Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Soup
Serves 6 to 8
Cut the eggplants in half and score the cut sides, being careful not to cut through the skin. Rub the cut surfaces with the salt. Drain the eggplant halves on paper towels, cut-side-down, for 20 minutes.
Preheat the over to 450 degrees. Dry the cut surfaces of the eggplants and brush them with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the eggplants, cut-side-down on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 20 minutes.
Using a large spoon, scoop the pulp from the cooked eggplant halves into a bowl, discarding the skin. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins into the same bowl. Set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a small stockpot or Dutch oven set on high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper flakes, cumin, cinnamon, mint and parsley and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the reserved roasted eggplant and garlic and the vegetable or chicken stock, stirring well to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 15-20 minutes.
Process the soup in several batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to the pot and reheat.
To serve, ladel the soup into shallow soup bowls and top with the roasted peppers, pesto and yogurt.
Wine Suggestion: Merlot