast an eggplant or two!
Slice your eggplant (hotdog style) and brush each cut side with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place the eggplant cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, until the inside is tender.
While the steeping and the roasting is happening, slice up your radish and thaw your green peas. Store them in cute measuring bowls like the ones pictured below until you need them for garnish- if you don’t have cute measuring bowls, then you probably need to get a boyfriend who has sweet grandparents who will give some to you for Hanukkah. But that could take a while, so just put it on the backburner.
After an hour of steeping, put the half & half mixture through a sieve, tossing out any solids.
When your eggplants are ready, scoop the insides into a food processor or blender (discarding the skin) and puree until smooth. Food & Wine says to pass this mixture through a sieve, but I quite like the texture of a few eggplant seeds so I omitted.
Stir the eggplant mixture into the half & half, add juice of lemon, and bring to a simmer, until the soup is heated. Season with salt and serve with radishes & green peas.