Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lentil Soup and Grilled Eggplant - Royal Foodie Joust

For the monthly Royal Foodie Joust at The Leftover Queen I needed to use eggplants, lentils, and cinnamon. Even though the task seemed easy, I had never tried mixing eggplants and cinnamon. Well, I soon found out that they are a perfect match to make a wonderfully warm and comforting soup for a chilly day!
1 large eggplant
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil

3 strips (3 ounces) bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (3 1/2 cups)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese

1) Slice eggplant lengthwise into very thin slices. Brush or spray slices with olive oil; sprinkle with salt, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, and cinnamon. Grill on electric/outdoor grill until each side has golden brown grill marks and is fragrant. Reserve for garnish.

2) In a Dutch oven (or other 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.

3) Add onion and carrots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute.

4) Add lentils, thyme, broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Arrange grilled eggplant slices on deep bowls. Laddle lentil soup, top with grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Lentil soup adapted from the book Everyday Food - Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Cris, what a delicious soup - and I love the way you present it!

Thistlemoon said...

Like I said Cris, you always present things so well!

best of luck!

Suzana said...

Yummy, yummy, yummy! Now that's a very elegant way to present a soup - Cris, you have a great eye!

Manju said...

delicious soup..!

Laurie Constantino said...

Gorgeous photos -- and it sounds very tasty! Great grilling job on the eggplant, especially for ones that have been cut so thin.

Kerri said...

Your recipes look and sound delectable Cris! I've just spent a few minutes reading them and my mouth is watering!
As usual your photos illustrate so beautifully.
And I've just learned that cassava is the same as tapioca and arrowroot. Thank you! :) Amazing how many things you use it for!
I adore your little cheese snowman! Very cute and creative.

Mansi said...

wow! that's pretty innovative!! and that cup you've served it in is just so colorful!

The H.I. said...

Cris, I love the presentation.
A great hearty winter soup. Looks delicious.

Ellie Barczak said...

HI! Great post! I love your blog! I stared a culinary blog myself recently. I love your photos! How long have you been cooking?

love the eggplant! keep it coming!