Burnt Toast and Roasted Eggplant Soup with Curried Crème Fraîche and Bacon Bits

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

Thickening soups and stews with bread is a common technique in Mediterranean cooking. I recommend slightly burning the bread, like in this recipe, because it adds an additional smoky flavor. And you know that I am all about that smoke.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) small eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup (120 ml) canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 slices stale sourdough bread, 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
  • cups (600 ml) Bacon Stock or low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • cups (360 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Curried Crème Fraîche (recipe follows)
  • 1 small green onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup (55 g) Bacon Bits
  • Croutons

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Brush the eggplant halves with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place, cut-side down, on a baking sheet and cook until the bottom is lightly golden brown and the eggplant is soft when pierced with a paring knife or skewer, about 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin and place the flesh in a bowl.

While the eggplant is cooling, toast the bread in a toaster or under the broiler until it is deep golden brown and slightly charred around the edges on both sides. Tear into large pieces.

In a large saucepan, combine the stock and milk and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the bread and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Alternatively, let cool and transfer to a food processor or blender in batches and puree until smooth.

Return the soup to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, or until just heated through. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top each bowl with a dollop of the crème fraîche and a sprinkling of green onion, bacon bits, and croutons.

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