Try Aubergine Soup for a change

This is the 'good-to-go-with' penne with meatballs pasta dish I prepared for my dearest cousin Marguerite who was here recently. I don't do this as much as I want to because, I do not want to aggaravate my arthritic condition :-)

Aubergine is the French word for eggplant, which in turn is scientifically called Solanum melongena. Eggplants are large and heavy vegetable, usually pear-shaped and dark-purple. A member of the potato family, eggplants are known worldwide, but are best part of Oriental, Middle Eastern and Balkan cooking. The eggplant is said to have originated in India, and was introduced to Spain by the Arabs in the 12th century. There, it was greatly favored for its supposedly aphrodisiac qualities. But in 16th century England and Italy, the eggplant was shunned and suspected of causing madness. Eggplants are not very nutritious, with only 1% protein and 3% carbohydrate, but they are low in calories and have no fat. The young, tender plants have the best flavor.

The recipe:

1 1/2 kilos eggplant
5 red peppers, quartered
2 tsps olive oil
vegetable cooking oil for sauteing
salt to taste
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 medium sized tomatoes, slightly grilled, peeled and chopped
5 cups chicken stock from chicken breast
2 tsps freshly milled black pepper

Grill the eggplants until flesh becomes soft and blackened. Peel away if you can. Be careful it could be hot. And then chop the flesh removing the seeds. St aside. Saute garlic and tomatoes over low heat. Then, add eggplant, red pepper, chicken stock and freshly milled black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. You can choose to process through a blender to add a smooth and silky quality to the soup. Otherwise, serve as it is, hot. Delish!

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