I made this healthy and hearty soup with beautiful eggplant from a friend’s garden. I was also able to make one of my favorite eggplant dishes with her amazing harvest, Eggplant and Wild Mushroom “Meatballs.”
The soup was initially more fluid, but I preferred it re-heated and cooked down, as pictured. We scooped it up with fresh Portuguese Rolls. Perfect.
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier.
Yield: Serves 4
- one 1 1/4-pound eggplant, quartered lengthwise (I used 2 small)
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup French green lentils (5 1/2 ounces)
- 14 large sage leaves, divided, plus more, as desired, for garnish
- 2 cups chicken stock (can substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
- Place the eggplant quarters on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side down. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the lentils with 2 inches of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 sage leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils in a colander and discard the sage leaves.
- Scrape the eggplant flesh into a blender; discard the skin. Add 1 cup of the stock and puree until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. (I used a Vitamix.)
- Add the lentils and the remaining 1 cup of stock to the blender and puree until smooth. Add the lentil puree to the eggplant puree in the saucepan.
- Stir the milk and lemon juice into the soup and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper; keep the soup hot over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the remaining 12 sage leaves and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 20 seconds per side.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the fried sage leaves and serve.
The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.